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738book reviews refers to the series of initials (Bks. XI, XIII, XV XVI, XXI, XXVII, XXXTV) which are often regarded as reflections of the artist's curiosity about the world around him. For Rudolph, however, the naturalism of these letters, real as it is, harbors an allegorical dimension which is for him their essential point, lending emphasis to the value attached by the Cistercians on manual labor and the avoidance of the temptations of the secular world. A second group of initials (Frontispiece , and Bks. X, XVIII, XIX, XX, XXIII, XXVIII, XXLX, XXX, XXXI, and XXXIII) refers, according to the author, to the theme of violence, a term not altogether well chosen by him to designate spiritual struggle. His method is to concede the lack of any literal basis in the text for the often fanciful imagery of these initials , and appeal for an explanatory premise to a generalized "sense" embedded in Gregory's commentary. Thus, the lean and long-frocked figure prying open the jaws of a submissive dragon which outlines the letter Q at the beginning of Book XX is said to have been inspired by a passage in this section of the text which declares that "the elect, while in this world, never become overconfident of their spiritual security; instead they are always on watch against the plots of the enemy" (p. 45). The weird collection of wild animals, composite creatures, including a bearded and balding figure riding on the back of a naked man, is held to evoke "in a generic way" Gregory's depiction in the same book of the soul's spiritual travails through such expressions as "a storm of temptation," or "a turbulent sea darkened by the confusion of its own restlessness," and similar phrases (p. 58). As these examples indicate, Rudolph's interpretations are ingenious , often suggestive, and many readers may well find them convincing. The author would perhaps admit their speculative nature,which the final chapter of the book justifies by analogy with the capacious allegorical resourcefulness fostered by the meditative and exegetical protocols of monastic reading. For this reviewer, they do understate the playful dimension in these exegetical procedures and the strong intimations of satire that cling in palpable fashion to these striking images. Walter Cahn Yale University Viterbo:Profile ofa Thirteenth-Century Papal Palace. By Gary M. Radke. (New York: Cambridge University Press. 1996. Pp. xx, 354. $85.00.) This volume is a study of the papal palace ofViterbo as an architectural artifact as well as in the context of the history and political ambitions of the city. The first half of the volume sets out the relationship between the commune of Viterbo and the papacy (Chapter 1), the various phases of construction of the papal palace (Chapter 2), the types and the allocations of space within the palace from the most exalted official reception halls to the latrines (Chapter 3), and, finally, the palace and its decoration in the context of local building traditions , papal architecture, and the influence of imported, "up-to-date" French book reviews739 architectural models. The second half of the book is a detailed archaeologicalarchitectural analysis of the monument section by section, with reconstructing drawings and a careful analysis of alterations and restorations. The volume concludes with an admirable series of plans, elevations, and sections, coded to represent the different areas and phases of construction. There are notes and an index, but no bibliography. As the title suggests, the volume is based on the tradition of architectural analysis established by one of the great masters in the field, Richard Krautheimer, whose volume, Rome: Profile of a City, 312-1308 (Princeton, 1980), hovers in the background as the acknowledged model for this study. The meticulous analysis of the structure, the careful description of the phases of construction and their dating, and the contextualization of all this in the setting of the (presumptuous) attempts on the part of the Viterbo city fathers, especially the Gatti family, to co-opt the papacy into permanent residence at Viterbo, reflect the splendid model of architectural analysis established by Krautheimer and his many students, among them Radke's own former advisor, Marvin Trachtenberg . The volume is in the tradition of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-0708
Print ISSN
0008-8080
Pages
pp. 738-740
Launched on MUSE
2016-10-05
Open Access
No
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