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The Eternal City

A History of Rome in Maps

Jessica Maier



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Chicago University Press
04 November 2020
One of the most visited places in the world, Rome attracts millions of tourists each year to walk its storied streets and see famous sites like the Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain. Yet this ancient city's allure is due as much to its rich, unbroken history as to its extraordinary array of landmarks. Countless incarnations and eras merge in the Roman cityscape. With a history spanning nearly three millennia, no other place can quite match the resilience and reinventions of the aptly nicknamed Eternal City.

In this unique and visually engaging book, Jessica Maier considers Rome through the eyes of mapmakers and artists who have managed to capture something of its essence over the centuries. Viewing the city as not one but ten Romes, she explores how the varying maps and art reflect each era's key themes. Ranging from modest to magnificent, the images comprise singular aesthetic monuments like paintings and grand prints as well as more popular and practical items like mass-produced tourist plans, archaeological surveys, and digitizations. The most iconic and important images of the city appear alongside relatively obscure, unassuming items that have just as much to teach us about Rome's past. Through 140 full-color images and thoughtful overviews of each era, Maier provides an accessible, comprehensive look at Rome's many overlapping layers of history in this landmark volume.

The first English-language book to tell Rome's rich story through its maps, The Eternal City beautifully captures the past, present, and future of one of the most famous and enduring places on the planet.
By:   Jessica Maier
Imprint:   Chicago University Press
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 279mm,  Width: 210mm, 
ISBN:   9780226591452
ISBN 10:   022659145X
Pages:   240
Publication Date:   04 November 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction: Rome as Idea and Reality Further Reading Chapter One: Rome Takes Shape Rome before Rome A Walled City Urban Districting Further Reading Chapter Two: Rome of the Caesars Destination Rome An Incomplete Puzzle Making Sense of the Shattered Past Filling in the Gaps A Model City Further Reading Chapter Three: Rome of the Popes Sacred Buildings and Secular Symbols The Medieval Cityscape Pathos and Wonder Further Reading Chapter Four: Rome Reborn A City Ready for Its Close-Up The City Seen through a Wide-Angle Lens The City Measured A Panoramic View of Urban Revitalization Further Reading Chapter Five: Rome of the Scholars Archaeology in Its Infancy An Ancient Roman Theme Park A Ghostly Fantasy Further Reading Chapter Six: Rome of the Saints and Pilgrims The Way of the Faithful Scenes from a Pilgrimage A Pilgrimage Map for the Modern Era Further Reading Chapter Seven: Rome of the Grand Tourists Rome as Theater The Origins of the Tourist Plan Rome Surveyed A Panoramic Vision Further Reading Chapter Eight: Rome of the Mass Tourists The Guidebook Impresario's Rome Rome for a Rather Important Woman Traveler Rome in Your Pocket Rome for Italian Tourists Further Reading Chapter Nine: Rome Enters the Modern Age 2,500 Years in, a Master Plan for Rome When Trams Ruled Rome An Olympic City, and a New Beginning Further Reading Chapter Ten: Rome Past, Present, and Future Rapid Transit for a Rapidly Changing City A Master Plan for the Third Millennium: (Un)sustainable Rome Further Reading Acknowledgments Index

Jessica Maier is associate professor of art history at Mount Holyoke College. She is the author of Rome Measured and Imagined: Early Modern Maps of the Eternal City, also published by University of Chicago Press.

Reviews for The Eternal City: A History of Rome in Maps

No other city has maintained the story of its past in its present quite like Rome, creating an intentional palimpsest through incessant acts of preservation, reconstruction, and cartographic visualization. Maier's lively, imaginatively organized, and accessible book displays how centuries of maps not only tell stories about the city's physical development but also show how Rome's narratives of itself--conflating eras, resituating buildings, compressing waterways--unfurled in self-mapping from antiquity to the Metro. -- Evelyn Lincoln, Brown University The history of Rome comes to life in this erudite, beautifully written book. Organized chronologically from Rome's early beginnings to the present, this richly detailed history of Rome is focused through the lens of maps and cartographic images. Maier has written a fascinating account for both armchair and actual travelers. The Eternal City also has much to offer to seasoned scholars who will appreciate its coherent and fluid synthesis. -- Pamela O. Long, author of Engineering the Eternal City The Eternal City offers the reader a vivid panorama of Rome's changing form and image over the course of more than two millennia. A rich selection of city plans and views reveals crucial shifts in representational strategies, function, and symbolic intent. The dynamic tension between Rome's complex, three-dimensional urban reality and the city's image as projected by successive generations of artists and cartographers is certain to engage a wide audience. -- John Pinto, emeritus, Princeton University

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