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- A time period between 1350 and 1550 which was considered as
- a rebirth of antiquity or Greco-Roman civilization and began in Italy than
- spread north. This new age followed the Middle Ages, which was characterized by
- darkness, lacking Classical culture. This era brought with it improvements in
- education, health, science, art, morals, and emphasized the importance of
- religion. The people of the Renaissance pushed the limit of what was possible,
- inventing many things and conceiving several ideas that would ultimately change
- how humans view the world. Importance:
- The Renaissance altered many views of the world for the better and helped
- advance human technology, artwork, and interactions.
- He wrote The
- Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, and in it, portrayed the 14th
- and 15th centuries as a new distinct age that revived the ancient
- worlds of Greece and Rome, glorified the individual, and secularized the
- Italian world. Burckhardt believed this was the beginning of modern world but
- failed to show the continuing importance of religion. Importance: Burckhardt is responsible for the belief that the
- Renaissance is considered a distinct period in European history that started in
- Italy and then spread north.
Leon Battista Alberti
- was a fifteenth-century Florentine architect who once said, “Men can do all
- things if they will.” This statement inspired high regard for human dignity and
- worth and a realization of individual potentiality, which created a new social
- ideal of the well-rounded person (l’uomo universale). Importance: Leon Battista Alberti revived emphasis on individual
- The Hanseatic League, also known as the Hansa, was formed as
- early as the thirteenth century by a number of North German towns. It was a
- commercial and military association. By 1500 the League had more than eighty
- cities across England and northern Europe, including Denmark, Norway, and
- Sweden. For almost two hundred years the Hansa controlled almost all of
- northern European trades, such as timber, fish, grain, metals, honey, and
- wines. In the fifteenth century, the Hansa lost control over the trade market
- and was unable to compete with the developing larger territorial states. Importance: The Hanseatic League had
- control over most trade in Europe for almost two centuries.
House of Medici
- It was the greatest fifteenth-century bank in Europe. The
- family began with cloth production then expanded into commerce, real estate,
- and banking and controlled ports of industrial enterprises. Importance: It was thanks to the Medici family and the House of Medici
- that Florence regained power in banking during the fifteenth century.
Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier
- This book best expressed certain ideals that came to be
- expected of the aristocrat by 1500. It was first published in 1528, soon became
- popular throughout Europe and remained a fundamental handbook for European
- aristocrats for centuries. Castiglione described the three basic attributes of
- the perfect courtier, including certain achievements, character, fighting
- ability, a Classical education, a talent in the arts, and were expected to
- follow a certain standard of conduct. Importance:
- Book of the Courtier taught the
- standards of being an aristocrat in Europe for centuries to come.
- Were leaders of mercenary soldiers who sold their services
- to the highest bidder. City-states came to rely on them to fight most of their
- battles. When not engaged in battle, the condottieri wreaked havoc on the
- countryside, living by blackmail and looting. Importance: The condottieri allowed the city-states and regional states
- to continue to fight without forming armies of their own.
- He was a condottieri who turned on his Milanese employers,
- conquered the city, and became its new duke. He worked to create a highly
- centralized territorial state. He also made a system of taxation that generated
- enormous revenues for the government. Importance:
- Showed that the condottieri were more powerful than expected and capable of
- overthrowing their employers.
- He took control of the republic of Florence in 1434.
- Although his family upheld the republican forms of government for appearances’
- sake, it ran the government from behind the scenes. Cosimo, and later his
- grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent, dominated the city at a time when Florence
- was the center of the cultural Renaissance. Importance: He and his family controlled one of the most influential
- cities of Italy during the Renaissance.
The Papal States
- They were lands that were only nominally under the political
- control of the popes. Avignon and the Great Schism had enabled individual
- cities and territories, such as Urbino, Bologna, and Ferrara, to become
- independent. The Renaissance popes of the fifteenth century used much of their
- power to try to reestablish their control over the Papal States. Importance: The Papal States showed that
- it was possible to break free from oppressive rulers.
- She was perhaps the most famous of the Renaissance ruling
- women and was the daughter of the duke of Ferrara. Isabella was educated at the
- brilliant court of Ferrara, which was another important center of art and
- learning in the Renaissance, and was known for her intelligence and political
- wisdom. She attracted artists and intellectuals from all around Europe and was
- responsible for amassing one of the finest libraries in all of Italy. She
- effectively ruled Mantua and won a reputation as a clever negotiator. Importance: Isabella was a very important
- influence during the Renaissance and was a significant woman leader.
