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Sundials on the Quirinal : astronomy and the Early Modern Garden
Is part ofGardens, knowledge and the sciences in the Early Modern Period ; pp. 103-134.
This paper deals with the function and meaning of sundials in Early Modern Rome, more specifically in gardens. It concentrates on two gardens, both on the Quirinal hill and directly facing each other: the papal gardens of Monte Cavallo and the Jesuit garden of the Noviciate of Sant’Andrea del Quirinale. Set on each side of the magnificent Via Pia, these gardens represented two intersecting yet contrasting worlds, a rude juxtaposition of one cosmos clashing against another: that of a Jesuit community and that of the Papal court. Each had developed a specific language to articulate their main concerns and proclaim their truths to garden visitors. By drawing a contrasting picture of the S. Andrea garden and the Papal gardens, in which sundials were given very different meanings, the intent of this paper is to probe the awkward, contradiction-ridden, spinoso relationship between religion, science and curiosity in Early Modern Rome.