Architectural and Utopian Projects. The Ideal City in Renaissance Italy



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Architectural and Utopian Projects. The Ideal City in Renaissance Italy.
Vita Fortunati (University of Bologna) and Paola Spinozzi (University of Ferrara)
The search for the ideal city in Renaissance Italy testifies not only to a strong interaction between the planning of an urban space and its socio political institutions, but also to a lively dialogue between architectural treatises and utopian texts. On the one hand, utopian cities present features which recur in various Italian regions, on the other, theoretical treatises address fundamental utopian issues, since they aim at healing the dis-functions of real historical towns. Clearly enough, while in the ideal cities conjured up and described in literary utopias the social structure appears to be of primary concern and the urban arrangement of secondary importance, in the ideal city theorised in architectural treatises the reverse is true. In many cases, projects of ideal towns become tools through which the Prince’s hegemony is exerted and the power of the Italian Signorie, the lords of the towns, is ennobled.

The archetype of the utopian city is Utopia by Thomas More (plates 1 and 2): while learning about the “fifty-four splendid towns on the island, all with the same language, laws, customs and institutions 1”, the reader realizes that the rational geometry of More’s urban planning mirrors his egalitarian and communist political views: the towns are all built on the same plan, and so far as the site will allow, they all look exactly alike. Clearly enough, the physical shape of the urban environment, where social life takes place, is deeply connected with its social organization and the behaviour of its citizens. The correspondence between the planimetry of the city and the customs and ethics of its inhabitants, a major point in More’s communist views, is derived from the thought of classical texts – from Plato’s philosophical writings to Vitruvius’s De Architectura – whom European humanists re-read and re-interpreted according to new epistemological paradigms. For Plato the body politics and the urban organisation are inextricably related, and polis refers not only to the architectural planning, but also to the social and legal institution of the city-state. The rational design that regulates the social and political organisation of the utopian town bears witness to the domination of nature.

As Luigi Firpo has emphasised 2, the ideal cities presented in Italian Renaissance treatises such as Leon Battista Alberti’s De Re Aedificatoria (1443-1452), Filarete’s Trattato di architettura (1460-1464), Francesco di Giorgio Martini’s Trattato di Architettura, ingegneria e arte militare (1479-1480), and Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings and writings, originate from a thorough analysis and critique of medieval towns. While the latter ones grew loosely without any definite geometrical evolution, Renaissance cities were conceived as harmonic, volumetric shapes which were to rise and evolve according to a definite urban planning.

The cultural atmosphere of the Italian Renaissance, imbued with the idea of the homo faber who masters his own destiny and moulds his environment, and the political situation between 1450 and 1550, were favourable to the rise of architects who, though dependant on patrons for financial support, were creative minds driven by strong will. By the middle of the 15 century humanist architects, supported by wealthy merchants and illustrious families and less dependant on the Church, conceived of new rational urban plans founded on the theory of the balance between microcosm and macrocosm, as was articulated in the philosophical works of the Neo-Platonic Marsilio Ficinio. Leon Battista Alberti set out the principle of such ideal order in the De re aedificatoria and strenuously attempted to realise it in buildings patronised by the Church or by influential Signori of Italian cities such as the Chiesa di Sant’Andrea in Mantua and the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini.

Many ideal plans have a geometrical scheme – orthogonal, circular or radial –, which underlies a symbolic meaning. For instance, the radial scheme presupposes a centre which is the seat of power. Furthermore, the representation of town planimetry is moulded on the shape of the human body: the centrality of the seat of power is connected with the human heart. In Trattato di architettura Francesco di Giorgio Martini paid great attention to matters of fortification along with advice on city building. He drew heavily on the theories of the 1thst century Roman architect and engineer, Vitruvius. Di Giorgio Martino translated many passages from Vitruvius’s writings, and reworked them into his own theories of human analogy. While Vitruvius suggested that the proportions of the human body should be regarded as a source for architectural proportions, Di Giorgio Martino tried to explain in words and illustrations how this could work, particularly in term of columns: he demonstrated that a man’s shoulders support neck and head just like a column’s architrave should support the cornice and the frieze. In the drawing entitled L’uomo città-fortezza (plate 3) the architect conceives the city in the shape of the human body: the heart coincides with the square, the torso is the cathedral, the city walls are conceived in a vertical way, in order to follow the legs and the arms of the human body. At the very top there is the fortress, which coincides with the head. At the very opposite, and thus far away from the head-fortress, is the entrance to the city. This drawing very well shows the anthropomorphous conception of the town, which has ancient roots, and can clearly be visualised in Pianta de Napoli di Pico Jeronimo Fonticulano (1575) (plate 4).

