This edited collection focuses on how the ancient past of the city of Naples has been invented, shaped, transmitted, and received in literature, art, and material culture since the time of the city's foundation. Adopting a chronological approach, chapters examine important moments in Naples' reception history from the Roman period (when the city was already several centuries old) to the present day.
Among the topics covered are representations of the city's early history and mythology in texts and temples of the Roman period; later uses of Roman spolia (marble sculptures and architectural elements) in Christian churches; the importance of antiquity to the rulers of the Angevin and Swabian periods; the appropriation of the city's classical heritage by Renaissance humanists; the image of the 'local' poets Virgil and Statius in later eras; humanist images of the ancient aqueducts and catacombs that ran beneath the city; representations of classical monuments in early modern city guides; images of ancient ruins in contemporary Catholic nativity scenes; and the archaeology and philosophy of the city's Metro system.
The contents list can be found on the Oxford University Press website. A pre-print version of my chapter (on classical ruins in Neapolitan nativity scenes) is posted on the Articles section of this website.
And here’s a blog post I wrote for the OUP website, Six people who helped to make Naples great.
Below I've pasted a review of the book written by Peter Stothard in the Times Literary Supplement. (NB. The text was taken from an internet archive so apologies for the formatting issues!]
The book was also reviewed in the Italian paper La Repubblica