According to the E-rara website the title of the book is ‘’Insignium Romae templorum prospectus exteriores interioresque a celebrioribus architectis inventi’’ which translates to: ‘’The exterior and interior vistas of the finest temples in Rome were discovered by more famous architects’’.
From the title it is fair to assume that the book depicts, in minutely detailed sketches, sections and floor plans. I assume the book is made for other architects to learn from the great roman buildings.
The book doesn’t have a table of contents, instead it immediately starts with a scene. The image shows a man, seemingly fainting, surrounded by people. Underneath it says:
‘’Quod hoc Slomonis in Templo Primun Petri Miraculum vides, Romani Imago ac Rudimentum fuit; in quo, quia Petra erat ita, Christus suam fundauit Ecclesiam, ut Portae Inferi advesus eam praeualere no possuit. Et ne de Veritate dubites audi ipsu Ianitorem tunc dicente, quod in Vestibulo leges. No es un alio Aliquo Salus.’’
Deducting off of a loose translation, the text talks about the ‘’first temple’’, the so-called Solomon Temple in Jerusalem. I assume the person depicted in the center is king Solomon, possibly before the destruction of the temple by Babylon.
Possibly the temples depicted in this book are all based on the first temple.
The book doesn’t have specific chapters. The entire book consists of depictions/prints, without any writing describing them. The depictions are mostly floor-plans, sections and views. As the title suggests, at first the exterior of the building is shown and on the following page the interior is depicted.
The prints are very big and very detailed. This could be a reason the book is so large.
On one of the last pages you have a full view of the St. Peter’s Basilica and Plaza in front of it.
The author of the book, Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi lived in Rome from 1627-1691.
He was the son of the founder of the most important and active printing press of the 17th century in Rome. Giovanni worked as an ingraver and a printer.