In the well known picture of the ideal city of Urbino, an anonymous painting dating back to the second half of the 15th century (plate 5), the urban scenario focuses on a circular temple where two external orders of pillars of different size exalt the principle of symmetry. The surrounding rectangular buildings are constructed on multiple orders of floors. The interplay between the foreground and the surroundings is enhanced by the perspective, which can be regarded as a privileged theoretical dimension in which Renaissance architects theorists studied spatial relationships and developed speculative models. Renaissance towns are not only based on a new idea of space, which expands horizontally rather than vertically, as in medieval towns which were built high on hills, but also on the idea of a centre, which is usually delineated by a square or open space, and from which light radiates in every direction. Medieval towns are intricate webs of alleys and dark passages, while Renaissance cities present an airy, enlightened and harmonious spatial organization that highlights harmony among the citizens.

A major concern was the balance between symmetry and beauty on the one hand, and security on the other, as emerges from the plans of two emblematic ideal cities: Sforzinda (1457-64) and Palmanova. Sforzinda was named in honour of his patron, Francesco Sforza, and presented by the architect Antonio Averlino, named Filarete, in his Trattato di architettura, a lengthy work written between 1460 and 1464. Even though Sforzinda can be considered the first complete plan of an ideal city, it is a wholly abstract model, as can be seen in the map, where the main concern is for the perfection of its star-like shape and for the regular distribution of its buildings. A comparison between the ideal city in architectural treatises and the utopian city is interesting: while the centralised structure can be also found in many cities in utopian literature, the difference lies in the choice of the site: Filarete’s drawing is detached from any real link with territory, while utopian writers are very much concerned about the choice of the site. Among the few extant Italian examples of ideal cities, which were actually built and inhabited, Palmanova and Sabbioneta are the most outstanding. Palmanova (plate 6) near Venice is a fortified city, conceived by a military architect, probably Giulio Sovargnano in collaboration with Vincenzo Scamozzi. The fortifications, located in the spear-like walls, respond to the decision, taken by the Venetian senate in 1593, to protect its Eastern frontier against the potential attempt of the archduchies of Trieste and Gorizia, locally, and the Turkish enemy, abroad.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s contribution to Renaissance architectural planning stemmed from the desire to ameliorate the hygienic and hydric system of contemporary towns. Horrified by the filth and promiscuity of medieval towns, he conceptualised rational alternatives to the existing urban, and consequently social, conditions. In some drawings he speculates on specific locations such as Milan, in others he presents abstract schemes with no particular site in mind. Leonardo’s sketches of a city organised on different levels have been the object of critical attention for a long time: whether the precise distribution of the population involves a hierarchical structure of society is still to be assessed.

The geometrical and rational scheme so typical in Italian Renaissance utopias was also an object of enquiry for a Northern European artist like Albrecht Dürer. In his plan (plate 7) he focuses on a quadrangular shape where houses are all built in rows as in Utopia’s Amaurot. Dürer explained his rules and calculations by referring to the theories of the ancients, according to which the divine order of the universe was mathematical in nature. In his treatise he also testifies to the influence of contemporary ideas, since his plan for a fortified citadel resembles not only the European fortified town, but also the description of the newly discovered Mexican town of Tenochtitlán (plate 8) by Cortes.

In Italy More’s Utopia was subjected to various adaptations which constitute an important background for the concept of utopia during the Italian Renaissance and Counter-Reformation. The 1548 translation of Utopia, provided by Ortensio Lando and Anton Francesco Doni, increased the knowledge in Italy of an alternative philosophy concerning politics and society. As scholars who did not belong to the establishment, Lando and Doni favourably received More’s revolutionary message. Furthermore, many sources in the first half of the 16th century and in the following decades commented on the exceptional involvement of the city government in architectural improvement. Gaspare Contarini in his work on the Republic of Venice of 1544 ends up his encomium by describing the splendour of Venetian buildings both downtown and in the countryside. More and more frequently attributed to the city governors, a conscious policy of urban development will represent a central topic in utopian authors as well. The foundation of an ideal society can neither neglect the position in which the new city will take place nor deny the importance of comfortable housing accommodation for its citizens. Building schemes for palaces and other urban projects were explored in detail by utopian authors like Anton Francesco Doni, Francesco Patrizi da Cherso, Ludovico Agostini, and Tommaso Campanella, all of them very concerned with the public streets and with the embellishment of major processional routes 3.

