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Making use of new and original material based on firsthand sources, this book interrogates the vogue for collecting, discussing, depicting, and putting to political and cultural use Roman antiquities in the French Renaissance. It surveys a range of activity from the labors of collectors and patrons to royal entries, considers attacks on the craze for the antique, and sets literary instances among a much wider spectrum of artistic endeavor. While Renaissance collecting and antiquarianism have certainly been the object of critical scrutiny, this study brings disparate fields into a single focus; and it examines not only on areas of antiquarian expertise and interest (such as statues, coins, and books), but also on important individual historical figures. The opening chapters deal with the role played in Rome by French ambassadors, notably Jean Du Bellay and Georges d'Armagnac, who sent back antiques to collectors at court, who undertake excavations, and who, in the person of Du Bellay, assembled a major personal collection, which was housed in a new villa in the ruined Baths of Diocletian.The volume includes a valuable appendix, which presents in transcription catalogs of the collections of Cardinal Jean du Bellay.