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THE POPE'S ELEPHANT

BEDINI, SILVIO A.

47 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1879941414 / ISBN 13: 9781879941410
Published by Sanders & Co., 1998
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Nashville: J. Sanders & Co. 1998. First Edition. Illustrated. Appendices, bibliography, index. Cloth, fine copy in fine dust jacket in a mylar protector. Bookseller Inventory # 4318

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Bibliographic Details

Title: THE POPE'S ELEPHANT

Publisher: Sanders & Co.

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

In this tour de force of original scholarship, Silvio Bedini gives us an elephant's-back view of early modern Europe. “Combines offbeat charm with historical rigor to pleasing effect.”―The Independent on Sunday.

Review:

In early 16th century Rome, at the height of the Italian Renaissance, when artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo thrived in the Holy City, the decadent court of Pope Leo X was a place where visitors could find pleasures and entertainment more exotic than anything they had previously imagined. Among the Pope's great joys was his menagerie of exotic animals, and the prize of his collection was an Indian elephant named Hanno, presented to him by the King of Portugal. The Pope's Elephant by Silvio A. Bedini, historian emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution, describes Hanno's powerful effect on the Papal Court and on the Roman citizenry. This elephant--trained to kneel, dance, weep, and trumpet on command--led parades and entertained at public festivals and was commemorated in paintings, poetry, and sculpture. For Romans, Hanno became the preeminent symbol of the alluring Orient; for Pope Leo's detractors, the elephant became a symbol of Roman corruption. Bedini's rigorous research and eager enthusiasm for his subject and his judicious selection of whimsical illustrations make reading The Pope's Elephant a quirky and delightful pastime. --Michael Joseph Gross

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