This past year I was assigned to become friends with Pompilio Totti’s “Ritratto Di Roma Antica“.
At first, I was not very excited for this task, thinking I had to read through an ancient book written in Italian. A language in which i can only order ice cream.
But this belief proved to be wrong. And the tasks turned out to be not as problematic as I thought at first. They were challenging but did not prevent me from doing the other assignments I had to do in these courses of study.
Although getting to know my book from home on the internet is far more comfortable, I really enjoyed going to the library in Einsiedeln. The library is impressive, and I enjoyed the feeling of being surrounded by so much history. I think it was a shame that I was not able to properly tread through my book, which had thin bible-like pages, because I a do not understand Italian.
Now I think that he wrote about the life in rome and the relationship with the buildings in the city. But he starts at the very beginning of time, so it seems. There are also a lot of pictures of people in the book. Where I imagine them to be people that lived there an whose houses he was describing. Furthermore, there are illustrations of somewhat technical tools and pictures of soldiers. But due to my language barrier I was not abele to understand what he was trying to express with these drawings. The technic on how these pictures were made, was described to me by the very friendly librarian. Who coincidentally spoke Italian and could loosely translate some phrases from my book.
The two later tasks where somewhat more challenging in a digital kind of way. There where a lot of problems with finding the right file and uploading it correctly. And if I am truly honest, I still don’t get how Mathematika is supposed to work. I just can’t get the hang of it.
In conclusion I would like to say that stepping into this task I did not know what to expect of an old book written in a language far from my comprehension. But I think the key of this task was not necessarily to understand the book word for word. But to understand the influence these books have on the history and the development of architecture and how sometimes the have formed the view on architecture. In connection with the lectures this seems plausible and explains the reason behind this assignment of friendship.