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Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: Building St. Peter's | [R.A. Scotti]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 27 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.

©2006 R.A. Scotti; (P)2006 Tantor Media Inc

What the Critics Say

"A riveting portrtait of the papacy, complete with its triumphs, intrigue, and excesses." (Kirkus)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (131 )
5 star
 (35)
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4.0 (32 )
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4.0 (30 )
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  •  
    Margaret St. Petersburg, FL, USA 10-17-07
    Margaret St. Petersburg, FL, USA 10-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Spell binding"

    I was so sorry to have it end. Truly amazing. I ran for my pictures of St. Peter's to check out the details.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Bethlehem, PA, USA 11-18-06
    Thomas Bethlehem, PA, USA 11-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb!"

    The history of St. Peter's is so interesting, and this book presents it in a logical, interesting way. Great listening at the gym!

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 10-23-12
    Simone 10-23-12 Member Since 2006

    Join me on GoodReads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting AND Entertaining… A Rare Mix!"

    This book is a pleasant mix of information and entertainment. It’s an honest-to-goodness story, not just a compilation of facts.

    Non-fiction books tend to be dry sometimes and tedious to get through if they are too long (and you've heard me complain before about not liking books that are little more than a litany of names and dates!). This book was just right. Not too long, not too dry, not monotonous …

    Having actually visited St Peter’s also added to my appreciation of the book because I could so easily visualize the construction and I enjoyed the memories of climbing up into the dome, negotiating the tight spaces and narrow stairs…. AHHH So beautiful! I can’t wait to see it again!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn LOS ALAMOS, NM, United States 05-21-12
    Carolyn LOS ALAMOS, NM, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Fantastic read"
    Where does Basilica rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was at the top because I spend quite a bit of time in Rome.


    Any additional comments?

    If you plan to go to Rome and spend any time at St. Peter's, this book is a must read. Before you go, take the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Lincolnwood, Illinois 09-01-11
    Lee Lincolnwood, Illinois 09-01-11 Member Since 2008
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    "Great background to the history of St. Peters"

    I agree with the other reviewers, a great story with wonderful insight. Well researched. The reader's poor pronunciation of so many words was such a distraction. She had a very pleasant voice but no concept how to pronounce so many Italian names, not to mention several English words too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Plano, TX, United States 08-04-11
    Linda Plano, TX, United States 08-04-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Basilica: The Splendor and the Scandal: St. Peter'"

    An excellent story which is incredibly interesting; however, it's a shame that the narrator butchers the Italian vocabulary. You would think that with all the Italian words in this book, one would have tried to find a narrator who can pronounce basic Italian. It's actually painful and extremely disruptive to hear names and places so badly pronounced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prudence 10-27-10
    Prudence 10-27-10
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    "Fabulous."

    This book could be used as the basis for an entire education. Unlike a lot of books, it is worth reading again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BeautyJones 09-24-10
    BeautyJones 09-24-10

    A YA Novelists with an axe to grind. Or is it a love triangle to be annoyed at? Or a set of wings to wish for? Harrumph!

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    "Fascinating and Cinematic"

    This book is full of vivid detail about the Popes and artists who created St. Peter's Basilica. The personalities of Michelangelo and Julius II loom large in their clashes. The mismanagement of funds leading to the sack of Rome in 1527 is particularly devastating, and ripping stuff! I would love to see the book made into a miniseries. Josephine Bailey's lilting English accents brings it all to life. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Art History or in Rome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Martha New York, NY, USA 07-19-08
    Martha New York, NY, USA 07-19-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Historical subject but novelized style"

    A fascinating subject, relatively well researched but written in a "You were there" style. ('Michelangelo was out of breath as he wiped his brow with his calloused hands and thought...." etc. More annoying was the uneducated pronunciation from the British reader who has a pleasant enough speaking voice but displays shocking ignorance of the classical field. These are not accepted English vs. American pronunciations, mind you. "Tacky-tiss' instead of Tacitus? There are many more of this sort, and I'm no snob. But she should have been coached properly and the recording edited. Otherwise, the book is worth a listen.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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