Rome, the “Eternal City,” has provided endless inspiration for religious thinkers, poets, artists and philosophers. As the first urban space to boast over a million inhabitants, its ancient glories endure, reflecting the Roman Empire’s power and prestige. A religious village set among the ruins of a dead civilization in the Middle Ages, Rome rose from the ashes to become the arbiter of Renaissance taste and thought. A second population and political explosion during the twentieth century has placed new strains upon the city’s infrastructure and identity. In the last decade, the capital has witnessed the destruction of a discredited political establishment and the emergence of new forces, pledged to stamp out corruption.
Jonathan Boardman uncovers Rome’s multi-faceted experience, where each layer of development rests upon the foundation of a pre-existing tradition. In a place where political and religious ideology has always expressed themselves through art, he also highlights a vibrant popular culture – from gladiatorial shows to the local Roma-Lazio soccer derby.
• Ancient and papal Rome: home of the Caesars, city of amphitheaters, temples, aqueducts and fountains; nursery of Christianity, scene of martyrdom, piety and scandal.
• Artistic Rome: workplace of Michelangelo, Raphael and Canova; the inspiration for Byron, Shelley and Goethe; the setting for Julius Caesar and La Dolce Vita.
• Rome past and present: city of pasta and soccer, capital of shopping and sex; headquarters of monarchy, dictatorship and republic, the Green dream of “Roma per Roma” in 2000 AD.
Jonathan Boardman is Anglican Chaplain to the city of Rome and previously served as a priest in Liverpool, St. Albans and London.