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The Sack of Rome

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by E. R. Chamberlin

In this account of the sack of Rome in 1527 by an undisciplined army owing only a loose allegiance to the Emperor Charles V, E. R. Chamberlin, the author, who has published several books about Renaissance Italy, is mainly concerned with the political, especially dynastic, background to the event and with its military aspects shows little interest in the consequences of the disaster, and does not examine its place in European history. Of course the claim that it brought the Renaissance to an end in Italy, or at least in Rome, is both stale and exaggerated, yet it continues to be made. Very recently, an introspective portrait by Bronzino of a young man, loaned to the National Gallery, was described as revealing the condition of 'Italy in the years following the sack of Rome'.

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