Michael Greenhalgh, MA, Ph.D. (Manchester 1968) is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the Australian National University. His books include Donatello & his Sources (1982), The Survival of Roman Antiquities in the Middle Ages (1989), and many papers on the later fate of classical monuments.
All those interested in the impact of Rome, the history of the mediaeval Mediterranean, the sources and development of its architecture and material culture, and in urban and cultural history in general.
"a monumental work of scholarship ... it will perhaps be as much subject to ‘quarrying’ as the precious stone that
it investigates in such detail ... meticulously researched, and each page is packed with facts, names and places ... this study makes an important and learned contribution to the cultural history of marble and essentially paves the way for further investigation of the materiality of this medium as well as its important place in medieval art and archaeology."
Troels Myrup Kristensen, Department of Classical Archaeology, Aarhus University, Denmark
European Journal of Archaeology Vol. XX(X–X): 1–3 (2010)
‘Marble Past, Monumental Present is excellent and, best of all, both compelling and on occasions provocative. The bibliography is bang up to date. It will shed new light on an immense architectural story.'
Richard Hodges, Professor and Director of the Institute of World Archaeology, University of East Anglia, co-author of Byzantine Butrint (2004)
‘Building on his previous studies, Michael Greenhalgh in this book has produced a dazzling survey and a proper synthesis of the use and the aesthetics of “spolia” (and architectural borrowing more generally) in the whole early and central medieval, Mediterranean and European, world. Everyone working on medieval material culture, and on urban and cultural history in general, will have to read this book.’
Chris Wickham, Chichele Professor of Medieval History, University of Oxford, and author of Framing the early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean 400-800 (2005)
’Con uno sguardo telescopico, l’autore misura – senza gerarchie – l’influenza, la forza e la suggestione delle pietre antiche reimpiegate nell’architettura dei paesi cristiani e mussulmani aperti su quel “lago circondato dal marmo” che è il Mediterraneo. Attraverso una pluralità di riferimenti ed esempi l’a. dispone, entro un eccezionale quadro di insieme, le diverse forme e i ‘perché’ del riutilizzo dei marmi antichi. Ne emerge una filigrana intrigata e ricca entro la quale ogni mediterraneo riscopre legami e relazioni indissolubili che, oggi più di ieri, meritano - attraverso la diffusione e la traduzione dell’opera – di essere affermati e conosciuti dai cittadini europei.’
Simonetta Ciranna, Università degli Studi dell’Aquila, and author of Spolia e caratteristiche del reimpiego nella Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura a Roma (2000)
’In this engaging book, Michael Greenhalgh explores the recycling of marbles and other antiquities throughout the post-Roman Mediterranean. Without denying the continuation of artistic and architectural ideals, he shows how dynamic and innovative was the re-use of past monuments and materials. With a nuanced comparative analysis he demonstrates the lack of any desire to imitate the glory of Rome by exact architectural reproduction, and he reminds us all that in order to understand the West, one should constantly look at events and developments in the East. Marble Past, Monumental Present is not only a thought provoking contribution to the history of medieval architecture; it is also an important step forward in our understanding of the ways in which rulers, artists and architects perceived their own past.’
Professor Yitzhak Hen, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, author of Roman Barbarians: The Royal Court and Culture in the Early Medieval West (2007) and General Editor of the Series Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages (Brepols: Turnhout)
Table of contents
Part One: Setting the Scene
1: Introduction 3
2: Ancient and Early Christian Europe and Byzantium 33
Part Two: Logistics and Fashions
3: Quarrying, Transport and Preparation of Marble in the Middle Ages
4: Looted and Trophy Marble 141
5: The Marble Hit Parade: Marble Members by Type and Destination
Part Three: Surveys of the Islamic and Christian Worlds
6: Byzantium 235
7: Earlier Islam 255
8: King, Pope, Emir and Caliph: Europe and the Islamic Building-Boom
9: Italy and Sicily 363
10: Egypt, Later Syria and Seljuk and Ottoman Turkey
11: France and Christian Spain 483
Conclusion & Bibliography
General Index 601
Index of Marble 615