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15. Conclusion

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Chapter Summary

This is the concluding chapter of the book, which examines the various ways in which the material survivals of the ancient world in part of the Mediterranean were adapted, reused or ignored in successive centuries. Probably all the “outrages” against antiquities related in the book could be mirrored over the past century as well, were one to look hard enough. In Europe we know that mediaeval dismantling of antiquities was extensive, for they are the only explanation for the almost complete obliteration of antique monuments. The book demonstrates how extensive those ruins were and how long they survived, before the competing pressures of building, destruction and reworking by the locals, and predatory extraction by Western connoisseurs and museums, almost completely transformed what had for centuries been a landscape with plentiful ancient buildings and infrastructure. The ruins taught, but few heeded any architectural message, instead preferring dismantling and destruction.

Keywords:antique monuments; Europe; mediaeval mediterranean



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