Once in control, he promulgated laws of succession to give himself a cloak of legitimacy so that his son or another family member might succeed him. Indeed, some inhabitants of the state would see him as legitimate and be content to be ruled by him. Princely power was seldom absolute. Most princes depended on some accommodation with powerful forces within the state, typically the nobility or the merchant community.
Many small princedoms depended on the good will of more powerful states beyond their borders to survive, and this limited options in foreign policy. And the prince's rule was always uneasy, which was one reason he relied on hired mercenary troops in war, instead of a militia created from his subjects. However achieved, what mattered most was that the prince possessed effective power to promulgate and enforce laws, to collect taxes, to defeat foreign invaders, and to quell rebellion.
If the prince commanded the affection and loyalty of his subjects, this made his task easier. A monarchy was a princedom sanctioned by a much longer tradition, stronger institutions, and greater claims of legitimacy for its rulers. Monarchies typically were larger than princedoms and ruled subjects speaking multiple languages and dialects. Monarchies usually had developed laws and rules that determined the succession in advance. Only when the succession was broken through the lack of a legitimate heir, a bitter dispute within the ruling family, or overthrow by a foreign power was a monarch displaced by another.
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Monarchies grew in power and size in the Renaissance. The Tudor monarchy of England three kings and two queens from to made England, previously a small, strife-torn, and remote part of Europe, into a major force. After the conclusion of the Hundred Years' War with England — , France under the Valois dynasty ruled to became a powerful and rich state.
Conflicts between territorial monarchies dominated international politics and war in the Renaissance. The smallest and most unusual political unit was the city-state consisting of a major town or city and its surrounding territory of farms and villages. Oligarchies, usually drawn from the merchant elite of the town, ruled republics. Flanked by the professional classes, the merchant community first dominated the commerce of the city.
Then in the Middle Ages they threw off the authority of prince, king, or emperor. In their place the merchants created a system of government through interlocking and balanced councils. Large deliberative assemblies, comprising of one hundred, two hundred, or more adult males, elected or chosen by lot, debated and created laws. Executive committees, often six, eight, or a dozen men elected for two to six months, put the laws into action. Short terms of office and rules against self-succession made it possible for several hundred or more adult males to participate in government in a few years.
The system of balanced and diffused power ensured that no individual or family could control the city. It was a government of balanced power and mutual suspicion. Borrowing terminology and legal principles from ancient Roman law and local tradition, the men who formed oligarchies called their governments " republican " and their states "republics. But they were still oligarchies, because only 5 to 20 percent of the adult males of the city could vote or hold office.
Members of government almost always came from the leading merchants, manufacturers, bankers, and lawyers. Some republics permitted shopkeepers and master craftsmen to participate as well. But workers, the propertyless, clergymen, and other middle and low groups in society were excluded. Occasionally the laws conceded to them extraordinary powers in times of emergency. Those living in the countryside and villages outside the city walls had neither a role in government nor the right to choose their rulers.
Indeed, the city often exploited them financially and in other ways. Some city-state republics were small in comparison with monarchies and princedoms. But the Republic of Venice commanded an overseas empire of considerable size and commercial importance, while Florence's merchants and bankers played a large role in international trade, and the city participated forcefully in Italian politics. Renaissance Europe presented a constantly shifting political scene. No government escaped external threats and very few avoided internal challenge. The numerous weak small states tempted powerful rulers and states.
Despite their eloquent proclamations in defense of the liberty of states and citizens, republics were just as aggressive in conquering their weaker neighbors as were princedoms, while monarchies were always on the watch for another princedom, landed noble estate, or republic to absorb. It was the same within the state. Some powerful group or individual within the state would attempt through force or stealth to take control and change its nature.
Many succeeded. The maneuvering for advantage, the shifting diplomatic alliances, plots, threats of war, and military actions made Renaissance politics extremely complex. Two broad political developments prevailed. Princedoms grew in number and strength, and more powerful states, especially monarchies, absorbed smaller states. Republican city-states became princedoms, as a powerful individual or family within the city took control while maintaining a facade of republican institutions and councils. The gradual transformation of the Republic of Florence into a princedom ruled by members of the Medici family is the classic example.
Meanwhile, princedoms fell into the hands of monarchies through military action or dynastic marriages. Three examples will suffice. France and the Habsburgs divided the Duchy of Burgundy between them when its duke, Charles the Bold , was killed in battle in , leaving no male heir; Spain took control of the Kingdom of Naples by military force in ; and Spain absorbed the Duchy of Milan as the result of an alliance when the Duke Francesco II Sforza died without an heir in Strong republics also grew at the expense of their neighbors.
The Republic of Venice conquered almost all the independent towns and small princedoms in northeastern Italy in the first half of the fifteenth century in its successful drive to create a mainland state. Small states survived at the price of careful neutrality, which avoided giving offense to more powerful neighbors, or by aligning themselves with larger powers.
