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Herodotus and his WorldEssays from a Conference in Memory of George Forrest$
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Peter Derow and Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253746

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.001.0001

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Herodotus and the ‘Resurrection’

Herodotus and the ‘Resurrection’

Chapter:
(p.297) 17 Herodotus and the ‘Resurrection’
Source:
Herodotus and his World
Author(s):

John Gould

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199253746.003.0017

In 1925, Aldous Huxley in his book Along the Road wrote an essay in the course of which he asserted that the ‘best picture’ in the world was Piero della Francesca's ‘Resurrection’, a mural which was in Piero's birthplace, Borgo San Sepolcro, and is still there. In 1944, as the Allies advanced northwards and the Germans retreated before them, the ‘Resurrection’ came perilously close to not surviving, within minutes indeed of destruction by British artillery. That it did survive is due to the fact that the commanding officer of the battery which had been ordered to shell the German troops still holding on to Borgo San Sepolcro had read Aldous Huxley's essay and remembered it as the order to open fire came through to him: the ‘best picture’ in the world was to be his target. He hesitated and did not give the order to open fire in the hope that the German troops might at the last moment resume their retreat and evacuate the town. This chapter considers what we are to make of the painting's survival.

Keywords:   Aldous Huxley, Borgo San Sepolcro, Piero della Francesca, Resurrection

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