Doni presented his Il Mondo savio e Pazzo in 1552, only a few years after Lando’s translation of More’s Utopia and one year earlier than Patrizi’s La città felice (1553). Nevertheless, Doni’s interpretation of the Italian Renaissance political world was far-away from the deep metaphysical pessimism emerging from Patrizi’s treatise 4. As many Renaissance utopias, Il Mondo savio e Pazzo is structured as a dialogue between the Wise and the Fool: the Wise describes to the Fool an oneiric city with a circular form (plate 9). The city is surrounded by walls and in the centre there is a huge temple six times bigger than the cathedral of Florence, Santa Maria Novella; the temple has one hundred doors that correspond to the one hundred entrances to the city. Therefore, whoever stands in the middle of the temple and looks all over around him can encompass the whole city in a single gaze. The streets in the urban territory are divided according to different professions coupled along each of the streets, while the distribution of cultivation corresponds to a precise distribution of agricultural work in the countryside.

Doni’s political and social scheme presents significant similarities with the communist, egalitarian one of Thomas More: for this reason, at the end of the 16th century his thought was considered heretic and revolutionary. His polemical and audacious attitude towards the habits of his times were condemned and censored; indeed, his work was abridged. Mondi was actually produced in a delicate phase of historical transformation, during which the great Renaissance civilisation was approaching its conclusion, just before the reactionary turn of the following decades, marked by the Council of Trento and the Counter-Reformation.

In La città felice, published in 1553, Patrizi pays careful attention to the most important public festivities as occasions to increase unity and brotherhood among the citizens. In his ideal republic there will be squares and palaces where citizens can assemble for celebrations of festive life in an enthusiastic fervour of patriotism 5. In order to establish a correlation between civil festivities and politics, Patrizi wrote an accurate account of the periodical rituals and ceremonies that the whole social community was expected to observe, an exercise which is essential in his ideal republic. The decorations all over the city and the ornamented clothes of the people during these popular festivals are a protocol of collective behaviour which supports political authority. In Patrizi’s La città felice the choice of the site where the city has to be built and the perfect symmetry of the town plan, in which every functional space and building on the left is mirrored on the right, can be explained as a theoretical realization of a Vitruvian ideal city (“per questo si loda a’ tempi nostri […] ed a’ passati Atene” 6). Mention of the classical architect Vitruvius reminds us that Patrizi was following a pattern of urbanistic initiatives where the perfect city reproduces the divine city on earth. It can be read as an edifying account of a happy life in a heavenly city in which the whole social body fulfils its potentials by complying with a hierarchical division of labour and roles. Each man and woman has a definite place and job, according to his/her abilities 7.

The ideal city proposed by Patrizi is meant to exist in historical reality, as we can see from the description of its geographical position. The place he chose for its foundation is similar to the natural environment where the Republic of Venice rises. Reality is a model for Patrizi’s utopia; when he talks about the government of this happy Republic, about its rectors, national army, trading and commercial business, he always seems to refer to Venice, the “Serenissima”, a name strictly correlated with the ideas of happiness and fortune. It would not have been hard for Patrizi to link his political vision with evidence provided by laudatory works like Donato Giannotti’s Libro de la republica de’ Viniziani of 1540, and Gaspare Contarini’s La republica e i magistrati di Vinegia, printed in 1544. Venice will be the ideal city until the late 16 century, as shown by political scholars such as Paolo Paruta and Giovanni Botero, even during the age of the “ragion di stato”.

The tendency to encourage the building of houses for the town community helps us understand the concept of ideal city in the Renaissance. Similar accumulation of geographical and topographical details are fundamental for Ludovico Agostini’s La repubblica immaginaria, written in 1580. According to Agostini, political and social strategies are supposed to promote their own urban projects th. In addition to the architectural qualities of the ideal city attributes, exceptional importance is attributed to an expensive, laborious process of territorial acquisitions. Therefore, the ideal city must be settled in a position, Agostini says, not too hot nor too cold, sheltered from the wind, very close to a river to provide water for the town, not far away from the sea to facilitate commercial business, easily defensible from enemies 8.

