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In the early ninth century, a critical time in Rome's transformation from ancient capital to powerful bishopric to new state capital, Pope Paschal I undertook a building campaign to communicate his authority and Rome's importance as an ancient and contemporary seat of power. Combining analysis of contemporary chronicles and documents, architecture, mosaics and new archaeology of medieval Rome, Caroline J. Goodson examines Paschal's urban project, revealing new patterns of popular saint veneration in resplendent new churches built using traditional architectural vocabularies. These transformations connect the city and the pope to the past and the present, in the same league as the Byzantine and Carolingian capitals and their emperors. By examining the relationships between the material world and political power in early medieval Rome, this innovative study reveals the importance of Rome's sacred and urban landscape in constructing papal rule and influence both in the city and beyond.
Caroline J. Goodson is Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck College, University of London. She has authored a number of articles on Rome and Lazio with particular attention to ecclesiastical buildings and the cult of saints. She was co-editor of Walls and Memory: The Abbey of San Sebastiano, Alatri (Lazio) from Late Roman Monastery to Renaissance Villa and Beyond (2005).