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The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance
Joscelyn Godwin
ISBN: 9781578633470
Book (Paperback)
Weiser Books
$19.95
7 3/8 x 9 1/2
304 pages
February 10, 2005


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The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance recounts the almost untold story of how the rediscovery of the pagan, mythological imagination during the Renaissance brought a profound transformation to European culture. This highly illustrated book, available for the first time in paperback, shows that the pagan imagination existed side-by-side -- often uneasily -- with the official symbols, doctrines, and art of the Church. Godwin carefully documents how pagan themes and gods enhanced both public and private life. Palaces and villas were decorated with mythological images; stories, music, and dramatic pageants were written about pagan themes; and landscapes were designed to transform the soul. This was a time of great social and cultural change, when the pagan idea represented nostalgia for a classical world untroubled by the idea of sin and in no need of redemption.

A stunning book with hundreds of photos that bring alive this period with all its rich conflict between Christianity and classicism.

Joscelyn Godwin is a composer, musicologist and translator, known for his work on ancient music, paganism and music in the occult. He is the author of the first complete English language translation (1999) of one of the first illustrated printed texts, the incunabulum Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (1499). He teaches at Colgate University.
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