Such alliances came at a price. The small state lacked an independent foreign policy and might itself become a victim if the larger state fell. The very complex and ever-shifting political reality stimulated the rapid development of diplomacy. The resident ambassador, that is, a permanent representative of one government to another, was a Renaissance innovation. He went to live in the capital city or court of another state where he conveyed messages between his government and the host government.
Or to use the words that Sir Henry Wotton — , the English ambassador to Venice, supposedly wrote in , "a resident ambassador is a good man sent to tell lies abroad for his country's good. Ambassadorial reports full of every kind of information are invaluable sources for modern scholars studying the Renaissance. The reports of papal nuncios and Venetian ambassadors are particularly useful. The instability of forms of government, the many wars, and the fluidity of international politics stimulated an enormous amount of discussion about politics, including several masterpieces of political philosophy.
Numerous humanists wrote treatises advising a prince or king how he might be a good prince, work for the good of his people, and, as a result, see his state and himself prosper. Erasmus wrote the most famous one, Institutio Principis Christiani ; Education of a Christian prince.
Vernacular literatures flourished in the Renaissance even though humanists preferred Latin. People spoke and sometimes wrote a variety of regional dialects with haphazard spelling and multiple vocabularies. Nevertheless, thanks to the adoption of the vernacular by some governments, the printing press, and the creation of literary masterpieces, significant progress toward elegant and standard forms of modern vernaculars occurred. German was typical. German-speaking lands inherited many varieties of German from the Middle Ages.
In the fifteenth century some state chanceries began to use German instead of Latin. Hence, versions of German associated with the chanceries of more important states, including the East Middle Saxon dialect used in the chancery of the electorate of Saxony, became more influential. Next, printing encouraged writers and editors to standardize orthography and usage in order to reach a wider range of readers. Most important, Martin Luther — published a German translation of the Bible New Testament in ; complete Bible in , which may have had three hundred editions and over half a million printed copies by , an enormous number at a time of limited literacy.
And many began to imitate his style. Literary academies concerned about correct usage, vocabulary, and orthography rose in the seventeenth century to create dictionaries. A reasonably standardized German literary language had developed, though the uneducated continued to speak regional dialects. Similar changes took place in other parts of Europe, with the aid of Renaissance authors and their creations. In Italy three Tuscan authors, Dante Alighieri — — medieval in thought but using Tuscan brilliantly — Petrarch, and Giovanni Boccaccio — began the process.
Literary arbiters, such as Pietro Bembo — insisted on a standard Italian based on the fourteenth-century Tuscan of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Major sixteenth-century writers, including Ludovico Ariosto — , Baldassare Castiglione — , and Torquato Tasso — , agreed. None of the three was Tuscan, but each tried to write, and sometimes rewrote, their masterpieces in a more Tuscan Italian.
Then the Accademia della Crusca founded in Florence in the s published a dictionary. Tuscan became modern Italian. William Shakespeare — and three English translations of the Bible, that of William Tyndale printed and , the Geneva Bible of , and the King James Bible of , had an enormous influence on English. The writers and dramatists of the Spanish Golden Age , particularly Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra — , did the same for the Castilian version of Spanish. Art is undoubtedly the best-loved and -known part of the Renaissance. The Renaissance produced an extraordinary amount of art, and the role of the artist differed from that in the Middle Ages.
The Renaissance had a passion for art. Commissions came from kings, popes, princes, nobles, and lowborn mercenary captains. Leaders commissioned portraits of themselves, of scenes of their accomplishments, such as successful battles, and of illustrious ancestors. Cities wanted their council halls decorated with huge murals, frescoes, and tapestries depicting great civic moments. Monasteries commissioned artists to paint frescoes in cells and refectories that would inspire monks to greater devotion. And civic, dynastic, and religious leaders hired architects to erect buildings at enormous expense to beautify the city or to serve as semipublic residences for leaders.
Such art was designed to celebrate and impress. A remarkable feature of Renaissance art was the heightened interaction between patron and artist. Patrons such as Lorenzo de' Medici — of Florence and popes Julius II reigned — and Leo X reigned — were active and enlightened patrons.
The beginnings of prose
They proposed programs, or instructed humanists to do it for them, for the artists to follow. At the same time, the results show that they did not stifle the artists' originality. Men and women of many social levels had an appetite for art. The wealthy merchant wanted a painting of Jesus, Mary, or saints, with small portraits of members of his family praying to them, for his home.
A noble might provide funding to decorate a chapel in his parish church honoring the saint for whom he was named. Members of the middle classes and probably the working classes wanted small devotional paintings.
