Icon (UK) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1837731055
‘In Rome the echoes of the past resound clearly in its palaces and monuments, and in the remains of the ancient imperial city. But another presence has dominated Rome for 2,000 years -the pope, whose actions and influence echo down the ages. In this epic tale, historian Jessica Wärnberg tells, for the first time, the story of Rome through the lens of its popes, illuminating how these remarkable (and unremarkable) men have transformed lives and played a crucial role in deciding the fate of the city.
Emerging as the anonymous leader of a marginal cult in the humblest quarters of the city, less than 300 years later the pope sat enthroned in a gilt basilica, endorsed by the emperor himself. Eventually, the Roman pontiff would supplant even the emperors, becoming the de facto ruler of Rome and pre-eminent leader of the Christian world.
Shifting elegantly between the panoramic and the personal, the spiritual and the profane, this is a fresh and often surprising take on a city, a people and an institution that is at once familiar and elusive.’