This book addresses a critical era in the history of the city of Rome, the eighth century CE. This was the moment when the bishops of Rome assumed political and administrative responsibility for the city's infrastructure and the physical welfare of its inhabitants, in the process creating the papal state that still survives today. John Osborne approaches this using the primary lens of 'material culture' (buildings and their decorations, both surviving and known from documents and/or archaeology), while at the same time incorporating extensive information drawn from written sources. Whereas written texts are comparatively few in number, recent decades have witnessed an explosion in new archaeological discoveries and excavations, and these provide a much fuller picture of cultural life in the city. This methodological approach of using buildings and objects as historical documents is embodied in the phrase 'history in art'.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 790 g
Dimensions: 253 x 182 x 20 mm
'The new volume is an enterprising, wide-ranging synthesis unlike anything the author has attempted before ... It is a panoramic resume of Rome's cultural and institutional evolution over the course of the eighth century, that pivotal period when the city passed from imperial to papal control, presented through the lens of 'art.'' Hendrik Dey, Bryn Mawr Classical Review