IP Erasmus at Siegen


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The Myth of Rome and the Roman World
in the Experience of the First Medieval Communes in Central- Northern Italy and in Southern France
Enrica Salvatori
Erasmus IP – Siegen

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IP Erasmus at Siegen

  1. 1. The Myth of Rome and the Roman World in the Experience of the First Medieval Communes in Central- Northern Italy and in Southern France Erasmus IP – Siegen (18/03/2010)
  2. 2. The Myth of Rome
  3. 3. <ul><li>Anyone who look outside the cathedral of Pisa quickly notice that at different heights above the ground and in different positions, even upside down, there are numerous fragments of marble inscriptions of Roman time </li></ul><ul><li>The reuse of Roman “bricks” was a common phenomenon in the Middle Ages and it derived from convenience. In fact, some archaeological remains have been incorporated in the walls simply as building stones. But here they are used also to adorn the church in curious way </li></ul><ul><li>WHY? Pisa did not fail in building materials. Is there a different reason? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Roman elements in Pisa <ul><li>Building materials (bricks) --> well shaped, easy to find </li></ul><ul><li>Outside/ in view but not in the correct position </li></ul><ul><li>Outside/ in view for ornamental aim--> cornices, friezes, reliefs , fragments of a monumental inscription 16 meters long <TUR>MAE MINORUM Lusus Troiae an equestrian game for youth played from VII b.C to V a.C. </li></ul><ul><li>Outside/ in view “in place” --> columns , capitals </li></ul><ul><li>Many come from Pisa, but also from Rome, Ostia and Sardinia. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Reuse of Roman elements in M.A. <ul><li>398 Codex Theodosianus XV, 1: the emperors Arcadius and Honorius to the prefect Eutichianus: if someone requires public buildings they have to be given only if the buildings are broken and not more useful </li></ul>354 Codex Iutinianus I, XI: closing of pagan temples Post 390, Theodosius: closing some public games
  6. 6. Reuse of Roman elements in M.A. <ul><li>Pisa, Cathedral (XI cent.) St. Ranieri door architrave </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse for practical reason. </li></ul><ul><li>To adorn important buildings and give them honour , glory, importance, beautifulness </li></ul><ul><li>Entirely Roman? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Reuse of Roman elements in M.A. <ul><li>S. Maria sopra Minerva, Assisi </li></ul><ul><li>Roman Temple of I sec. b. C. </li></ul><ul><li>Build by Gneo Cesio et Tito Cesio Prisco, not dedicated to Minerva/Athena as previously thought after the finding of a female statue, but to Hercules </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe at the second half of VI a C. Benedictine monks restored the temple and reused it as a church and a house. The church was dedicated to St. Donato , a bishop believed dead martyr by Roman soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Reuse for ideological reason </li></ul><ul><li>Destruction of pagan memory </li></ul><ul><li>Building of a new memory </li></ul>
  8. 8. Reuse of Roman element in M.A. <ul><li>Palermo, Frederick II’s tomb (1251) </li></ul><ul><li>Roman elements and style </li></ul><ul><li>reuse for ideological reason </li></ul><ul><li>comparison and inheritance for the emperor </li></ul><ul><li>glorification of the Altavilla family </li></ul>
  9. 9. Reuse of Roman element in M.A. <ul><li>Rome is during the Middle Ages a constant pole of attraction, an exemplum , a symbol of unsurpassed power </li></ul><ul><li>Is there the only meaning in the reuse of Roman elements in Pisan building and artistic works of XII and XIII centuries? </li></ul>
  10. 10. Rome in Pisa before the Commune <ul><li>S. Piero a Grado far from the city, near to the river and to one of the “harbors” </li></ul><ul><li>First paleo-christian church (now few remains) </li></ul><ul><li>Romanic church with a lot of Roman columns, capitals AND bricks </li></ul>
