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3.24 Reconstruction of the Roman aqueducts

erstellt von Kulawik Veröffentlicht 05.06.2019 20:47, zuletzt verändert: 05.06.2019 20:47

Even more important than the aforementioned machines for ancient Rome to grow and survive would have been the aqueducts:

La dottrina de gli aquedotti é degna di particolare avvertimento, per esser quelli tanto maravigliosi a vedere, e di tanta grandezza, che trapassano ogni pensiero humano. Oltre che sono utilissimi per condurre, a donare a gli huomini cosi necessario elemento come è l’acqua. . . . e in oltre ponendone in figura qualche parte, per mostrare il modo come essi procedevano: discorrendovi apresso, dove al presente siano sviate quelle acque, le quali per questi aquedotti si conducevano a Roma [Tolomei 1547, 84r-84v].

The doctrine of the aqueducts deserves special attention, because they are marvellous to see and of all greatness, that surpasses any human thinking. In addition they are very useful for transporting and bringing to the humans a so important element like water […] and one will put in pictures some parts to demonstrate the way how they worked, explaining where they are to be found the sourcess from which the aqueducts were running to Rome.

In 1545, bishop Agostino Steuco, head of the Vatican Library, friend of Marcello Cervini, and usually known for his fierce polemical works against the rise of Protestantism, took a few months off from his duties to search for traces of the Roman aqueducts in the surrounding campagna.15 It is still not known if his project was successful, but there must have been at least some results — except for the three small water-related volumes Steuco had printed = [Steuco 1547.1, 2, 3] — because they were used later in the 1560s for the reconstruction of the Aqua Virgo or Acqua Vergine, feeding the world-famous Fontana di Trevi. Taking into account Steuco’s seemingly nonexistent relationship to ancient engineering before 1545, his closeness to Cervini and, therefore, to the network around him, and his partially successful work on aqueducts, we may be allowed to assume that Steuco was presumably gathering information for this part of Tolomei’s project.