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Document Details :
Title: Roma antica, sacra, moderna
Subtitle: De zeventiende-eeuwse herconfiguratie van de stad in reis- en pelgrimsgidsen
Author(s): DELBEKE, Maarten
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Date: 2006
An examination of the guidebooks in the early modern Cose meravigliose tradition offers a case study in the strategies used to construct a relation between the physical city and the two most important tropes the city represents, Roma antica and Roma moderna or sacra, in seventeenth-century guidebooks to Rome. The specificity of this construction as developed in the Cose meravigliose tradition is obvious when compared to another guidebook, Panciroli’s I tesori nascosti dell’alma città di Roma. Analysis of important changes in the structure of the guidebook, its choice of illustrations and ultimately its title during the period from 1588 to the early eighteenth century indicate fundamental transformations in this construction. These transformations play out most visibly in the representation of Roma moderna, the contemporary city. Originally a vehicle to visualize antiquity, by the late seventeenth century it becomes a legitimate object of the beholder’s interest in its own right.