Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Mario Erasmo's "Strolling Through Rome"

Mario Erasmo is Professor of Classics at the University of Georgia specializing in the Legacy of Classical Antiquity. He is the author of several books, including Death: Antiquity and Its Legacy and Reading Death in Ancient Rome and the volume editor of A Cultural History of Death in Antiquity. His forthcoming Strolling Through Florence: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Renaissance City (IBTauris) offers step-by-step strolls through historic sites and streets in the shadow of Brunelleschi's iconic dome.

Here Erasmo dreamcasts an adaptation of his 2015 book, Strolling Through Rome: The Definitive Walking Guide to the Eternal City:
Guide/Narrator: Colin Firth

Event: Sack of Rome in 1527 but there are many pivotal events and history makers in Rome's storied past worthy of more plays by Shakespeare or Racine or operas by Monteverdi or Purcell, including the martyrdom of St. Lawrence (258); the execution of Constantine's second wife Fausta and his son Crispus from his first marriage instigated by Constantine's mother Helena potentially for adultery (326); the meeting between St. Francis and St. Dominic in the church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in 1215; and the political fortunes of the populist leader Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354) that pitted him against the papacy and the powerful Colonna and Orsini families until his short-lived return to papal favour for assistance in returning power to Rome from Avignon.

Scene: Vatican Corridor to Castel Sant' Angelo

Pope Clement VII de' Medici (Privileged; Detached; Wavering): Daniel Day-Lewis

Goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini (Fiery; Swashbuckler; Seducer): Rufus Sewell (he faces down danger with aplomb playing the role of detective Aurelio Zen in Rome). In his Biography he claims to have singlehandedly saved the life of the Pope who famously fled the Vatican by the Vatican Corridor to Castel Sant' Angelo from the attacking mercenary forces of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

Epilogue: The same pope refused to grant Henry the VIII of England an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain). The Sack essentially halted the course of the Renaissance in Rome that was revived by Michelangelo who designed the Campidoglio for the triumphal entry of the Holy Roman Emperor into Rome (1536) through the Roman Forum in the style of triumphing generals of ancient Rome. The emperor then entered Florence in triumph then ruled by Cosimo I de' Medici under his protection.
The Page 99 Test: Strolling Through Rome.

--Marshal Zeringue