In Agostini’s La repubblica immaginaria the dialogue between “Infinito” (Endless) and “Finito” (Ended) represents a brave attempt to codify a system of rules for a hypothetical society based on democracy and justice. A major critical point in Agostini’s work regards citizenship, namely the right to be a citizen in his imaginary republic, where political power is designed to assure the welfare of the whole population. Firstly, the distinction between citizens and foreigners is new in Agostini’s conception. According to juridical norms, he suggests, citizenship is possessed by natives as a right of birth, but it can also be extended to alien people who have lived inside the city for several years without perpetrating any crimes, and who have shared their goods and properties with the town community 9.

The last and best known Italian late Renaissance utopia is La Città del Sole (The City of the Sun) by Tommaso Campanella (1602) who, while reworking both on Neo-Platonism and on the doctrine of the Fathers of the Church, expressed multiple rational, symbolic, hermetic aspects:
OSPITALARIO – Di’, come è fatta questa città? e come si governa?

GENOVESE - Sorge nell'alta campagna un colle, sopra il quale sta la maggior parte della città; ma arrivano i suoi giri molto spazio fuor delle radici del monte, il quale è tanto, che la città fa due miglia di diametro e più, e viene ad essere sette miglia di circolo; ma, per la levatura, più abitazioni ha, che si fosse in piano.

È la città distinta in sette gironi grandissimi, nominati dalli sette pianeti, e s’entra dall'uno all'altro per quattro strade e per quattro porte, alli quattro angoli del mondo spettanti; ma sta in modo che, se fosse espugnato il primo girone, bisogna più travaglio al secondo e poi più; talché sette fiate bisogna espugnarla per vincerla. Ma io son di parere, che neanche il primo si può, tanto è grosso e terrapieno, ed ha valguardi, torrioni, artelleria e fossati di fuora 10.
On the top of the seven circles there is a temple which stands out as the seat of both temporal and religious power. At its centre there is a gigantic map of the world and of the stars in the sky:
GENOVESE – Poi sul cielo della cupola vi stanno tutte le stelle maggiori del cielo, notate coi nomi loro e virtù, c’hanno sopra le cose terrene, con tre versi per una ... Vi sono sempre accese sette lampade nominate dalli sette pianeti 11.
A specific trait of Campanella’s utopia is his endeavour to establish an interaction between aesthetics and ethics, between aesthetic pleasure and didacticism: as a matter of fact, both the interior and the exterior walls of every circle are decorated with magnificent paintings representing different levels of knowledge in the most varied disciplines. For example, in the first circle there are cognitive elements regarding mathematics and physics.
OSPITALARIO – Per tua fé dimmi tutto il modo del governo, ché qui t’aspettavo.

GENOVESE – È un Principe Sacerdote tra loro, che s’appella Sole, e in lingua nostra si dice Metafisico: questo è capo di tutti in spirituale e temporale, e tutti li negozi in lui si terminano 12


In this complex work, we can find very abstract components related to Campanella’s cosmogony along with practical ideas on the functioning of the city’s social structure. Campanella proposes a republic based on communist principles where private property has been abolished, work is compulsory for everyone with no distinctions of sex, social classes, or age. In the City of the Sun there are no private houses: all people live in common rooms and use common bathrooms. Hygienic conditions are very important, the style of life is very simple and the change of the colour of the dress is symbolically related to the age of the inhabitants.

From the description of the architecture of the city a clear difference emerges between Doni, Agostini and Patrizi, on the one hand, and Campanella, on the other: the first ones found their utopian cities on geometrical and rational designs derived from the Italian treatises; Campanella’s City, instead, already reveals a decrease in the emphasis on linearity, because it is focused on the theatrical and scenic effects of space relationships in the buildings he accurately describes. The reader can but become aware of a progressive vertigo which constantly shifts the visual perspective of him/her as an ideal observer. Let us follow Campanella’s description of the interior of the temple:


Girano le colonne trecento passi e più, e fuor delle colonne della cupola vi son per otto passi li chiostri con mura poco elevate sopra le sedie, che stan d’intorno al concavo dell’esterior muro, benché in tutte le colonne interiori, che senza muro fraposto tengono il tempio insieme, non manchino sedili portatili assai. Sopra l’altare non vi è altro ch’un mappamondo assai grande, dove tutto il cielo è dipinto, ed un altro dove è la terra 13.
The cumulation of details and the multiplicity of the visual effects produced already suggests the illusionistic effects which will become the major artistic and rhetorical device of Baroque architects such as Bernini and Borromini.

