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

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Mon Jul 4 18:18:33 EDT 2005


I fear this question may be rudely elementary, but I'd like to understand 
what's at stake. Milton was in Rome for about four months; so I presume "the 
usual supposition" Diane McColley refers to is that JM stepped in to St. 
Peter's for a look and a listen. We have no evidence, but the usual 
supposition is a rational one, and shouldn't require much justification; 
right? The telling thing would be if he did not go in; since that would say 
something quite startling about this author?

Carl

p.s. Does anyone feel they know Milton well enough, and his habits as "a man 
about town" so to speak, to say with some assurance that he would have gone 
in there, or that he would not have?


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Diane McColley" <dmccolley at earthlink.net>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 04, 2005 4:08 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton and St. Peter's Basilica


> 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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