In the late summer of 1677, after more than a two-and-a-half year absence, twenty-four-year-old architect Antoine Desgodets returned to Paris. Three years earlier he had been sent to Rome by Franççois Blondel (professor, Academy of Architecture) to the French Academy, on a mission to measure and draft ancient buildings (22).1 Desgodets embarked in September 1674, along with architect Charles––Augustin Daviler and other colleagues, on a voyage from Marseilles to Civitavecchia, a journey that was interrupted by a corsair. Desgodets spent sixteen months in Algiers, and Daviler eighteen months in both Algiers and Tunis, as Ottoman slaves (22 note 41).2 Desgodets was released on 22 February 1676 in exchange for Ottomans captured by the French, and continued to his destination.

During the sixteen months in Rome, Desgodets measured and drew forty-eight buildings, including twenty-five monuments of ancient Rome, in his...

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