Peace of Lodi and balance
- The concept of a balance of power was designed to prevent
- the aggrandizement of any one state at the expense of the others. After 1545,
- when the Italian states signed the Peace of Lodi (ending almost a half-century
- of war and inaugurating a relatively peaceful forty-year era in Italy), is when
- this concept became especially relevant. Importance:
- The Peace of Lodi ended a long lasting war and balance of power was a concept
- that caused peace itself.
1527 sack of Rome
- The sacking of Rome by the armies of the Spanish caused king
- Charles I to bring a temporary end to the Italian wars. Although it was on
- Italian ground, Rome was simply a convenient arena for two great powers (Spain
- and France) to fight battles. Importance:
- After the 1527 sack of Rome, the Spaniards dominated Italy.
Machiavelli’s The Prince
- Is one of the most famous and most widely read Western
- treatises on politics. It described the acquisition and expansion of political
- power as the means to restore and maintain order in his time. It also showed
- how a ruler ought to behave based on Christian moral principles. Importance: The Prince gives concrete expression to the Renaissance
- preoccupation with political power.
- Humanism was an intellectual movement base on the study of
- the Classical literary works of Greece and Rome. It focused on the studies of
- humanity, grammar, rhetoric, poetry, moral philosophy or ethics, and history,
- all based on the writings of ancient Greek and Roman authors. In civic humanism
- however, intellectuals began o take a new view of their role as intellectuals.
- This movement began in Florence in the fifteenth century. It became the ideal
- that it was the duty of an intellectual to live n active life for one’s state.
- Civic humanism reflected the values of the urban society of their study of the
- Italian Renaissance. Importance: Civic
- humanism changed the way intellectuals acted and altered what they studied.
- He has often been called the father of Italian Renaissance
- humanism. Petrarch refused to become a lawyer and took up a literary career
- instead. He did more than any other individual in the fourteenth century to
- foster the development of Renaissance humanism. He was the first intellectual
- to characterize the Middle Ages as a period of darkness. He emphasized the
- humanists to use pure Classical Latin. Importance:
- Petrarch was one of the most instrumental intellectuals in the beginning of
- Renaissance humanism.
Leonardo Bruni’s The
- Was a biography on Cicero enthusiastic about the fusion of
- political action and literary creation in Cicero’s life. Cicero served as the
- inspiration for the Renaissance ideal that it was the duty of an intellectual
- to live an active life for one’s state because of this book. Importance: Influenced the lives of
- He was brought up in Rome and educated in both Latin and
- Greek. He eventually achieved his chief ambition of becoming a papal secretary.
- His major work, The Elegances of the
- Latin Language, was an effort to purify medieval Latin and restore Latin to
- its proper position over the vernacular. The treatise examined the proper use
- of Classical Latin and created a new literary standard. Valla identified
- different stages in the development of the Latin language and accepted only the
- Latin of the last century of the Roman Republic and the first century of the
- empire. Importance: Valla played a
- strong role in the study of the Latin language.
Marsilio Ficino and neoplatonism
- Marsilio was a man who was a leader of the Florentine
- Platonic Academy. He dedicated his life to the translation of Plato and the
- exposition of the Platonic philosophy known as Neoplatonism. Neoplatonism
- postulated the idea of a hierarchy of substances, or great chain of being, from
- the lowest form of physical matter (plants) to the purest spirit (God), in
- which humans occupied a central or middle position. They were a link between
- the physical world and the material world. Importance:
- Ficino shaped the understanding of meaning of humans through neoplatonism.
- It was another product of the Florentine intellectual
- environment of the late fifteenth century. The Hermetic manuscripts contained
- two kinds of writing. One stressing the occult sciences with an emphasis on
- astrology, alchemy, and magic. The other focused on theological and philosophical
- beliefs and speculations. Importance:
- Hermeticism also shaped the way humans thought of the world.
Pico della Mirandola’s Oration
- It was one of the most famous pieces of writing of the
- Renaissance. In it, Pico offered a ringing statement of unlimited human
- potential: “To him it is granted to have whatever he chooses, to be whatever he
- wills.” In Oration, Mirandola
- condenses the work of many philosophers of different backgrounds and condenses
- them into “nuggets of universal truth.” Importance:
- Oration provided Europe with a single
- place for all excepted ideas to reside in.
- It was the core of the academic training that Vittorino
- offered. The Renaissance view of the value of the liberal arts was most
- strongly influenced by a treatise on education called Concerning Character, which stressed the importance of liberal
- studies as the key to true freedom, enabling individuals to reach their full
- potential. They included history, moral philosophy, eloquence, grammar and
- logic, poetry, mathematics, astronomy, and music. Its purpose was to produce
- individuals who followed a path of virtue and wisdom. Importance: Liberal studies educated many in aspects of wisdom that
- allowed them a better path in life.
