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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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Anti-Roman Barbarians: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Heinrich von Kleist, C. D. Friedrich, and the Fight against Napoleon in the Ruins of Germania

Anti-Roman Barbarians: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Heinrich von Kleist, C. D. Friedrich, and the Fight against Napoleon in the Ruins of Germania

Chapter:
(p.243) Thirteen Anti-Roman Barbarians: Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Heinrich von Kleist, C. D. Friedrich, and the Fight against Napoleon in the Ruins of Germania
Source:
The Conquest of Ruins
Author(s):

Julia Hell

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226588223.003.0014

In the first chapter of part four, the author shifts the focus to the German case of neo-Roman mimesis. This process paradoxically begins with the anti-Napoleonic movement’s self-description as barbarians. Focusing on the movement’s intellectuals’ and artists’ engagement with Tacitus’s Germania and Virgil’s Aeneid, the author discusses the philosopher Fichte’s reflections on the deadening effect of Roman mimesis, Kleist’s Virgilian text calling for the annihilation of Rome/Paris, and the ruin paintings of Caspar David Friedrich. The chapter then turns to works by the Prussian architect Schinkel and historian Theodor Mommsen. Analyzing Schinkel’s painting of a triumphal arch and Mommsen’s monumental History of Rome, the author captures the beginnings of a shift from anti-Roman struggle to a German Reich framed as neo-Roman empire.

Keywords:   Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Heinrich von Kleist, Caspar David Friedrich, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Theodor Mommsen, Tacitus, anti-Roman barbarian, neo-Roman Reich, triumphal arch

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