1 T. More, Utopia, translated and edited by R.M. Adams, London-New York, Norton 1975, p. 32; Italian trabslation Utopia, a cura di L. Firpo, Torino, UTET 1971, p. 136: “sono nell’isola cinquantaquatro città grandi e magnifiche, di medesima favella, istituti e leggi”.

2 G.C. Sciolla (a cura di), La città ideale del Rinascimento;, con un saggio introduttivo di L. Firpo, Torino, UTET, 1975.

3 See L. Agostini, La Repubblica immaginaria, in C. Curcio (ed.), Utopisti e riformatori sociali del Cinquecento. A.F. Doni – U. Foglietta – F. Patrizi da Cherso – L. Agostini, Bologna, Zanichelli, 1941, pp. 167-68: “Ordineremo che le case siano tutte dal pubblico edificate e con tale architettura poste e distinte, che ogni casa almeno da due parti resti aperta perché senta il sole e li venti che la purghino, e perché gli abitatori possano ristorarsi di tempo in tempo così per l’estremità dei caldi come dei freddi […]. Nel compartimento della città si affileranno le strade di maniera che tra l’una e l’altra vi nascerà un vano proporzionato alle corti ed ai giardini di ciascuna casa; e chi vorrà maggiore degli altri averla, ciò potrà egli fare pel lungo e non pel largo del suo sito; e volendo uscire dai termini degli altri potrà fare la sua camminata dall’una strada all’altra e sopra le due strade, due facciate avere”.

4 See L. Firpo, Il pensiero politico del Rinascimento e della Controriforma, in M.F. Sciacca (ed.), Grande antologia filosofica, X: Il pensiero della Rinascenza e della Riforma (Protestantesimo e Riforma Cattolica), Milano, Marzorati, 1964, pp. 179-803, in part. pp. 561-85 (L’utopismo). See also S. Rota Ghibaudi, L’utopia e l’utopismo. Dalla grande progettualità al ripiegamento critico, Milano, Angeli, 1986; A. Saccà, Vita e morte dell’utopia, Milano, Spirali/Vel, 1987.

5 See F. Patrizi, La città felice, in C. Curcio (ed.), Utopisti, cit., p. 129: “Doverà, adunque, la nostra città non d’infinita moltitudine di genti esser ripiena, ma di tanta, in somma, che tra loro possano tutti facilmente conoscersi […]. Ed acciocché questa radice del reciproco amore cresca e venga a perfezion tale, che faccia frutto perfetto, voglio che ne i conviti publichi si nustrisca; i quali del publico, e nel publico, si celebrino ogni mese almeno una fiata, secondo l’antico costume di Italo re d’Italia, che primo di tutti mise in piedi questa usanza. Nel publico, adunque, sieno statuite publiche stanze, dove questi conviti si abbiano a celebrare”.

6 F. Patrizi, La città felice, cit., p. 127.

7 F. Patrizi, La città felice, cit., p. 134: “Alla costituzione di una città beata, sei maniere d’uomini si ricerchino. E prima i contadini, i quali ci vadino inanzi spianando ed acconciando la via […]. I secondi sono gli artefici, che ci fabricano e cocchi e carette; che ci governano cavalli e mule, sopra a’ quali, con molto meno fatica nostra, ci conduciamo […]. I terzi sono i mercatanti, che con l’industria loro ci alleviano il camino, e con l’opre loro spesso ne’ bisogni ci aiutano. Appresso a questi sono i guerrieri, che nei pericoli, con la vita propria, guardano la vita di tutti gli altri. E doppo loro sono i magistrati ed i guidatori di così numerosa moltitudine […]. Nel sesto luogo sono i sacerdoti, i quali con le loro orazioni adoperano, che col favore e con la grazia divina esca questo popolo della solitudine e del deserto, e pervenga alla terra, piena di quell’acque, che sono, più assai che ’l latte e che ’l melle, saporite e soavi”.

th L. Agostini, La Repubblica immaginaria, cit., p. 168: “L’architetto della città sarà quegli che, al pubblico e al privato servendo, con istruttura proporzionata eseguirà sinceramente il tutto”.

