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Title:Roma antica, sacra, moderna: The analogous Romes of the travel guide
Author(s):Delbeke, Maarten; Morel, Anne-Françoise
Subject(s):Information and Space
Spatial Analogies
Guidebooks of Rome
Abstract:The guidebook is not merely a registration of the city and its historical evolution or of the changing preferences of visitors but rather a device that selects and arranges aspects of the city—real as well as imaginary—into a coherent representation of that city. This is particularly the case in Rome, a city composed of three different entities: the ancient, the Christian, and—from the second half of the seventeenth century onward—the modern capital, each with their own monuments and histories. From the sixteenth century onward, Roman guidebooks use the categories of Roma antica, Roma sacra, and Roma moderna to define and represent these three components. In this essay, we argue that the changing application of these labels in the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries reflects not only the far-going physical transformation of the city during that period but also new ways of thinking about the identity of Rome. The reconfiguration of the three “Romes” in the space of the guidebook, operated by means of a continuous rearrangement of sections, illustrations, and descriptions, illustrates how successive authors and publishers attempted to fit the three well-established categories onto reality. An examination of how English visitors reacted to Rome will demonstrate how effective the categories of Roma antica, sacra, and moderna were in organizing the perception of the contemporary city and its analogs.
Issue Date:2012
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library Trends 61 (2) Fall 2012: 397-417.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-03-31

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