Imperial City: Rome under Napoleon by Susan Vandiver Nicassio

By Susan Vandiver Nicassio

In 1798, the armies of the French Revolution attempted to rework Rome from the capital of the Papal States to a Jacobin Republic. For the following 20 years, Rome was once the topic of strength struggles among the forces of the Empire and the Papacy, whereas Romans persisted the unsuccessful efforts of Napoleon’s top and brightest to drag the traditional urban into the trendy global. by contrast old backdrop, Nicassio weaves jointly an soaking up social, cultural, and political historical past of Rome and its humans. in line with basic assets and incorporating centuries of Italian, French, and foreign study, her paintings unearths what existence was once like for Romans within the age of Napoleon.

“A extraordinary e-book that splendidly vivifies an understudied period within the heritage of Rome. . . . This ebook will have interaction someone drawn to early smooth towns, the connection among faith and everyday life, and the background of town of Rome.”—Journal of recent History

“An attractive account of Tosca’s Rome. . . . Nicassio presents a fluent advent to her subject.”—History Today

“Meticulously researched, drawing on a number of unique manuscripts, memoirs, own letters, and secondary assets, permitting [Nicassio] to deliver her tale to life.”—History

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This was the neighbourhood of St Peter’s and of the Castel Sant’Angelo, with the raised and fortified corridor running between them. National churches of the Germans and the Hungarians were located here, along with a number of hospices and hospitals, the most famous being the hospital of Santo Spirito. The colour of the Borgo caporione was violet, or purple, the colour of bishops and emperors. The republic re-named this the Vatican section. If Napoleon dreamed of the Forum and the Campidoglio, other men dreamed less powerful, but no less passionately held, dreams.

On ceremonial occasions, their caporione, district chief, wore a colour described as ‘changing’ (perhaps shot silk). The republicans divided it into two parts, to be called the Terme (baths) and Suburra districts. Trevi (Rione II): A much smaller area in the heart of the city, bordering on the Corso and including, in addition to the famous Trevi fountain and palace, the even grander palace of the popes on the Quirinal hill, and the little church of Santa Maria della Vittoria with the famous (or infamous) Bernini scene of St Theresa in Ecstasy.

The coronation went well, despite potential hazards. Josephine’s sisters-in-law despised her, and did their best to make her trip on her train, but she remained erect; Napoleon’s sense of dignity showed only occasional lapses, as when he prodded Uncle Fesch in the back with his sceptre; and the pope was left sitting alone on his throne for the best part of two hours when the coronation party was late. Perhaps most irksome of all, the emperor’s mother never showed up. Angry with Napoleon for having quarrelled with, and exiled, his brother Lucien, she had taken herself to Rome to show her displeasure.

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