- He has been called by some Renaissance scholars the greatest
- historian between the first century and the eighteenth century. Through his
- works he represented the beginning of “modern analytical historiography.” He
- felt that the purpose of writing history was to teach lessons. His works relied
- heavily on personal examples and documentary sources. Importance: Guicciardini was able to analyze important political
- situations precisely and critically, explaining their history in a way that
- made much more sense.
- played an important role in bringing the development of printing from movable
- type to completion. Gutenberg’s Bible, completed in 1455 or 1456, was the first
- true book in the West produced from movable type. Importance: Gutenberg helped make printing from movable type possible.
- He was a famous artist who had taken up the challenge of
- imitating nature which had not been attempted in some time. His cycle of
- frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel has long been regarded as the first masterpiece
- of Early Renaissance art. He created a new realistic style of art through his
- various different strategies for portraying nature. Importance: Masaccio created a new version of art that was more
- realistic and true to nature for many other artists to follow.
Lorenzo the Magnificent
- Was a circle of artists that added a new sense of invention
- in Florence. One of the group’s prominent members, Sandro Botticelli, had an
- interest in Greek and Roman mythology and painted Primavera (Spring) along with
- other famous works. Importance: Lorenzo
- the Magnificent helped aid the surge of new inventions.
- This is one of his most famous paintings set in the garden
- of Venus, the garden of eternal spring. Importance:
- His painting possessed out-of-this-world qualities far from realism that
- characterized the painting of the Early Renaissance.
- David was the first life-size, freestanding bronze nude in
- European art and may have celebrated Florentine heroism. It radiated strength
- that reflected the dignity of humanity. Importance:
- David is a great example of the Renaissance advances in sculpture and the
- simplicity that should be present in humanity.
- The dome Brunelleschi created was a challenge. Instructed to
- build a dome for the unfinished cathedral of Florence, Brunelleschi used new
- techniques and machinery to create a 140-foot opening dome. Importance: This architectural creation was
- born from the inspirations of Roman antiquity and is a historical triumph of that
- time period.
- This is the final stage of Renaissance art, which flourished
- between 1480 and 1520 and was dominated by the work of Leonardo da Vinci,
- Raphael, and Michelangelo. The increasing importance of Rome as a new cultural
- center of the Italian Renaissance marked the shift to the High Renaissance. Importance: At this point in the
- Renaissance, artists were ready to move into individualistic forms of creative
- expression. There was a preoccupation with the idealization of nature and
- portraying scenes exactly.
Leonardo da Vinci
- He was a brilliant artist who stressed the need to advance
- beyond realism and carried on fifteenth century experimental tradition. Importance: Leonardo da Vinci was a
- transitional figure in the shift to High Renaissance principles. He triggered
- many of the shifts that occurred in the art of High Renaissance.
- He was regarded as one of Italy’s best painters of the time
- period. Importance: His paintings were
- acclaimed for achieving an ideal of beauty far surpassing human standards. Some
- even revealed the underlying principles of the art in the classical world of
- Greece and Rome.
- He was an accomplished painter, sculptor, and architect of
- the High Renaissance. He created masterpieces such as David, a masterpiece that
- proclaimed the beauty and glory of human beings. Importance: Michelangelo created art that truly manifested human beauty
- through his remarkable number of projects.
Sistine Chapel’s David
- Michelangelo’s David was cut fro an eighteen foot high piece
- of marble and completed in 1504. It was the largest sculpture in Italy since
- the time of Rome. Importance: David
- celebrates the beauty of the human body and serves as a remarkable symbol of
- the glory of human power.
Bramante and Saint Peter’s
- Bramante was an architect who designed a small temple that
- encompassed the architectural ideas of the High Renaissance. This achievement
- led Pope Julius II to commission him to design what eventually became St.
- Peter’s. Importance: Bramante recaptured
- the grandeur of Ancient Rome with his design. His creations are accomplishments
- of High Renaissance architecture.
Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of
- Vasari was an avid admirer of Italy’s great artists and
- wrote a series of brief biographies about them. Lives of Artists was his book
- of such biographies. Importance:
- Vasari’s accounts further demonstrated the pedestal upon which Renaissance
- artists stood. He was one of many that view artists as creative geniuses with
- God-given, divine qualities.
- The art of the Northern Renaissance featured the same wish
- to portray the world as exactly as possible. The human form became a primary
- vehicle of expression and northern artists became masters of detail. Importance: Northern Renaissance artists
- depicted accurate visuals through precise details while placing great emphasis
- on emotional intensity. These style influenced art to come.
