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Eyewitness to Old St Peter's
Maffeo Vegio's ‘Remembering the Ancient History of St Peter's Basilica in Rome,' with Translation and a Digital Reconstruction of the Church


  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108496858

£ 83.99

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About the Authors
  • Old St Peter's Basilica in Rome stood for over eleven centuries until it was demolished to make room for today's church on the same Vatican site. Its last eyewitness, Maffeo Vegio, explained to the Roman hierarchy how revival of the papacy, whose prestige after the exile to Avignon had been diminished, was inseparable from a renewed awareness of the primacy of Peter's Church. To make his case, Vegio wrote a history founded on credible written and visual evidence. The text guides us through the building's true story in its material reality, undistorted by medieval guides. This was its living memory and a visualization of the continuity of Roman history into modern times. This volume makes available the first complete English translation of Vegio's text. Accompanied by full-color digital reconstructions of the Basilica as it appeared in Vegio's day.

    • Offers the first complete and annotated English translation of Vegio's account of Old St Peter's Basilica
    • Provides a digital reconstruction of Old St Peter's Basilica
    • Places the arguments of Vegio in the context of intellectual, liturgical, and political changes of Renaissance Rome
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… Learned and thoughtful book.' Maffeo Vegio, Speculum

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108496858
    • length: 322 pages
    • dimensions: 261 x 184 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.9kg
    • contains: 53 colour illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The author
    2. The text
    3. The image.

  • Editors

    Christine Smith, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Christine Smith is Robert C. and Marion K, Weinberg Professor of Architectural History in the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, Massachusetts. A recipient of the Founders' Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, she has won grants and fellowships from the Kress Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Guggenheim Foundation, among many others. She is the author of Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism: Ethics, Aesthetics, and Eloquence, 1400–1470 (1992).

    Joseph F. O'Connor, Catholic University of America, Washington DC
    Joseph F. O'Connor is Distinguished Lecturer in the Department of Greek and Latin at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. He is co-author, with Christine Smith, of Building the Kingdom: Giannozzo Manetti on the Material and Spiritual Ediface (2007).


    Maffeo Vegio

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