The Fall of the Ancient Capitol
The epilogue traces the afterlife of the Capitoline Hill’s late antique history, the unresolved tension between the valuation and devaluation of the Capitol’s multiplying and variegated histories into the Middle Ages. The Capitol was a physical space that structured the lives and urban environment of postclassical Rome, and it was an imaginary location that animated an affective engagement with the hill’s traditions as well as Christian polemics against the materiality of pagan cults. It became one of the Seven Wonders of the World, a notable stop for sightseeing tours, and the location of an incredible collection of statues called the Salvatio Civium. In the Middle Ages, the Capitoline Hill became even more mystically charged than it had ever been in its long history. What ended the hill’s ancient legacy was not the so-called Dark Ages but Fascist urban planning and modern assertions of the value of heritage.
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