Regarding the spectators of the Bayeux Tapestry: Bishop Odo and his circle

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The entourage of Bishop Odo of Bayeux contained successful entrepreneurs and talented scholars. There was much to interest both groups in the Bayeux Tapestry which he commissioned. The Norman invasion of England is shown as a major logistical exercise for which the principal model was Caesar's invasion of 54 bce. Like the Romans, the Normans became successful colonists and farmed the land. The Tapestry also has epic qualities, recalling the poetic ‘histories’ of antiquity, especially Virgil's Aeneid, which provides parallels for episodes and incidents in the Tapestry also found in the written accounts of the Norman invasion. The rhetorical nature of history itself, ideally vivid, allusive and yet truthful, was receiving critical scrutiny at the time as part of a self-conscious revival of classical narrative styles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-249
Number of pages28
JournalArt History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

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