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The Conquest of RuinsThe Third Reich and the Fall of Rome$
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Julia Hell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780226588056

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.001.0001

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Caught Up in “Eternal Repetitions”: Napoleon in Egypt and Rome

Caught Up in “Eternal Repetitions”: Napoleon in Egypt and Rome

(p.198) Ten Caught Up in “Eternal Repetitions”: Napoleon in Egypt and Rome
The Conquest of Ruins

Julia Hell

University of Chicago Press

Chapter ten begins the exploration of the French case of neo-Roman mimesis and its particular deployment of ruin scenes. The author argues that French imperial mimesis consists of three acts, bookended by the Napoleonic conquest of Egypt in 1798 as the first act of French imitation staged among Egypt’s Roman ruins, and the occupation of Rome in 1806, with its designs for the restructuring of the ancient metropole, as the third act. The chapter ends with Joseph Fourier’s introduction to the Description de l’Égypte as a Napoleonic manifesto in the vein of Augustus’s Res Gestae. Fourier rewrites the conquest’s failure as anticipating the success of France’s future ventures. In the process, Fourier rediscovers empire’s time as the time before the end.

Keywords:   Jules Michelet, Luxor obelisk, Ottoman Empire, Napoleon, Egyptian campaign, Joseph Fourier, Description de l’Égypte, occupation of Rome, Roman masquerade, Rome's architectural stage

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