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Contradictory Impulses in Montaigne's Vision of Rome

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When Michel de Montaigne visited Rome in 1580, his responses to the ancient city were conditioned both by the books he read and his own observations. Rome was at once ruined and vital, the epitome of human ambition and human vanity. He deplored archaeological excavation but favoured relying on Roman buildings as architectural models. He admired the Roman republic but was drawn to the spectacles. His journal entries concerning his visit evoke the vanished grandeur of antiquity while expressing pleasure at his

Keywords: Italy (Rome); Montaigne, Michel de; Travel accounts

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1990-12-01

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