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Before the Gregorian ReformThe Latin Church at the Turn of the First Millennium$
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John Howe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452895

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452895.001.0001

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“A White Mantle of Churches”

“A White Mantle of Churches”

(p.86) Chapter 3 “A White Mantle of Churches”
Before the Gregorian Reform

John Howe

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the church building and reconstruction boom in postmillennial Europe, and especially in France and Italy: what Rodulfus Glaber calls a “white mantle of churches.” The new churches proclaimed Romanitas (Romanness) by their construction in stone, Rome's premier building material. They “copied” specific ancient churches, especially Constantine's St. Peter's basilica in Rome and Constantine's Anastasis rotunda above the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. This chapter begins with an overview of the role played by the Ottonian architecture in the transition from Carolingian to Romanesque, along with the Ottonian influence on major churches of the Continent. It then turns to “pre-Romanesque” or “proto-Romanesque” architecture that was evolving in the Mediterranean south before discussing the emergence of the Romanesque architecture in central France. It also considers Glaber's statement that church reconstruction was being undertaken even though the existing churches were for the most part “properly built and not in the least unworthy”.

Keywords:   church building, Europe, France, Italy, Rodulfus Glaber, churches, Ottonian architecture, Mediterranean, Romanesque architecture, church reconstruction

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