ARTH 451
The Making of Renaissance Rome
Instructor: Professor Stephen J. Campbell
TR 12-1:30

Course Description

Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, the subsequent fortunes of its capital city - despite recurrent political and social upheaval - were interpreted in terms of prophetic myth and a sense of historical destiny. This course picks up the story of Rome during the crisis-ridden period of its temporary abandonment by the Papacy during the fourteenth century, and will investigate subsequent "moments" of its transformation into a cosmopolitan Renaissance and Baroque city with multiple, overlapping identities: the spiritual destination of pilgrims and tourists, the seat of a priest/monarch claiming universal dominion, the ruinous symbol of past and present decadence and its castigation, and, above all, the "theater of the world" where a cultural and ethnic heterogeneity unparalleled in any other European urban center was permanently on display. We will primarily be focussing on one hand on monumental works of art and schemes of urbanisation which propagate the myth of Rome's eternity and portentous destiny, and on the other on the lived experience of urban life primarily as it was witnessed and described by visitors and outsiders. Classes will be organised around particular historical episodes, individual experiences, or monumental works, eg,: cult images and processions, the Sistine Chapel, the visit of Marten van Heemskerck, the Sack of 1527, the rebuilding of St. Peter's, Caravaggio and his patrons, the trial of Galileo.

REQUIREMENTS: Mid-term, short paper, long paper.