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Bryn Mawr College

Santa Maria Maggiore

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Full-Text Articles in Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture

Romanità A Roma: Le Basiliche Del Xii Secolo Fra Tradizioni E Innovazioni, Dale Kinney Jan 2012

Romanità A Roma: Le Basiliche Del Xii Secolo Fra Tradizioni E Innovazioni, Dale Kinney

History of Art Faculty Research and Scholarship

The “Romanness” (romanitas) of the cathedral portico in Civita Castellana is obvious, but within Rome the criteria of “Romanness” are not so clear. This article takes the architecture of twelfth-century churches as a case in point. Scholars generally agree that romanitas is retrospective and evocative of local tradition, but many of the signature features of these churches – bell towers, marble cloisters, Ionic trabeated porches, marble altar ciboria, paschal candlestands, the “schola cantorum” – were eleventh- or twelfth-century innovations, some- times imported from elsewhere. It is proposed that these features were “invented traditions” as defined by Eric Hobsbawm, which create a “factitious ...