Publication details

Rome between Lights and Shadows : Reconsidering “Renaissances” and “Decadence” in Early Medieval Rome



Year of publication 2020
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Convivium
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords Roman historiography; Roman art ninth and tenth centuries; medieval renaissances; sixteenth- to twentieth century historiography; Caesare Baronius; Magdeburg centuries; Richard Krautheimer’s undue influence on art history
Description The culture of ninth- and tenth-century Rome has always been perceived within a historiographical framework of alternating periods of rebirth and decline. This paper considers how the idea of “medieval renaissances”arose, how it evolved in the field of art history, and how it has affected the study of early medieval Rome. The paper also deals with a particular aspect of the modern historiography of Rome: the latter originated in debates between Protestants and Catholics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while the papacy remained, as always, the focus of historical narratives. Finally, the paper shows how art historians’ views of Rome’s ninth- and tenth-century material culture and art have, to a certain extent, been bound up with these historiographical tendencies.
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