From Italy's popular author Corrado Augias comes the most intriguing exploration of Rome ever to be published. In the mold of his earlier histories of Paris, New York, and London, Augias moves perceptively through twenty-seven centuries of Roman ...
life, shedding new light on a cast of famous, and infamous, historical figures and uncovering secrets and conspiracies that have shaped the city without our ever knowing it. From Rome's origins as Romulus's stomping ground to the dark atmosphere of the Middle Ages; from Caesar's unscrupulousness to Caravaggio's lurid genius; from the notorious Lucrezia Borgia to the seductive Anna Fallarino, the marchioness at the center of one of Rome's most heinous crimes of the post-war period, Augias creates a sweeping account of the passions that have shaped this complex city: at once both a metropolis and a village, where all human sentiment-bravery and cowardice, industriousness and sloth, enterprise and laxity-find their interpreters and stage. If the history of humankind is all passion and uproar, then, as the author notes, "for centuries Rome has been the mirror of this history, reflecting with excruciating accuracy every detail, even those that might cause you to avert your gaze."
In the Editor’s Note at the start of the book, the reader is warned that this book is more like a novel than an essay. I would say it is more like a series of essays with the city of Rome as its central theme.
The author takes us rather randomly
..."r randomly through Rome’s more than 2,000 years of history, combining well-known stories with the more obscure, without following a standard chronology.
This I find the book’s weakness. Although it contains massive amounts of interesting details that seem to represent their age rather well, the book does not give the reader much of an idea of how the city developed through time. And sometimes the author is a bit gossipy, sparing us no juicy detail from Suetonius, the unproven story of the female pope Joan, and the equally unproven incestuous relationship between Lucretia Borgia and her father Pope Alexander VI Borgia.
All essays are about 20-25 pages long, and they would best be read on an extended stay in the city, when one could read the essay first, and then visit the places mentioned. The author is definitely a great guide to the city and its art.Continua...Nascondi