[Milton-L] Milton and St. Peter's Basilica

Diane McColley dmccolley at earthlink.net
Mon Jul 4 14:08:43 EDT 2005


Thanks to Alice Berghof for her referral!  But I have no evidence that 
Milton entered the basilica, just the usual supposition.  Citing people 
who have assumed that Pandaemonium was modeled after it,  Frye warns 
that "radical differences," which he lists,  make "any identification 
of St. Peter's with Pandaemonium untenable" and calls the latter "a 
promiscuous architectural monstrosity." He thinks  that Milton was not 
introducing "into his universal Christian epic any degrading 
identification of Pandaemonium with the chief church of Roman 
Catholicism" and that "It is not only by his comparison of Pandemonium 
with the barbaric works of Babel and of Memphian kings that Milton 
ridicules his demons, but by the very structure of their art" (Frye, 
134-35).

DM

On Jul 3, 2005, at 5:09 PM, Alice Berghof wrote:

> On page 33 of Roland Mushat Frye's Milton's Imagery and the Visual 
> Arts, in the chapter entitled "Milton's Awareness of the Visual Arts" 
> the author states that Milton saw St. Peter's.  This follows an 
> intriguing discussion of a contested manuscript (most likely Sir Henry 
> Wotton's) on statues.  Four other texts to consult are the following.  
> I apologize for my lack of detailed knowledge in this case.  Diane 
> Kelsey McColley undoubtedly knows the answer...  Here are a few texts 
> you might consult:
> Milton in Italy: Contexts, Images, Contradictions, edited by Mario A. 
> Di Cesare
> Milton, Mannerism and Baroque by Roy Daniells
> Milton and Raphael by Mindele Anne Treip
> and, of course, A Gust for Paradise by Diane Kelsey McColley.
>
> By the way, are you interested in forming a panel on Milton and the 
> visual arts for any upcoming conferences?
>
> Alice Crawford Berghof
>
>
> On Jul 3, 2005, at 1:52 PM, Lewis H Whitaker wrote:
>
>> Dear colleagues:
>>
>> I'm revisiting a project that I've not touched in some time, and 
>> finding
>> some holes in my research. Of course, having put things off until the
>> last minute I've not planned (as I should) for running down details 
>> and
>> checking facts.
>>
>> I'm wondering if someone might know if there is some record of Milton
>> touring St. Peter's Basilica when he visited Rome in 1638. On one hand
>> we often say "no one goes to Rome without visiting St. Peter's" but 
>> I'd
>> prefer to have something factual to back up my claims.
>>
>> Can anyone help?
>>
>> Lewis H Whitaker
>> Department of English
>> Georgia State University
>>
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