VENERE CLOACINA

Much discussion with the “landscape architect” and partnered architects researching food and waste these days surrounding landfill, as archive, and as a singular, sanctified, however tainted, space accommodating under present conditions to other species, now that development is equal to wasteland (Case Brown on Chernobyl: a “toxic Eden”).

Protectress of the portal to Rome’s massive sewage system, the Cloaca Maxima, was Venus. When places recollecting the dregs of consumption were desacralized, how much—systemic consciousness—was forgotten.

Tale from history on this VENERE CLOACINA tablet in the forum: “Permission being granted, [Verginius] took [Verginia] and her nurse aside to the booths near the temple of Venus Cloacina, now known as the ‘New Booths,’ and there, snatching up a butcher’s knife, he plunged it into her breast, saying, ‘In this the only way in which I can, I vindicate, my child, thy freedom.’”

From Appius and Virginia:

Two ladies fair, but most unfortunate
Have in their ruins rais’d declining Rome,
Lucretia and Virginia, both renowned
For chastity.

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