Why does Rome continue to exert a hold on our imagination? How did the "Caput mundi" come to play such a critical role in the development of Western civilization? Ferdinand Addis addresses these questions by tracing the history of the "Eternal City" told through the dramatic key moments in its history: from the mythic founding of Rome in 753 BC, via such landmarks as the murder of Caesar in 44 BC, the coronation of Charlemagne in AD 800 and the reinvention of the imperial ideal, the painting of the Sistine chapel, the trial of Galileo, Mussolini's March on Rome of 1922, the release of Fellini's La Dolce Vita in 1960, and the Occupy riots of 2011. City of the Seven Hills, spiritual home of Catholic Christianity, city of the artistic imagination, enduring symbol of our common European heritage—Rome has inspired, charmed, and tempted empire-builders, dreamers, writers, and travelers across the twenty-seven centuries of its existence. Ferdinand Addis tells this rich story in a grand narrative style for a new generation of readers.
Ferdinand Addis has been fascinated by Rome since reading Livy as a teenager. He studied Classics at Oxford, then worked in film and journalism before giving it up to write history. He lives in East London with his wife and daughter.