  11. 11. Rome in Pisa before the Commune <ul><li>S. Michele in Borgo ( beginning of XI century) outside the medieval city walls close to the door </li></ul><ul><li>A text written by Bono, first abbot in 1046, said he performed here many works </li></ul><ul><li>he resumed the construction of a tower that had been left broken </li></ul><ul><li>he rebuilt the church with columns made specially coming from Rome by sea </li></ul><ul><li>So he made a great financial effort due not only to an aesthetic taste-> the provenance was important </li></ul>
  12. 12. Rome in Pisa before the Commune <ul><li>Various Roman elements inside religious buildings. Reasons : </li></ul><ul><li>Papal Rome as heir of the Imperial powerful city </li></ul><ul><li>Role of the Papacy in the Translatio Imperii (fading role of Byzantium) </li></ul><ul><li>Role of the Papacy in trasmission of what was left of Roman culture, administration, art and glory </li></ul><ul><li>Role of the Papacy in “civilization” of the germanic (new pagan) world, in reinforcing and defining the bonds with Carolingian and Othonian emperors </li></ul>
  13. 13. Pisa enterprises <ul><li>Pisa led several anti islamic enterprises from late X to 1113: </li></ul><ul><li>969 o 970 -> Calabria </li></ul><ul><li>1005-> Calabria </li></ul><ul><li>1015-16-> Sardinia </li></ul><ul><li>1034-> Bona </li></ul><ul><li>1064-> Palermo </li></ul><ul><li>1087 -> African harbors of al-Mahdiya and Zawila </li></ul><ul><li>1099 -> Jerusalem </li></ul><ul><li>1113-1115-> Balearic Islands </li></ul><ul><li>--> stages of an expansion, or more likely the 'shock wave' of an explosion, problematic to scholars who want to explain it, but certainly astonishing for medieval inhabitants </li></ul>
  14. 14. Pisa enterprises <ul><li>Enterprises celebrated by poems, glorifying the city </li></ul><ul><li>Summer 1087: P isan-Genoese intervention against al-Mahdiya and Zawila ( centers of piracy) told by Carmen ad Victoriam written by a Pisan contemporary ecclesiastical or religious man </li></ul>Inclitorum Pisanorum scripturus istoriam, antiquorum Romanorum renovo memoriam: nam extendit modo Pisa laudem admirabilem, quam recepit olim Roma vincendo Cartaginem. I am writing the history of the brave Pisans, Renewal the memory of the ancient Romans Actually Pisa extends now an admirable praise That received only Roma when won Carthago
  15. 15. Pisa enterprises <ul><li>Enterprises celebrated by poems, glorifying the city </li></ul><ul><li>1113-1115: P isan fleet with aids from southern France domains conquered the islamic kingdom in Balearic archipelago. It’s the last great military effort against Saracens. From the “Liber Maiolichinus”: </li></ul>Si bene belligeras pensent nova secula Pisas Per mare per terras geminas extendere vires, Hoc Pise faciunt Romam quod utramque deceret. If you will fight so well, the next centuries Will consider Pisa extend its power along the twin earths (the two sides of Mediterranean sea), because Pisa do what is worth for Rome These poems testify how true and intense was in Pisa - during XI and XII centuries - the memory of Roman glory, the need to recall this memory as aim and point of confrontation, in the willing to repeat in the present the great GESTA/ enterprises of the ancestors.
  16. 16. Cathedral façade
  17. 17. Epigraphes of enterprises and Guido’s <ul><li>epigraph <ante 1076> existed before the current façade </li></ul><ul><li>Guido 1061-1076 </li></ul><ul><li>Evident civic proud for the inusual large and majestic church </li></ul><ul><li>Church as symbol and core of the city </li></ul>Quam bene quam pulchre procul haud est edes ab urbe, que constructa fuit civibus ecce suis, tempore Widonis Papiensis presulis huius, qui regi fam<a> e<st> notus et ips<i> pape What a wonderful building not far from the city walls! Which was built by its citizens at the time of Guido, Bishop of Pavia, that has (temple or bishop?) high prestige with the king and the pope.
