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Rome : The Biography of a City - Christopher Hibbert

Rome

The Biography of a City

Paperback

Published: 15th October 1987
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Published: 25th October 2001
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A portrait, a history and a superb guide book - this beautifully written, informative study captures the seductive beauty and the many-layered past of the Eternal City. From its quasi-mythical origins, through the opulent glory of classical Rome, the decadence and decay of the Middle Ages and the beauty and corruption of the Renaissance, to its time at the heart of Mussolini's fascist Italy, Christopher Hibbert details the turbulent and dramatic history of this extraordinary place.

A knowledgeable, entertaining, generously illustrated survey of the history and culture of Rome, more or less from Romulus and Remus to the present, with (inevitably) some large lacunae. Hibbert (Africa Explored, The Great Mutiny) stresses politics and religion, art and architecture. He hangs his narrative on the convenient hooks provided by emperors, popes, and other autocrats, especially the more colorful ones: Nero, Cola di Rienzo, Alexander VI, Julius II, Mussolini. He says a good deal about Bramante, Michelangelo, and Bernini among the artists most closely associated with Rome (though he neglects Poussin and Piranesi). He spotlights many of the famous visitors whose lives were changed by Rome - Luther, Gibbon, Goethe, Henry James - and does a handsome job on the indispensable Great Moments: the assassination of Julius Caesar, the sack of the city by the troops of Charles V, the battle between Garibaldi's Republicans and the French, the liberation by the Allies on June 4, 1944. Unfortunately, that's pretty much where his story ends, so we get very little sense of Rome as it is today. Hibbert shows us the Rome of Petrarch and Mazzini, not the Rome of Moravia and Fellini, of horrendous traffic, notoriously unstable governments, and increasing anomie: in a word, the whole postwar scene. Still, Hibbert wants to focus on la cittaeterna, and in this he succeeds admirably. (Kirkus Reviews)

Author's Notep. ix
Myths, Monarchs and Republicansp. 3
Imperial Romep. 24
Bread and Circusesp. 45
Catacombs and Christiansp. 64
Infamy and Anarchyp. 81
Saints, Tyrants and Anti-Popesp. 97
'The Refuge of All the Nations'p. 113
Renaissance and Decadencep. 125
Patrons and Parasitesp. 139
The Sack of Romep. 153
Recovery and Reformp. 165
Bernini and the Baroquep. 179
Il Settecentop. 200
Napoleonic Interludep. 227
The Risorgimento and the Roman Questionp. 244
Royal Romep. 274
Roma Fascistap. 286
Epilogue: The Eternal Cityp. 305
Notes on Topography, Buildings and Works of Artp. 315
Sourcesp. 371
Indexp. 375
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140070781
ISBN-10: 0140070788
Series: Penguin Nonfiction Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 15th October 1987
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.6 x 19.0  x 3.4
Weight (kg): 1.14
Edition Number: 1