Another website caught my eye yesterday, while I was surfing around looking for old maps and depictions of Rome. This one consisted of a lot of images of the Palatine hill in Rome. I am, in truth, not that sure what I am looking at; is this, perhaps, material from a book?
The images themselves are very interesting, but, O! so tiny. Why?
Some of these show the now vanished remains of the Septizodium, which is rightly seen as part of the Palatine constructions. All that remained by this time was one end of the massive facade on three levels that Septimus Severus had built across the end of the Palatine.
The first of these shows it on the left of the image:
Moving to the left, we see the Septizonium again, with the arcade behind it. The latter still stands, of course. The valley to the left is the Circus Maximus.
The viewer now turns right and looks up the road to the Colloseum. The Septizonium is thus seen end-on.
But something is wrong about the perspective here — I don’t believe that the Colosseum was that close, nor in quite that position.
The next item is a map, which shows something at the place where the Septizonium stood. The Palatine hill is next to the Circus Maximus: but if you look at the road that runs from the upper section of the Circus up along the top of the Palatine, you see something just at the point where the road kinks left.
If only we had a high-resolution image!
The next item is an aerial view by Du Perac, which shows the Septizonium in just that position. In this case we’re looking south, and I have ventured to circle the item.
Once you get to know the shape of that stubby tower-like fragment, and start to look for it, it pops out at you in all sorts of images.
The next item is far more useful.
Again, I wish it were bigger. And I wish we had some more details, but a plan is very useful.
A rare rear view of the Septizonium now:
Again a larger image would be useful. It looks very ramshackle from this angle, doesn’t it? Maybe this is why it was demolished; that it was already collapsing?
Next a clearer image:
I have not even exhausted all the images of the Septizonium on that page, yet already I think we know the monument better. There are also notes at the foot of the page, indicating precisely where each image comes from (and well done, there!)
I’m entirely a novice at this business of finding images. What I wish, tho, is that there was some way to get much better quality images online.