Colona Traiana eretta dal Senato
written by Pietro Santi Bartoli
Task 3 Xenotheka
Given the fact that the story of the Dacian War is mainly depicted in my book, I found it meaningful to search in Alice for this word first. I also watched out for keywords as the title of the book, its author or the relations between Emperor Trajan Augustus and the Trajan column which was established in honor towards him. I also found it interesting to change Alice‘s brain without changing the keywords, because with every change there came new books to discover. Finally, I decided to choose the brain of Xenothekas library and the Architecture library, since these libraries indicated the best results. It was astonishing to see the number of books which were related to or mentioned the one of mine. I felt like I was able to learn even more about my book and its story through the other books. Regarding the aspect of dead ends I had to „explore“ every keyword as the results of my findings rarely gave me results.
Although the decision was not easy at all, I decided on three books which I think have the strongest connection to my own.
Art History in the Age of Bellori is a book which presents new findings about Giovanni Pietro Bellori’s multifarious activities as well as fresh interpretations of his ideas. The Trajan’s column and the images on it are very precisely described yet discussed in this book. Bellori has in fact written explanatory captions for many of Pietro Santi Bartoli’s engravings but also prepared lavishly illustrated publications of the Severan marble plan of the column of Trajan and even illustrated the title page of Colona Traiana eretta dal Senato. Therefore, I was able to find many quotes related to my book and its author. I chose this one because it personally let’s one see the bigger picture of my book).
Next, I have chosen the book “Building in Words” written by Bettina Reitz-Joosse, which provides a new perspective on the aesthetics of architecture and literature in ancient Rome. There are many passages discussing the inscription and pictures of the Trajan’s column while also talking about their interpretations and their purpose. The quotes out of this book were of help for me to understand the column’s history but also the story which is told through the engravings in my book.
Last but not least, “The Stones of Venice” written by John Ruskin. Several quotes describe the scenes on Trojan’s column as “rude representations”, offering a different perspective which I think is interesting to see.