Commentary by Pavez Ojeda: “Díaz Vara Calderón, Gabriel 1678 – Grandezas y maravillas de la inclyta y sancta ciudad de Roma. Madrid: José Fernández de Buendía, 705 p., in-4to. The author was bishop of Santiago de Cuba and Havana from 1674-1680. The edition includes a foldable Map of the city of Rome, and a print with a portrait of the author at the beginning. There are also inserted without numbering: authorizations to print, approval of the Dominican Reverend, Theologian from Alcalá de Henares, and Preacher of his Majesty. Stephan Palmié proposes that the book could also be the work of Andrés Paladio 1647.- Maravillas de Roma: Mirabilia Roma. Antiguedades de la Civdad de Roma– in-8vo, 132 p. Roma: Manelfo Manelfi, text based on a genre of guides to Rome that emerged in the 17th century and for the use of the European educated nobility who did a Grand Tour through the continent’s capitals. However, in the José Martí National Library I have been able to consult two copies of the work of the bishop Díaz Vara, and note shared information with the Libro de Pinturas. It is possible that the the book of the bishop follows the genre of the Mirabilia Romae, but in a more ecclesiastical model and directed to a Hispanic-American public, since that work had been published in Havana when the author held the position of bishop of the city. As I showed in the attached dossier, this book is extremely relevant for understanding the work of Aponte, in that it proposes a monumental urban cartography, in the format of historical archaeology and Christian mythology, supported by maps and figures, that without a doubt inspired the elaboration of the Libro de Pinturas in its different urban elaborations.” (Pavez Ojeda 2006a, 754)
Google Books provides access to a 1677 edition of Díaz Vara Calderón’s Grandezas y maravillas.