They builded better than they knew

Have been re-reading the incomparable Architectonics of Humanism, by Lionel March. This is a profound exploration of ancient architectural methods (& their survivals in medieval & Renaissance eras), which involved the synthesis of math & geometry with the gematria, or numerology of words & names (back when ancient Greek & Hebrew alphabets & numerals were one & the same, and every word had a corresponding "number" - the Greeks called it the pythmen).

In a chapter investigating Roman architecture, he analyzes a (conceptual) building model described in Vitruvius - the basilica of Fano, & suggests not only that the full name of "Vitruvius" is encrypted in the dimensions of the building, but that Vitruvius might actually be a nom-de-plume of Roman polymath Varro, whose name is also encrypted, numerically & geometrically, in the design. Furthermore, March finds that the name of Julius Caesar - one of Varro's friends - is also memorialized in key elements of the building's design.

Now this I found especially interesting, because the pythmen, or root number by gematria, of Caesar's name, is the number 528. When I read this I almost fell off my chair. Because I've played a lot of number games, using names & dates etc., in my own poems (in this methods are a throwback to some very old bardic procedures). And the long poem Forth of July - especially the 3rd book, July - is quite involved with this number (528). July was finished on 5.28.2000. 5.28 is the date that William Blackstone, New England pioneer & a sort of "keystone" for the book, was buried on his property in Cumberland RI. July's chapters are also structured as 5 parts of 28 quatrains each. Moreover, one of the key verbal themes/games of the poem is a sort of turning inside-out of "Julius" (Caesar) to "July" (or Juliet, or jewel-eye, or "J", etc.) : which is intended in part to represent a kind of overturning of empire, militarism, "Iron Age" values (Caesar), & their replacement with "Golden Age" (or "Jubilee") values.

What I didn't realize, when I was "building" this poem, that the actual "number" of Caesar's name - & Vitruvius' symbolic building - is also encrypted in my poem...

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