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The Aurelian Wall In Rome: Renaissance Fortification In Theory And Practice

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, the author argues that the Aurelian Wall gives us not only a superb example of the scale of such venerable fortification design but at the same time dramatically contrasts with the 'modern' imposition by Antonio de Sangallo. Such massive walls and towers reflect the 'topless towers of Ilium' legend in Western European philosophy, literature, and art. They are simply monumental: a key definition of what constitutes a western city. Bastione di Sangallo (the Ardeatine bastion) survives as a work of art that symbolizes the continuing power of cities in maintaining their dominant cultural role in civilization. The angle bastion was the chief element of what Hale called the 'International Style par excellence of the Renaissance'.

Keywords: Aurelian Wall; Bastione di Sangallo; fortifications; Italian Renaissance; Rome; Western European philosophy



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