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The Horses Of St Marks: A Story of Triumph in Byzantium, Paris and Venice [Paperback]

Charles Freeman
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Lucid and engaging (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Freeman, in the best tradition of Herodotus, provides numerous engaging digressions (BBC HISTORY)

Book Description

A mini epic - how a particular set of artistic treasures from the classical world, the horses of St Mark's Basilica, interacted with two thousand years of European history.

From the Author

I have known Venice for over thirty-five years and have longed to write something with the city as a backdrop. The Horses of St.Mark's are an ideal subject as they have come to represent to the Venetians their own national identity. Not only are they beautiful in themselves, they are an extraordinary survival from classical times. Teams of four horses were popular in the ancient world as symbols of triumph and prestige but this is the only set to survive. This book tells their story over eighteen hundred years. It is a story which takes them from Constantinople,where they may have been made, to Venice and even to Napoleon's Paris. I fill in a lot of background-why four horses at all, how were such enormous statues cast, and why were these horses cast in fragile copper not bronze as one would expect (and the guidebooks still tell you). I also give a short history of Venice. So if you are off to the city this year or have been and just want to dream about it -this is the book for you.
The horses are now under cover in St Mark's after claims in the 1970s that they were suffering from pollution. There are hopes that they will be one day restored to the loggia over the main entrance to St Mark's where they stood for nearly eight hundred years. What a great day that will be for Venice- I will certainly be there to see their triumphant return. Meanwhile I hope all you Venice enthusiasts out there enjoy the book! Charles Freeman. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Freeman is the author of THE CLOSING OF THE WESTERN MIND and EGYPT, GREECE AND ROME and organises guided tours in Venice.
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