  18. 18. Buscheto tomb, a sarcophagus of the Roman period Busketus iace[t hi]c, [qu]i motibus ingeniorum Dulichio [fert]ur prevaluisse duci: Menibus Iliacis cautus dedit ille ruinam, Huius ab arte viri menia vides; Calliditate sua nocuit dux ingeniuosus, Utilis iste fuit calliditate sua. Nigra domus laberinthus erat, tua Dedale laus est, At sua Busketum splendida templa probant. Non habet exemplum niveo de marmore templum , Quod f[it] Busketi prorsus ab ingenio. Res sibi commissas templi cum lederet hostis, Providus arte sui fortior hoste fuit, Molis et immense, pelagi quas traxit ab imo, Fama columnarum tollit ad astra virum. Explendis a fine decem de mense diebus <ul><li>Sarcophagus of the Roman period </li></ul><ul><li>In place short after 1110 </li></ul><ul><li>Shape of a temple </li></ul><ul><li>Confrontation with Daedalus </li></ul>Niveo de marmore &quot;white marble” &quot;unprecedented” Marbles from Luni and Rome but mostly not really marble-- a white stone from local mountains)
  19. 19. Several tombs in Roman sarcophagus Beatrice tomb (XI c.) Roman sarcophagus (II a.C.) with the reliefs of Fedra and Hippolytus’ myth It was in the south wall of the Cathedral (now in the monumental courtyard) The most honorable kind of tomb for important people Witness of a political program : recupero and showing bounds with the ancient Rome
  20. 20. Military effort /civic effort <ul><li>Great military outcomes against the enemies of the church and of the empire </li></ul><ul><li>Protection of the Christians all around the Mediterranean Sea but also and chiefly great economic expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing policial role in face of the pope and the emperor </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing strength and autonomy of the city (late XI first mention of consuls) </li></ul><ul><li>Equation Pisa = Rome, Pisa as a second Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Equation Pisa = Cathedral -> plenty of Roman elements as bricks, ornaments AND SYMBOLS </li></ul>
  21. 21. Convergence of element <ul><li>The military effort re-enforces the cohesion of the city </li></ul><ul><li>The economic wealth gives an increasing conscience of power and push for the political autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Pope and emperor need the Pisa military fleet </li></ul><ul><li>The enlargement of the commerce push for a definition a old and new law--> Constitutum legis / Consititutum usus are written in the first half of XII century </li></ul><ul><li>Influence of the Roman Law-> Justinanus' Pandette are in the city in the same time </li></ul><ul><li>A lot of jurists are in Pisa (by the sources) in XII century (Burgundio da Pisa the most famous) </li></ul><ul><li>Pisa presents itself as the capital of a second empire, an imperial town or better “the” imperial town </li></ul>
  22. 22. A myth believed by Pisans <ul><li>Around 1099 . A Venetian monk tells about the translation of St. Nicholas’ relics from the Middel East to Venice. The Venetian fleet meets the Pisan one: </li></ul>[..] nuntiatum est Pisanorum classem adesse contra eos, armatam et prepatatam in proelium, qui in tantum superbiae fastum ascenderant, quod navim imperialem et signa imperialia sibi fecerant et se ipsos totum mundum devincentes appellabant. [..] they were told Pisan fleet was running after them, with weapons for the battle; they were so proud and superbe to shaw an “imperial” ship, and put on imperial signs and they called themselves winnings (victors) over all the word
  23. 23. A myth believed by the others <ul><li>Letter by St. Bernard to Pisans - 1135 (n.130) during the struggle between Innocent II and the antipope Anacletus </li></ul>« Assumitur Pisa in locum Romae » « Pisa is thought to be at the place of Rome» . <ul><li>Center of the Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>Politica key point in this struggle </li></ul><ul><li>Base for the papal strategy </li></ul>
  24. 24. Be careful! <ul><li>Not everything can be explained from this point of view: </li></ul><ul><li>The writers of the poems and of the epigraphs were likely monks or churchmen--> ecclesiastical thoughts about Rome and the Islam </li></ul><ul><li>What we see in the Cathedral facade and along the walls could be tell a political “manifesto” </li></ul><ul><li>There are other elements that could be explained differently or having more explanation </li></ul>
