Ruin of the Eternal City Antiquity and Preservation in Renaissance Rome

ISBN-10: 0199766894
ISBN-13: 9780199766895
Edition: 2011
Authors: David E. Karmon
List price: $47.99
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Description: In Renaissance Rome, ancient ruins were preserved as often as they were mined for their materials. Although the question of what to preserve and how continued to be subject to debate, preservation acquired renewed force and urgency in the fifteenth  More...

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Book details

List price: $47.99
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/9/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 7.32" wide x 9.65" long x 0.78" tall
Weight: 1.826
Language: English

In Renaissance Rome, ancient ruins were preserved as often as they were mined for their materials. Although the question of what to preserve and how continued to be subject to debate, preservation acquired renewed force and urgency in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as the new papal capital rose upon the ruins of the ancient city. Preservation practices became more focused and effective in Renaissance Rome than ever before. The Ruin of the Eternal Cityoffers a new interpretation of the ongoing life of ancient buildings within the expanding early modern city. While historians and archaeologists have long affirmed that early modern builders disregarded the protection of antiquity, this study provides the first systematic analysis of preservation problems as perceived by the Renaissance popes, the civic magistrates, and ordinary citizens. Based on new evidence and recent conservation theory, this compelling study explores how civic officials balanced the defense of specific sites against the pressing demands imposed by population growth, circulation, and notions of urban decorum. Above all, the preservation of antiquity remained an indispensable tool to advance competing political agendas in the papal capital. A broad range of preservation policies and practices are examined at the half-ruined Colosseum, the intact Pantheon, and the little-known but essential Renaissance bridge known as the Ponte Santa Maria. Rome has always incorporated change in light of its glorious past as well as in the more pragmatic context of contemporary development. Such an investigation not only reveals the complexity of preservation as a contested practice, but also challenges us to rethink the way people in the past understood history itself.

Introduction
A History of Preservation Practices in Renaissance Rome
Preservation Practices in Ancient and Medieval Rome
Inventing a Preservation Program in Fifteenth-Century Rome
A Sixteenth-Century Meteor in the Roman Forum
Object Biographies
The Colosseum
The Pantheon
The Ponte Santa Maria
Conclusion: Rethinking Preservation Practices in Renaissance Rome
Appendix of Archival Documents
Photograph Credits
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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