We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hadn't been there in four years, and it is always a stimulating visit for us Yankees with our cold, northern European blood.
1. Art does not progress, or improve, or even evolve...it just changes, like fashion.
2. "Duomo" doesn't really translate as "dome" - it generally refers to the seat of the Bishop, as does cattedrale. Other large cities have their duomos.
3. The year a building was built means little: over hundreds of years, they are changed, so that any old building contains the accretions, remodelings and re-decoratings of history. Witness the "modern" facade of the endlessly-photographed Firenze Duomo, which I refuse to photograph: it's faux antique and over-done.
4. In 1400, Firenze was one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world. Making fabric from English wool, leather, but especially banking. It was a seaport: the Arno was navigable up to Firenze until the "bad" Medicis dammed and blocked it for military purposes.
Well, true enough Bird Dog, but the original word to refer to the seat of the bishop was the Latin "cathedra," or in modern Italian, "cattedrale." Duomo can refer to both the cathedral itself or the cathedral dome.