8 L. Agostini, La repubblica immaginaria, cit., p. 166: “Faremo elezione del luogo proporzionato alla sanità così naturale come accidentale. E dando mano alla naturale, che è la più sicura e la meno soggetta agli accidenti, non uscendo d’Italia (che secondo la comune opinione degli uomini è la più temperata regione del mondo) e dell’Italia scegliendo il migliore, lasciando la riviera del Mar Tirreno, come troppo sottoposta all’Austro e per conseguenza alla corrozione dell’aria […], non ci volendo estremare in alcuno dei due lati per non sentire gli estremi di lor mali, né ci volendo discostare dal mare […]; aderendo alla più salutare spiaggia del Mare Adriatico, dove framezzandosi fra molti deliziosi colli molte feraci pianure, gli uni e le altre copiose di finezza d’aria, di temperate stagioni, d’acque purgatissime così di fiume come di fonti […]; non vi mancando quivi cosa che si desideri (quando così ti contenti) non vagaremo altrove per cercare miglior sito”. See also Patrizi, La città felice, pp. 126-128: “Ci faremo, adunque, incontro in universale, tra ’l freddo e il caldo, se fonderemo la notra città in luogo dove niuna di queste due qualità sia prepotente ed eccessiva, ma tenghi tra ambedue mezano temperamento […]. Ed acciocché tutta la città possa avere questa comodità, sia in parte edificata sopra colle rilevato, perché sia più esposto all’aure, e, per non aspettare nel medesimo luogo il freddo della vernata che in tai luoghi suole essere più fiero, sia ancora in parte posta nel piano, dove la freddura non può avere così gran forza; ed uno cotal sito non solamente serve alla detta commodità, ma e alla vaghezza della veduta, e alla fortezza ancora della città […] Fuggendo adunque noi questo aere distemperato, e le cose che tale il possono rendere, non potrà causare nocimento alcuno alla nostra vita. Possono corrompere l’aere le paludi o le selve […], i luoghi chiusi, parimente, dove l’aria stia quieta, ed i venti non la possano purgare, possono farla divenire maligna […]. Se noi, adunque, vogliamo avere l’aria sana ed incorrotta, e che ci mantenga la vita nello stato naturale, noi abbandoneremo i luoghi dove alcuno o più di questi difetti si veggano. E trovaremo per edificazione della nostra città siti a i predetti del tutto contrarii. […] Però eleggeremo luoghi, dove non ci siano palludi né altre acque stagnanti e fangose, e luoghi privi delle dette selve, e luoghi alti ed aperti, ed esposti a i fiati d’Oriente e di Settentrione». And also ivi pp. 133-134: “Laonde, a maggior commodità de’ nostri mercatanti, porremo la nostra città sulla marina; dentro la quale saranno disposti, in parte opportuna, i luoghi de’ mercatanti, come sono piazze, mercati, banchi, fondachi e botteghe. Le quali cose non solamente sono necessarie, ma porgono ancora molto d’ornamento alla città”.

9 L. Agostini, La Repubblica immaginaria, cit., p. 152: “Ora intendo la distinzione che fai tra forestiero e cittadino, intendendo per cittadino non solo l’antico nativo della città, ma eziandio colui che per certa quantità di tempo dalle leggi civili o positive prescritto, per continuata abitazione si averà la cittadinanza acquistato o che per singolare suo merito per cittadino sarà abilitato”.

10 T. Campanella, La Città del Sole, introduzione e commento di A. Savinio, Milano, Adelphi, 2001, I ed. 1995, pp. 27-28. Our translation: “The greater part of the city is built upon a high hill, which rises from an extensive plain, but several of its circles extend for some distance beyond the base of the hill ... It is divided into seven rings or huge circles named from the seven planets, and the way from one to the other of these is by four streets and through four gates that look towards the four points of the compass. Furthermore, it is so built that if the first circle were stormed, it would of necessity entail a double amount of energy to storm the second; still more to storm the third; and in each succeeding case the strength and energy would have to be doubled; so that he who wishes to capture that city must, as it were storm it seven times.”

11 Ibid., p. 29. Our translation: “In the vault of the dome there can be discerned representations of all the stars of heaven, from the first to the sixth magnitude, with their proper names and power to influence terrestrial things marked in three little verses for each”.

12 Ibid., p. 30. Our translation: “The great ruler ... is a priest whom they call by name Hoh, though we should call him Metaphysic. ... Three princes of equal power, viz., Pon, Sin and Mor assist him, and these in our tongue we should call Power, Wisdom and Love.”

13 Ibid., p. 29. Our translation: “There are galleries for walking, with beautiful pavements, and in the recess of the wall, which is adorned with numerous large doors, there are immovable seats, placed, as it were, between the inside columns, supporting the temple ... Nothing is seen over the altar, but a large globe, upon which the heavenly bodies are painted, and another globe upon which the representation of the earth”.





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