Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

First a kingdom, then a republic, and finally an empire—for a thousand years the pax Romana held. Today the glory that was Rome amounts to a curiosity, ruins of an ancient civilization presented for the amusement of the tour bus set, the coliseum and Roman forum embedded in the surrounding modern city. Sic transit gloria mundi [“Thus passes the glory of the world”]. Any parallels to modern times are, of course, entirely coincidental.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Color) © Harold Davis

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Color) © Harold Davis

To make this photo, on a rainy day in Rome my companion and I took the elevator to the top of the Victor Emanuel II Memorial. The building commemorates the father of modern Italy, and houses a museum of the Risorgimento, but is essentially bombastic in architectural design, having been variously described as a giant “typewriter” and (most appropriately) a huge wedding cake.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Black & White) © Harold Davis

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (Black & White) © Harold Davis

With my camera on my tripod, I captured several sequences of the rain-soaked city and the clearing storm. Then the attendant rushed up to me, and very vehemently told me I couldn’t use my tripod. Fortunately, this image sequence (six exposures 1/4 of a second to 1/640 of a second at f/8 and ISO 64) was already “in the can.”

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (simulated Albumen print) © Harold Davis

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi (simulated Albumen print) © Harold Davis

This entry was posted in Italy.

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