Jan van Eyck
- Another artist of the Northern Renaissance, van Eyck was the
- first to use oil paint and possessed great attention to detail. His most famous
- piece is Giovanni Arnolfini & his Bride. Importance: Jan van Eyck’s art portrays the style of the Northern Renaissance
- with his precise detail and uncertain understanding of perception, a trait that
- was common throughout the time period.
- He was an artist who observed the art in Italy and wrote
- detailed treaties on both High Renaissance and Northern Renaissance art. He
- integrated both styles into his own art. Importance:
- By combining attention to detail and mastery of perception, Durer was able to
- achieve a standard of ideal beauty by a careful examination of the human form.
- They were poems set to music used in the Mass and the chief
- form of secular music in Italy and France. Importance:
- Madrigals used text painting that helped portray the literal meaning of the
- text and spread all throughout Europe.
- This is how the governments of France, England, and Spain
- were described at the end of the fifteenth century. Rulers established a
- centralized royal authority. Importance:
- Western Europe succeeded more than Eastern Europe when it came to the
- organization of monarchies.
Louis XI the Spider and Henry VII
- Louis XI, known as the Spider because of his devious ways,
- greatly advanced the development of French territorial states. He retained the
- taille, but could not successfully repress French nobility. Henry VII
- established a strong monarchial government by controlling the noble’s
- irresponsible activity and being extremely intelligent when it came to
- extracting money. Importance: Louis XI
- is believed to have created a base for the later development of a strong French
- monarchy. Henry VII was a very smart ruler who left England with a stable and
- prosperous government and an enhanced status.
Ferdinand and Isabella
- Both people ruled the two strongest Spanish kingdoms: Aragon
- and Castile. When they married, they maintained separated kingdoms, but worked
- together to create a strong Spanish army, control the Catholic Church, expel
- 150,000 out of 200,000 Jews, and achieve their goal of absolute religious
- orthodoxy (Catholicism). Importance:
- Their union laid the foundation for the unification of Spain and its rise as a
- major European power. They instituted military and bureaucratic reforms and
- forced Jews and Muslims out of their domain.
- It was decreed in 1478 to guarantee the orthodoxy of
- Catholic converts but had no authority over practicing Jews. This was done
- because some Jews were going from Catholicism back to Judaism. It worked with
- cruel efficiency and led to the expulsion of 75% of the Jews from Spain. Importance: The Spanish Inquisition
- enforced a uniform policy that to be Spanish was to be Catholic, and led to
- Spain becoming the staunch pillar of the Catholic Church during the Reformation
- They were one of the wealthiest landowners in the Holy Roman
- Empire who were successful due to a well-executed policy of dynastic marriages.
- Importance: When the Holy Roman Empire
- was still possessed by Habsburgs in 1438, it began to play an important role in
- European affairs. Their marriages made the dynasty an international power and
- brought the opposition of the French monarchy.
- He was a great prince, under which a new Russian state,
- called the principality of Moscow, was born. Importance: Ivan III annexed other Russian principalities and took
- advantage of the dissension between the Mongols, throwing them off by 1480 and
- creating the new Russian state.
Constantinople and 1453
- Constantinople was a place of battle for hundreds of years.
- Many empires fought to posses it seeing as it was a place of intellectual and
- social development. 1453 completed the demise of the Byzantine Empire. Importance: Constantinople was the cause of
- destruction for many empires, and in the year of 1453 it caused the decimation
- of the Byzantine Empire.
John Wyclif and John Hus
- Wyclif had a disgust with clerical corruption that led him
- to make a far-ranging attack on papal authority and medieval Christian beliefs
- and practices. Hus urged the elimination of the worldliness and corruption of
- the clergy and attacked the excessive power of the papacy within the Catholic
- Church. Importance: Both Wyclif and Hus
- stood up to the clergy and led movements of citizens against its corrupt ways.
Pius II Execrabilis
- Pope Pius II’s Excecrabilis condemned appeals to a council
- over the head of a pope as heretical. Importance:
- Execrabilis caused popes to no longer have any possibility of asserting
- supremacy over temporal governments as the medieval papacy had.
- The popes of the Renaissance began with those from the end
- of the Great Schism (1417) to the beginnings of the Reformation in the early
- sixteenth century. They were great patrons of Renaissance culture, and their
- efforts made Rome a cultural leader at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Importance: The Renaissance Popes helped in
- the reformation of the church itself along with leading a continent as
- spiritual and cultural leaders.