The first thing that came to my mind to search for in Alice’s brains, was of course the name of my book itself: Exercitationes Vitruvianae. This was quite unpleasant because Alice found zero matches within the Xenotheka library. After some research and trying different words, I found out that with adding just one letter, Alice would find something. So instead of “Exercitationes” I had to use “Exercitataiones”. Sadly I couldn’t find out what the difference between these words was, because according to Google Translate, they are both Latin but the second one is not used very often.
This search led me to the book “On Adams House in Paradise” which was published 1981 and written by Joseph Rykwert. Factually speaking, there are no obvious connections between my book and Rykwert’s book. They were published in differenct centuries and in different languages. According to a review that I read, Rykwert writes about “an old cherished idea (which is), that the original, Adamic conditions of human dwelling-in-the-world can be glimpsed in some basic form of primitive hut.”
To really understand this quote, I’d have to invest way more time. But what I learn from it is that Giovanni Poleni is probably a smaller or bigger part of this “cherished Idea”, which made me think, who Giovanni Poleni even is.
Alice shows 19 results when you enter the name Giovanni Poleni. After reading all of them, I know that he wasn’t just a professor of mathematics but “The best expert on Vitruvius in Venice, perhaps in the whole of Italy” which sounds very impressing to me. I also know that Giovanni once was in contact with pope Benedict XIV, who asked him to review some reports and give his opinion on new lesions that should become part of the St.Peter’s Dome.
The book in which Giovanni Poleni is mentioned the most is “Eighteenth Century Architecture” from Caroline Van Eck. She was a Professor at many different Universities and even received a honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchâtel. This means that this book is also fairly new and doesn’t really have obvious connections with Exercitationes Vitruvianae. What Alice showed me is that Van Eck really speaks in great terms of Giovanni Poleni and praises him as “an outstanding scientist of his time” in her book. I am sure that there would be many more connections to be made, but maybe this is part of a future task.
All in all, I have deciced that I will definitely use Alice’s brains in the future because I think it really is a great tool to research things and getting insight into books that are generally not very accessible to the public.