Between the decline of the Roman Empire and the cultural explosion of the Renaissance, Italy underwent a series of profound transformations. Many of these changes were the result of new influences: Lombards, Normans, Byzantines and Arabs, for example, each arrived with their own styles and had a profound effect on the art and culture of Italy. This short course explores the worlds of medieval Italy, from the fall of Rome to the rise of the empire of Charlemagne and the triumph of Mathilda of Canossa, and from the glory of Venice in the north to the magnificence of the Normans in southern Italy and Sicily.
Lecture 2 of 3 – Dr Nick Gordon
Charlemagne’s coronation in Rome as the new emperor of the west changed the political landscape of Italy, offering the protection of a Latin Emperor against ‘Greeks’, Saracens and Lombard dukes. The empire was short-lived, but it had profound effects. These can be seen in the new styles of Romanesque sculpture that broke with ‘Byzantine’ traditions and in the rise of some of the Middle Ages’ most fascinating figures, such as Mathilda of Canossa, both of which Dr Nick Gordon discusses in this session.