Tuesday, October 23

Claudio Marcello's Font

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In 67 AD a massive earthquake jiggled the prosperous city of Pompeii, cracking walls and massive marble columns leaving debris everywhere and challenging its people and the Roman empire to begin a major cleanup and restoration job. It was still underway on the mid day of August 29, 79 AD. See the repairs to the walls in the back ground of this image, and the gouges in the columns?

On that day in August Pompeii’s name became inextricably linked with another name… Vesuvius. Along with the smaller city of Herculaneum, Pompeii was startled at first then buried in layers of silt which carefully preserved its history up until 79 AD.

Over the last three centuries excavators have revealed places like Claudio Marcello’s gift to his city of a public square.
>I know it was Claudio Marcello from this curiously preserved marble plaque with his name as its patron (note how the plaque’s carver ran out of room on the right). Marble work which matches this font is once again basking in the mid-day light about two thousand years after the still smoldering Vesuvius stored this vessel away for us to enjoy.

By the way, Vesuvius will erupt again, and if the winds are the same, Claudio Marcello's square will get packed away once more.


Thomas said...

Looking at those marvel inscriptions (is that the right English word?), makes me wonder whether those ancient techniques aren't far better for preserving things for our descendants than undocumented RAW-files on flimsy harddrives... I would hold any bet that people will still read and ponder about Claudio Marcello when all our photographic eforts have already faded away.

That's a real pity.

Hm... well... sometimes time at least.

PS.: Although it's very, very hard, I'm not commenting on "marvelous" photos.


Chad Oneil Myers said...

Cool post.

...I knew you would enjoy my latest post, thanks for your comment ;)

Ted Byrne said...

(Thomas) Whoa! A thoughtful point Thomas. I wonder about our legacy if only our signage survives to tell future millennia about us. I will look at those signs along the street as I go to work today and wonder what folks in 4007 might make of us with only their messages to ponder. Anybody got a thought?

advman said...

Hmm ... did you know that the Gulf of Naples is in reality the caldera of a super-volcano? Something like the one that slumbers beneath Yellowstone NP, lurking to kill off all human life ... sometime?

As to the durability of our own artifacts, well, what survived of Rome were maybe not the most important things, it were the most durable. Maybe most of our art, that we pour so much time in, will be gone in a life-span, but much of our garbage will survive.

Some of the most robust buildings in all the city of Vienna are the so called "Flak Towers", massive towers of concrete, built in WW2 as platforms for anti-aircraft guns. They can't be torn off with any reasonable effort, because they are so massive. Seems like Vienna will be judged by them, 200 years from now :)