36

By the mid-sixteenth century, learned audiences knew how to read ichnographic plans and appreciated them on a technical level. If Tolomei's words can be taken as an indication, some were even beginning to ascribe them an aesthetic value, for they too could provide a "semblance or image of beauty" in the context of representing ancient Rome. Bufalini must have been banking on these factors when he published his map for an audience of scholars. In the text panel at the lower-left margin of the plan, he addressed his audience directly, speaking proudly of his accomplishment (and struggling to use Latin, the language of the learned elite). To the viewer he offered no less than Rome herself, "the most beautiful of all things, and [her] twin … united and resurrected. The city which today is inhabited, he has placed before your eyes: except that he has added also the old [city], once mistress of the whole world, brought back as if from the grave." [n. 33]

 

 

[33] "… omnium rerum pulcherrimum se dare credit Romam scilicet et hanc geminam: neque enim satis tibi factum duxit, redivivam istam unam quae hodie colitur ante oculus posuisse: nisi veterem etiam, totius olim orbis dominam…"