The Eagle and the Spade: Archaeology in Rome during the Napoleonic Era

The Eagle and the Spade: Archaeology in Rome during the Napoleonic Era

by Ronald T. Ridley


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This book is an account of an almost completely neglected archaeological epic, the uncovering and restoration of all the classical monuments of Rome during the French occupation (1809–14). This was the first large-scale archaeological programme in the city. Based on archives in Rome and Paris, the archaeology of these five years is placed against its essential background: the fate of the monuments since antiquity and the contemporary Napoleonic political and cultural history. Mr Ridley describes the enormously complicated organisation which carried out the work and identifies the leading administrators, archaeologists and architects. The bulk of the work is a detailed account of the excavation and restoration work on the Forum Romanum, the Colosseum and the Forum of Trajan, the main classical monuments. There are numerous illustrations of the monuments both before and after the French intervention, as well as unpublished plans from the archives. There is an extensive specialist index. The book is intended for anyone interested in archaeology, in Napoleonic Europe and above all, in Rome.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521104807
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 03/19/2009
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. The protection and destruction of classical Rome before 1809; 2. Commissions, commissions, commissions: the administration of antiquities under the French; 3. Arches, fora, theatres and temples: the monuments cleared and restored by the French; 4. The great Collosseum debate; Conclusion; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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