Richard Krautheimer's grand synthesis of the history of art, architecture, and politics in medieval Rome has inspired a generation of subsequent publications, including revisionist ones. Focusing on the twelfth century, this essay rereads Krautheimer against a semiotic paradigm proposed by Marvin Trachtenberg and an alternative version of the history offered by Peter Cornelius Claussen, supplementing both with socio-historical, archaeological, and art historical research of the last twenty-five years. The result is a more reception-oriented history that highlights social and political diversity within Rome and possible misreadings of the intended messages of the familiar churches built between 1100 and 1143: San Clemente, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, San Crisogono, and Santa Maria in Trastevere. Archaeological discoveries like those in the Crypta Balbi also illuminate the revalorization of ancient ruins found in such texts as Hildebert of Lavardin's "Par tibi, Roma, nihil" and the Mirabilia urbis Romae.
© 2006 by International Center for Medieval Art.
Kinney, Dale. "Rome in the Twelfth Century: Urbs fracta and renovatio." Gesta 45, no. 2 (2006): 199-220.