This mosaic is on the ceiling of the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence, Italy. This building is also known as the Babtistry of Saint John. Professor Langdon and Sienna visit this baptistery when they are trying to figure out where the words on the back of the death mask are leading them to.
San Giovanni: the Italian translation of “Saint John.”This refers to the Baptistery of Saint John, which is a religious building in Florence, Italy. The building is in the shape of an octagon that is across from the Florence Cathedral. This is one of the oldest buildings in the area—it was built between 1059 and 1128. This building is often renowned for the three sets on bronze doors that have sculptures near them.
Symmetrical Clockwise Archimedean: is a spiral that was named after the mathematician Archimedes.The theory behind this spiral is that it represents “locations over time moving away from a fixed point with a constant speed along a line which rotates with constant angular velocity.” The equation for this spiral is r=a+b(x). The spiral, in the novel, is the shape that the writing on the back of death mask is in. This writing also refers to the shape of Mount Purgatory.
Chthonic: this word comes from the Greek word “chtonios” which means subterranean. In many historical references, this word often refers to the underworld. At this point in the novel, Langdon and Sienna have read the back of the Death Mask and are supposed to, “follow deep into the sunken palace….for here, in the darkness, the chthonic monster waits.” (Brown) Often the chthonic monster is another name for Medusa.
Cinque Minuti: Italian translation= “five minutes.” This is the phrase that the guard uses to “the man with the rash on his face” upon letting him inside of the baptistry.
Docent:refers to a person who works in a museum, and goes around explaining the different pieces in the museum. In European universities this word refers to someone who can teach but is below the ranking of professor