The Destruction and Recovery of Monte Cassino, 529-1964
The Destruction and Recovery of Monte Cassino, 529-1964
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Table of Contents
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Prologue: The Oak Tree
Part I: Animus and Anchor
Chapter 1 - An Enigma: The Legend of Saint Benedict
Chapter 2 - The 'Citadel of Campania': Growth and Prosperity
Part II: Rise and Fall
Chapter 3 - A Destiny Repeated: Episodes of Destruction
Chapter 4 - Floreat Semper: Rebuilding, Stone by Stone
Part III: Preservation and Valorization
Chapter 5 - The People's Patrimony: Defining Historical Value
Chapter 6 - A New Europe: Erasing the Destruction
Epilogue: Lighthouse

Reviews and Features

"[...] a thoughtful and deeply appreciative study of an important center of religion and learning that has been in meaningful dialogue with the secular world for almost 1,500 years."
- Charles Hilken, American Benedictine Review, Vol. 73, No. 4

''Rennie’s book provides a compelling history of a unique place on earth, which has been and still is invested with a variety of meanings.''
- Sven Meeder, Radboud University Nijmegen, Early Medieval Europe, 2023, Vol. 31, No. 2

Kriston R. Rennie

The Destruction and Recovery of Monte Cassino, 529-1964

Between the sixth and twentieth centuries, the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino (est. 529) experienced a cycle of atrocities which forever transformed its identity. This book examines how such a tumultuous history has been constructed, remembered, and represented from the Middle Ages to the present day. It uses this singular and pivotal case to analyse the historical process of remembering and its impact on modern representations of the past. Exactly how Monte Cassino is remembered is distinctive and diagnostic. The abbey is recognizable today as a beacon of western civilization, culture, and learning precisely because of its 'destruction tradition' over fourteen centuries. The Destruction and Recovery of Monte Cassino, 529.1964 asks how the abbey’s fragmented past has been ideologically, politically, and culturally constituted and preserved; how its experience with destruction and suffering . and recovery and rebirth . has become incorporated into a modern narrative of progress and triumph.

Kriston R. Rennie

Kriston R. Rennie is Dean, Faculty of Indigenous Studies, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Northern British Columbia.