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Italy and Sicily

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores what re-use meant to commissioners and builders in Italy and Sicily, and how such meaning(s) may have changed over time. After a brief review of the place of marble supply in architectural revivals in Rome (which set the tenor for the rest of the peninsula), it examines the impact of marble on centres to its north and south, and over the Straits in Sicily. It concludes that the use of marble was not continuous, but depended (in those cases for which we have some documentation) on individuals entranced by its properties, following Early Christian and Byzantine precedent, and possibly by some kind of politico-religious agenda. The cadence of use and re-use in Italy is dependent upon the overlapping motors of population levels, fashion, geography, commerce and technology. Fashion also encompassed a taste for coloured marbles which it was probably known no Italian quarries could satisfy.

Keywords: builders; Byzantine; Commissioners; Early Christian; Italy; marble; politico-religious agenda; Rome; Sicily



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