  25. 25. The harbor <ul><li>Bas-relief put vertically </li></ul><ul><li>Two sailing ships with men aboard and a lighthouse in the center </li></ul><ul><li>Ancient model a mosaic in Ostia with the writing “this is an harbor of peace”-> symbolic and religious meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Model for the bas-reliefs at the entrance of the Leaning Tower depicting Portus Pisanus </li></ul>
  26. 26. The capitals <ul><li>At least three Roman capitals with the same images: 4 eagles in the corners, 4 bundles of lightning with wings, acanthus leaves (from Caracalla’s thermae ) </li></ul><ul><li>Eagle and lightning are symbol of Zeus, that is why eagle has become the symbol of the emperor but it also was the sun, the soul and in christian view Christ himself </li></ul><ul><li>The capital near the entrance on the right was modify to represent the resurrection </li></ul>
  27. 27. The dolphins <ul><li>Frieze with dolphins, shells and little palm trees </li></ul><ul><li>Put first in the Cathedral (as cordon for the presbyterium) now in the Museum (Opera del Duomo) </li></ul><ul><li>Originally taken from the Basilica Neptuni, near the Pantheon in Rome </li></ul><ul><li>Christian interpretation: dolphins plus trident mean crucifixion </li></ul>
  28. 28. Late influences Nicola e Giovanni Pisano Nicola Pisano took inspiration from the sarcophagus of Fedra to create some shapes for the pulpit of the baptistery
  29. 29. Milan 1037: another Second Rome In January 1037 Conrad II was in Milan. He was welcomed by the archbishop Aribert with great honor, but the day after a riot broke out and Conrad II moved to Pavia, where he opened a trial against Aribert. After two months of captivity, Aribert managed to return in April in Milan. In anticipation of the attack he reinforced the imperial walls and maybe put this epigraphy on the Porta Romana Dic homo qui transis dum portae limina tangis Roma secunda vale Regni decus imperiale Urbs veneranda nimis plenissima rebus opimis Te metuunt gentes et tibi flectunt colla potentes In bello Thebas in sensu vincis Athenas.   Man who are passing the door, touch the borders of the second Rome, imperial honor of the Kingdom. Honorable town rich ecc. <ul><ul><li>Milan was a Capital in the late Roman time: the memory has not faded </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But Milan was against an emperor: its autonomy and power laid on ancient memory and new rulers (the archbishop and his followers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The situation is different from Pisan one: the recall of the history (the public use of history) has another base, not Imperial Rome (over the Mediterranean sea) but maybe simply the powerful city of all the time </li></ul>
  30. 30. Milan XII - Porta Romana
  32. 32. Avignon - Arles - Nîmes XIII cent. <ul><li>Seals with Roman buildings or images- </li></ul><ul><li>Arles: knights/nobles in the amphitheatre (castrum arenarum): their “palace” as rulers </li></ul><ul><li>Avignon, Nîmes: four men together meaning the power over the city shared by nobles and citizens, but recalling the imperial tetrarchy (III a.C.) </li></ul><ul><li>s </li></ul>
  33. 33. Cola di Rienzo Cola di Rienzo, tribune of Roman People in XIV cent. His goal was to do well in Rome, despite being the seat of the Pope and the Emperor even in theory, a municipality with its own laws and resources, governed by representatives of the people of Rome, inspired by the memory of his greatness. He was very fond of Roman history and remains He deliberately use Roman titles and languages in public documentation and in speeches Another different USE of Rome , even in a municipality: the Rome of Cola is the Roman Republic, symbol of freedom and justice, where the power was in the hands of the People ruled by laws. Now a modern statue of Cola is in Roma at EUR district build entirely by fascist rule using deliberately the myth of Rome
  34. 34. Key points <ul><li>The myth of Rome exercised a strong influence for all the Middle Ages (and longer) </li></ul><ul><li>For Italian commune (and of the South France too) it was used in different times to mean different things in face to different opponents </li></ul><ul><li>Is Pisa experience particularly interesting and why? </li></ul><ul><li>What about the religious meaning combined with political and artistic one? </li></ul><ul><li>Which are the problems in combining symbols and meanings in understanding the social and political context? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there any use f the myth of Rome in your town/country? </li></ul>