Map of ancient Rome: Piranesi, circa 1774

This imaginary map of ancient Rome and the Field of Mars was created by the Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi around 1774. With extraordinary detail, the text surrounding the map describes 402 buildings or points of interest – many of which survived in fragments or ruins into modern times. Compared with this exhibit’s imaginary Jerusalem map, there is closer correspondence with the real Rome because more descriptions of the Eternal City (as it existed 2,000 years ago) survived into the modern era and more buildings survived in part (the Colosseum for example) or have been uncovered in excavations.