In Chapter 2 we examine how earlier humanistic concerns about spoken language, during the early fifteenth century in Florence, witness a shift of focus in the late sixteenth-century Rome towards an interest in antiquarianism as a linguistic/communicative field of enquiry. Driven by an urgency to uncover and revive antiquity in papal Rome, the resulting drift towards a new material culture, through the study of inscription, figurative relief and sculpture, provided the creative impetus for restoring the classical past as if in possession of a ‘vocal’ (oracular) quality. Coinciding with this animated treatment of antiquity was the birth of modern historiographical enquiry, facilitated through the founding of learned academies in Rome and in the study of ancient Roman chronology following the discovery of the Fasti Capitolini. The chapter examines the work and ideas of Carlo Sigonio, Onofrio Panvinio, Pirro Ligorio and others, highlighting how the incorporation of appropriated/reworked ancient reliefs on contemporary buildings, and the siting of ancient sculptures in particular urban locations, functioned as linguistic devices to (re)present places or locations, like ‘texts’ that possess recondite or auspicious messages. The chapter concludes with a new interpretation of Ligorio’s design for the Casino of Pius IV in the Vatican gardens, in the form of an iconographic narrative in stone and stucco that portends (through the creative use of ancient allegory and myth) the much-anticipated reconciliatory outcome of the deliberations of the Council of Trent.