Sunday, December 11, 2011

S. Giovanni Maggiore

We have just returned from a brief trip to Naples where we obtained permission from the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici to view and photograph the church and the scavi of S. Giovanni Maggiore, one of the most important early-Christian buildings of Naples, constructed under Bishop Vincenzo c. 550-60.

The church was meticulously and beautifully restored by the Soprintendenza under the supervision of Arch. Orsola Foglia and team but has been closed since its completion in 2003/4. Thanks to Arch. Foglia and the Soprintendenza, we have now expanded out its entry in our Interactive Map of Medieval Naples and have posted a complete series of images in our web gallery.

Most notable among these for medievalists are the two spoliated capitals surmounted by Vincenzo’s monograph, and the remains of the early-Christian ambulatory, incorporating spoliated columns and pilasters from Leptis Magna dating from the second century CE. Both the scavi and the restoration of the dazzling 17th-century basilica (by Dionisio Lazzari) are important cultural sites in Naples, and we urge readers to make inquiries to the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici (Palazzo Reale, Piazza del Plebiscito, Napoli) both to view the site and to urge its reopening and the complete publication of its restoration and excavations.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Historical Texts, 400–1400 is Published

We are happy to announce the publication of Ronald G. Musto’s Medieval Naples: A Documentary History 400–1400, Historical Texts. This title is one of Italica’s born-digital works and is now offered exclusively on the Kindle platform for both the Kindle itself and other handhelds, such as the iPad, iPhone and iPhone Touch. It incorporates all the texts available until now on the Medieval Naples section of our website and adds a new general introduction to the period, its historiography, and important research and interpretive issues. It will soon also be available in hardcover and paperback editions.
    Medieval Naples, 400–1400: A Documentary History is the first comprehensive and most complete English-language collection of sources yet to treat the history of the city from late Antiquity to the beginnings of the Renaissance. Sources are drawn from the historical, economic, literary, artistic, religious and cultural life from the fall of Rome through the Byzantine, Lombard, Norman, Hohenstaufen and Angevin periods.
    This work takes full advantage of digital resources: hyperlinking to complete bibliographical information on WorldCat, to Italica Press image galleries, to external web resources, including digital archives and manuscript collections, online reference works and images, and to our own online bibliographies and Interactive Map of Medieval Naples.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Boccaccio’s Life of Giovanna I

It’s been a very busy Spring and Summer for us, but with September we’re back editing and adding texts and other news and links for our Medieval Naples.

Our most recent addition in Chapter 6, The Angevins, is Giovanni Boccaccio’s Life of Giovanna I, from his On Famous Women (De claris mulieribus). This is excerpted from our newly published, revised edition of Guido A. Guarino’s translation. Our edition now includes a bibliographical note and bibliography to bring research on Boccaccio and this work up to date and reflect recent interpretive trends and debates.

This newly added reading is accompanied by an introduction on Boccaccio’s work and its place in Neapolitan historiography.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Medieval Naples: An Architectural & Urban History

We are happy to announce that Medieval Naples: An Architectural & Urban History, 400-1400 by Caroline Bruzelius and William Tronzo has now been published. These two leading American experts on the subject offer the first comprehensive English-language review of Naples’ architecture and urban development from late antiquity to the high and late Middle Ages.

William Tronzo treats the early Middle Ages, from the end of the western Roman Empire to the end of the Duchy, or from about 400 to about 1139. He covers a range of topics, discussing the development of the city’s urban fabric and chief monuments, including the catacombs, Sta. Restituta, the baptistry of S. Giovanni in Fonte, the forum area including S. Paolo Maggiore and the early history of S. Lorenzo Maggiore, and the Pietrasanta.
Caroline Bruzelius then picks up the narrative and analysis from the twelfth century to the end of the Angevin period, or about 1400. She brings up to date and nuances many of the findings and themes of her The Stones of Naples. She revisits some of the same material on the early medieval city from a different perspective, that of religious foundations and urban topography. She proceeds to patronage — religious, mercantile, noble and royal — and then moves on to the role of Tuscan artists in Naples, concluding with the Angevin reconfiguration of the city in the late Middle Ages.

Clearly and concisely written, it is an ideal introductory survey for the scholar, student and general reader to medieval Naples, its chief monuments, and to the scholarly discussions and interpretations of the material, visual and documentary evidence.

Preface, select bibliography; appendices, including the Tavola Strozzi with key to buildings, map of medieval Naples with a thumbnail key; and index.

Illustrated with 83 black & white figures, plus 60 thumbnail images.
List of links to online resources from the Documentary History of Naples, including primary-source readings; online galleries containing over 450 additional images in full color; and links to full bibliographies with ongoing supplements.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Anjou Bible

Long known to scholars of Naples for its frontispieces of Robert of Anjou and the royal Angevin genealogy, the Malines (Mechelen) Bible is one of the most magnificent manuscripts of the Angevin period — and one of the most important visual sources for the reigns of Robert of Anjou and Giovanna I. A new edition has just been published in print facsimile and online. The print volume, The Anjou Bible: Naples 1340. A Royal Manuscript Revealed, edited by Lieve Watteeuw and Jan Van der Stock (Paris, Leuven & Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2010), offers a collection of twelve essays by such noted experts as John Lowden, Frans Gistelinck, Cathleen A. Fleck, Alessandro Tomei and Stefania Paone, Michelle Duran, Nicolas Bock, Alessandra Perriccioli (Saggese), Luc Dequeker, Pierre Delsaerdt, Marina Van Bos, Roberto Padoan, Marvin E. Klein, Gerrit de Bruin, Barnard J. Aalderink, and Ted A.G. Steemers.

The new book covers the provenance, codicology, conservation and restoration of the manuscript, its creation and artists and its cultural and political contexts. The print volume is accompanied by extensive annotations, an excellent bibliography, and full-color reproductions of every illustrated folio in the manuscript.

In November 2010 the Anjou Bible Research Project (Illuminare, K.U. Leuven) mounted a far-ranging exhibition and series of panels around the restoration. Even more important, the complete series of illustrated folios is now available online, free and open access, with an excellent high-resolution image viewer at: .