Giovanni Giustino Ciampini (born Rome, 1633; died there 1698) was an ecclesiastical archaeologist.
He graduated from the University of Rome as a student of law but soon devoted himself to archaeological interests, which an important office (Magister brevium gratiæ) in the Apostolic Chancery permitted him to pursue. He devoted himself to the collection of books, coins, and statues, and to the creation of scientific circles for the development of antiquarian learning; thus he founded, in 1671, a society for ecclesiastical history and, in 1679, an academy of the sciences, the latter under the patronage of his friend, Queen Christina of Sweden.
He continued the school of archaeological research begun by Onofrio Panvinio and Antonio Bosio, and carried on a smaller scale by Fabretti, Boldetti, and Bottari, and later Padre Alarchi and Giovanni Battista de Rossi. Apart from some minor archaeological studies (1693), he has left two illustrated works:
- "De sacris aedificiis a Constantino magno constructis", published in 1693 in Rome, is a history of the ancient churches East and West built by Emperor Constantine the Great
- "Vetera monimenta in quibus praecipua . . . musiva opera . . . illustrantur", published in two volumes in 1690–99 in Rome, is a history of the art of mosaics
Both works contain good illustrations of many ancient Christian edifices and mosaics that have since perished or suffered change and deterioration. Many of his drawings were copies or based on previous works, such as by Giacomo Grimaldi. His works were edited (Rome, 1747) in three volumes by Giannini.
View of the Lateran, from "De sacris..." (1693)
Interior of old St. Peter's Basilica, from "De sacris..." (1693)
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Giovanni Giustino Ciampini". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.
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