Next post: He was crowned Holy carved stone Roman Emperor as his reward, but Uon this was soon to spark off a long conflict between church and emperor about who should rule Italy. The capitals are carved with biblical scenes. Knight on Horseback This th century carving from Sovanas I cathedral symbolizes It the conflict between , pope and emperor Hk over control of the church. Chapel of Sant’Agata Like most early churches in Tuscany, the th century octagonal brick chapel in Pisa, with its pyramid shaped roof was built on the grave of a Christian saint martyred by the Romans (see p!). Semi circular chapels with limpet shell roofs are a typical feature of the period. Timeline Totila the Goth attacks Florence Carts used by Charlemagne’s army in battle Lombards conquer northern Italy Charlemagne, King of the Franks, begins a campaign to subjugate the Lombards th century Lombardic gold crown in Museo Archeologico, Florence (see p) Charlemagne crowned Holy Roman Emperor Well preserved early medieval churches are found throughout Tuscany: in San Piero a Grado (seepi); Barga (pi); Lucca (ppl ); San Quirico dOrcia (p); Massa Marittima (p); Sovana (p); San Miniato al Monte in Florence (pl) and in Fiesole (pi). Countess Matilda Matilda, the last of the Margraves, ruled Tuscany in the th century and built many churches in the area.
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The same age, the same class, the same political leanings, the same propensity for yakking too much, even the same physiognomy. They have so much in common that I keep wondering whether Matthews’s moral outrage at the president’s bad behavior isn’t charged with his own fear of having betrayed his grandest ideals in the name of personal ambition. For Matthews is obviously hungry. He says he wants to be a guest lecturer at Harvard. He is obviously unsatisfied with the “small niche” of cable and is known to be looking to preside over a big network show, like his friend and rival Tim Russert (yet another alter ego). He tells me he’d like to do for his kids what tycoon Joseph Kennedy did for Jack, Bobby, and Teddy. His friends laugh or groan about his overweening drive. “Chris has always struck me as a person of high integrity and burning ambition,” says frequent Hardball guest Peggy Noonan, former speechwriter for Reagan. She pauses, then adds, “You will make your life complicated if you have integrity and burning ambition.”
Matthews reminds me of a hero from a fat nineteenth-century novelthe rawboned Irish lad from the provinces who makes his fortune in the big city. Bom in 1945 as the son of a Philadelphia court reporter, he spent his youth with a lower-middle-class kid’s narrow sense of the horizon. He attended College of the Holy Cross and went on to grad school at the University of North Carolina. He was headed toward what he dismissively terms “a regular existence” possibly as a tenured professor at a second-rank university.
What liberated him was the Vietnam War. To avoid the draft, he joined the Peace Corps in the southern African nation of Swaziland, an experience that gave him a thrilling sense of life’s possibilities. Even now, his face brightens when he describes hopping on a Suzuki and heading for the border, stopping only for a cheap dinner and a carafe of wine. “I get back on the bike, and it’s Friday night, and I say to myself, ‘Here I am riding on a motorcycle into Mozambique for the weekend with a little bit of a wine buzz.’ ” He smiles happily. “This [was] really unbelievably adventurous It showed me there was another universe out there, not just the track I was on.” When he returned from Africa, Matthews would no longer settle for a regular existence. Moving to Washington, he began his climb, working for Senator Frank Moss. Over the next fewyears he would quixotically run for Congress in Philadelphia (he lost) and become an aide to Senator Edmund Muskie. Then, in 1979, he signed on as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter, whom Matthews recalls as a good man, an ineffective chief executive, and a politics politics His distinctive blend of the brainy and the braying has made Hardball with Chris Matthews the hottest political show on cable, maybe on TV remote, sometimes frustrating boss: “We’d write jokes for him, and he’d get up at five in the morning and cross them out.” He shakes his head. “Just imagine Carter in there [the Oval Office] at five o’clock in the morning deciding what’s funny.”
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