Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's

Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's

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Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's by R. A. Scotti, Josephine Bailey

It was the splendor—and the scandal—of the age. In 1506, the ferociously ambitious Renaissance Pope Julius II tore down the most sacred shrine in Europe—the millennium-old St. Peter's Basilica built by the Emperor Constantine over the apostle's grave—to build a better basilica. Construction of the new St. Peter's spanned two centuries, embroiled twenty-seven popes, and consumed the genius of the greatest artists of the age—Michaelangelo, Bramante, Raphael, and Bernini. The cost of building the new cathedral was costly in more than just monetary terms—the new basilica provoked the Protestant Reformation, dividing the Christian world for all time.

In this swift, colorful narrative, R. A. Scotti brings to life the artists and the popes, the politics and the passions behind this audacious enterprise. Scotti turns sacred architecture into a spellbinding human epic of enormous daring, petty jealousy, and staggering genius.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400102341
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 06/28/2006
Edition description: Unabridged, 7 CDs, 8 hrs. 30 min.
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

R. A. Scotti is the author of two previous works of nonfiction, including Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938. She has also written four novels. She lives in New York City.

British actress and narrator Josephine Bailey has won ten AudioFile Earphones Awards and a prestigious Audie Award, and Publishers Weekly named her Best Female Narrator in 2002.

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Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been to St. Peters Basilica myself. As a boy I was fascinated by it. I've done the research, read countless books on the great artists who served as architects, even sketched it, and while I've been fascinated with it all my life I've never been able to translate my wonder to anyone without myself either going overboard or boring them to tears. However, this author makes it simple and understandable. She neither glosses over the poisonous Popes who were failures, nor does she cover up the enormous mistakes that led to the schism between Catholic and Protestant faiths. Instead what she does manage to tell is how a church the length of 2 football fields that took over a century to build came into being at all. It could have been a tremendous failure (and it very nearly did) but what happened instead made it a glory to God and a marvel of man. If you want a simple read that's thorough and fun you need to try this out.
LoveHistoryVA More than 1 year ago
When you think of the confidence and hutzpah required to tear down the original church of St. Peter and begin the process of calling on some of the great artistic and architectural geniuses ever known, you can begin to see the scope of this informative history of St. Peter's basilica. I've not only read this book I have given it as gifts.
MichaelEM More than 1 year ago
Scotti details the intrigue, inspiration, planning, and lack of planning that went into the hundreds of years of building St. Peter's Basilica. She describes the personalities and the politics of getting it all started. The Basilica takes on a life of its own in her writing and she convinces us that the many disparate voices that were used to create this wonder somehow added value to their creation. The Basilica, conceived by Pope Leo, was a wonder from its inception but became even greater as it was changed and added to for the next few hundred years. Perhaps it is a real example of divine inspiration. The writing is very clear and concise. Her research is impressive and the final product is compelling. She particularly stresses the Renaissance and Baroque period when the Basilica was in its greatest danger of being destroyed or forgotten. The play of personalities is immense and she conveys this sense of lack of overall direction but somehow it grew to be the marvel it is today. This is a fascinating story well told. Scotti tells er tale in simple strightforward language. For those who have visited St. Peter's Basilica it was enlightening and for those who haven't seen it it would be tantilizing.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent read and has led me to look into other works by R. A. Scotti. Far from a heavy read, it is light and even suspenseful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished Basilica: The Splendor and The Scandal-Building St.Peters and I must say I am struck by how rich with detail and personality it was. It has been my experience that books of this vain tend to be cold and rather hard to get through, but not this one. The intimacy with which Scotti talks about each pope and artist brings them so clearly to life that you do not want to stop reading. I would recomend this book to anyone looking for a rich read. Scotti has found the perfect balance of architectural history and personal drama. I understand now what makes some books page turners.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From tthe front,it looks like good,interesting book
DMP613 More than 1 year ago
Nothing special about this book.