The Early Global Vocation of Rome. Worship, Culture and Beyond
1. General Overview
1.2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Urban Metabolism
3.1.1. Themes and Places
all mankind came under the rule of the City of Rome to see the entire world linked by a common bond in the name of Christ. Grant then, Christ, to your Romans, a Christian City, a capital Christian like the rest of the world. Peter and Paul shall drive out Jupiter.
3.1.2. Itineraria and Mirabilia: The First Inventories of Urban Assets
But though by Constantius II’s day Rome had long since ceased to be the political, administrative, and strategic heart of the Roman Empire, it undoubtedly remained its symbolic center, the revered mother city from which the empire had grown. For this reason, a visit to the city by an emperor was a significant event. It was designed to convey to his subjects the emperor’s power and lofty status.
city walls; gateways; the hills of Rome; bridges; buildings; triumphal arches; baths; theaters; cemeteries; memorial columns; the places of the passion of the Saints; the Vatican and the obelisk; the pine cone that was in Rome; temples; the temple of Mars; the Capitol; the Colosseum; the castle of Crescentius; the vision of the emperor Octavian and the response of the Sibyl; the marble castles in Rome; why the Pantheon was erected; why Octavian was called Augustus, which shrines are in Transtiberim.
3.1.3. Worship and Hospitality Assets
3.1.4. The Persistent Legacy of Rome Iconography
3.2. City of Worship or City of Culture?
3.2.1. The Cultural Shift
I would not take 100,000 florins not to have seen Rome, although I do not yet thoroughly know its great and scandalous abominations. When I first saw it, I fell to the ground, lifted up my hands and said–Hail, thou holy Rome, yes, truly holy, through the holy martyrs, and their blood that has been shed there. […] Nobody would believe, unless he saw with his own eyes the licentiousness, the vice and the shame that is in vogue in Rome. […] As was my case in Rome, where I too, was a mad saint, ran the round of all the churches and vaults, and believed every lie that was invented there.
Therefore, Holy Father, let it not be the lowest of Your Holiness’s priorities to ensure that–out of respect to those divine spirits, the remembrance of whom encourages and incites to virtue the intellects among us today–what little remains of this ancient mother of the glory and renown of Italy is not to be completely destroyed and ruined by the wicked and the ignorant. Unfortunately, even here these people have perpetrated evil deeds against those souls who, with their blood, brought so much glory to the word, to this state and to us. Rather, by preserving the example of the ancients, may Your Holiness seek to equal and better them, as indeed you have done through your magnificent buildings, by supporting and favoring the virtues, reawakening genius, rewarding virtuous endeavors, and by sowing that most holy seed of peace among Christian princes.
The soul gets continuous excitement to notice the Unknown and the New. I do not know better training to life than proposing relentlessly the diversity of so many other lives, imaginations and uses and offering a perpetual variety of forms of our nature. My body is neither idle nor worn, and such agitation rushes it. I ride a horse without being bored for eight and even ten hours a day.
3.2.2. Rome Narratives: ‘Official’ Accounts and Personal Insights
The emergence of the modern city would destabilize the quite neat separation between Roma Antica and what was initially thought of as Roma moderna (or Christian Rome) in the Mirabilia Urbis. […] The progressive emergence of contemporary Rome between the Christian and ancient city appeals to the interests of this category of visitors. Still, the permanence of the religious part of the guide until circa 1700, together with the fact that the contemporary city becomes present in the guidebook at the expense of ancient–not Christian–Rome, points to Rome’s uniqueness.
All in all, a lot of admiration combined with a lot of revulsion for the many beautiful things mingled with the sad ones arising everywhere. Such are the impressions that Rome inspires at first glance, combining with a feeling of indignation at the indolence, neglect, absolute inability of the inhabitants of Rome. Romans (are) brought up in idleness and leisure. Professions, trades, fine arts are left to foreign entrepreneurship. Every talent, every industry endeavor to deceive foreigners led by their curiosity to admire ancient and modern masterpieces within the City […]. Under other standpoints, Rome opens to an immense field of beauty and curiosity.
3.2.3. The Age of Enlightenment and Its Influence
Every city has its history, but in Rome, the past is felt to exist in the present to a higher extent than in other, less culturally encoded cities, both as a practice established by cultural tradition, and as visually manifested in the urban space.
The real Museum of Rome, the one I am speaking of, is made of statues, colossi, temples, obelisks, triumph columns, baths, circuses, amphitheaters, arches, tombs, stuccos, frescoes, bas-reliefs, inscriptions, fragments of ornaments, building materials, furniture, tools, etc. However, it is equally composed by places, sites, mountains, ancient roads, and their mutual relations within the ruined city, widespread memories, local traditions, still existing habits, connections and comparisons that can only be done on-site.
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Palazzo, A.L. The Early Global Vocation of Rome. Worship, Culture and Beyond. Humanities 2021, 10, 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10030103
Palazzo AL. The Early Global Vocation of Rome. Worship, Culture and Beyond. Humanities. 2021; 10(3):103. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10030103Chicago/Turabian Style
Palazzo, Anna Laura. 2021. "The Early Global Vocation of Rome. Worship, Culture and Beyond" Humanities 10, no. 3: 103. https://doi.org/10.3390/h10030103