To meet the demand, enterprising merchants organized the mass production of devotional images, specifying the image typically Mary, Jesus crucified, or patron saint , design, color, and size. It is impossible to know how many small devotional paintings and illustrated prints were produced, because most have disappeared. Major art forms, such as paintings, sculptures, and buildings, have attracted the most attention, but works in the minor arts, including furniture, silver and gold objects, small metal works, table decorations, household objects, colorful ceramics, candlesticks, chalices, and priestly vestments were also produced in great abundance.
The new styles came from Italy, and Italy produced more art than any other part of Europe. Art objects of every sort were among the luxury goods that Italy produced and exported. It also exported artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci , who died at the French court.
The ancient world of Rome and Greece, as interpreted by the humanists, greatly influenced Renaissance art. Artists and humanists studied the surviving buildings and monuments, read ancient treatises available for the first time, and imbibed the humanist emphasis on man and his actions and perceptions, plus the habit of sharp criticism of medieval styles. Stimulated by the ancients, Renaissance artists were the first in European history to write extensively about art and themselves. Leon Battista Alberti — wrote treatises on painting and on architecture ; Raphael wrote a letter to Pope Leo X c.
Giorgio Vasari 's — Lives of the Artists first edition , revised edition was a series of biographies of Renaissance artists accompanied by his many comments about artistic styles. It was the first history of art. The silversmith Benvenuto Cellini — wrote about artistic practices and much more about himself, much of it probably fictitious, in his Autobiography, written between and The social and intellectual position of the artist changed in the Renaissance.
The artist began as a craftsman, occupying a relatively low social position and tied to his guild, someone who followed local traditions and produced paintings for local patrons. He became a self-conscious creator of original works of art with complex schemes, a person who conversed with humanists and negotiated with kings and popes. Successful artists enjoyed wealth and honors, such as the knighthood that Emperor Charles V conferred on Titian Tiziano Vercelli, c. The Renaissance was a hierarchical age in which the social position of a child's parents largely determined his or her place in society.
Yet it was a variegated society, with nobles, commoners, wealthy merchants, craftsmen, shopkeepers, workers, peasants, prelates, parish priests, monks in monasteries, nuns in convents, civil servants, men of the professional classes, and others. It was an age of conspicuous consumption and great imbalances of wealth. But Renaissance society also provided social services for the less fortunate. Ecclesiastical, lay, and civic charitable institutions provided for orphans, the sick, the hungry, and outcast groups, such as prostitutes and the syphilitic ill. Although social mobility was limited, a few humble individuals rose to the apex of society.
Francesco Sforza — , a mercenary soldier of uncertain origins, became duke of Milan in and founded his own dynasty. Renaissance Europe had considerable cultural and intellectual unity, greater than it had in the centuries of the Middle Ages or would again until the European Economic Union of the late twentieth century.
A common belief in humanism and humanistic education based on the classics created much of it. The preeminence of Italy also helped because Italians led the way in humanism, art, the techniques of diplomacy, and even the humble business skill of double-entry bookkeeping. The prolonged Habsburg-Valois conflict, often called the Italian Wars — because much of the fighting occurred in Italy, and, above all, the Protestant Reformation began to crack that unity.
Moreover, many typical Renaissance impulses had spent their force by the early seventeenth century. The great revival of the learning of ancient Greece and Rome had been assimilated, and humanism was no longer the driving force behind philosophical and scientific innovation. Italy no longer provided artistic, cultural, and scientific leadership, except in music, as a group of Florentine musicians created lyric opera around Europe began a new age on the eve of the Thirty Years' War — More powerful monarchies with different policies ushered in a different era of politics and war.
Exuberant baroque art and architecture of the seventeenth century were not the same as the restrained, classicizing art of the previous two centuries. The universities of Europe were no longer essential for training Europe's elite and hosting innovative research. France would be the military, literary, and stylistic leader of the different Europe of the seventeenth century. Brand, Peter, and Lino Pertile, eds. The Cambridge History of Italian Literature. Cambridge, U. See articles on Renaissance authors and genres. Burns, J. The Cambridge History of Political Thought, — Copenhaver, Brian P.
Renaissance Philosophy. Oxford and New York , Excellent one-volume survey. Ferguson, Wallace K. New York , Classic study of the concept of the Renaissance from the fourteenth century to the twentieth. Grendler, Paul F. Schooling in Renaissance Italy: Literacy and Learning, — Baltimore and London, Explains humanistic education. The Universities of the Italian Renaissance. Survey of all sixteen universities and curriculum changes, — Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. Nearly 1, articles and illustrations on every aspect of the Renaissance.
Hall, A. The Revolution in Science, — London and New York, Good survey. Hardin, James, and Max Reinhart, eds. German Writers of the Renaissance and Reformation, — Detroit , Hays, Denys, and John E. Italy in the Age of the Renaissance, — Hirsch, Rudolf. Printing, Selling and Reading, — Wiesbaden, Excellent short account of the first century of printing. Kristeller, Paul Oskar. New York, Pioneering account of humanism by the most important twentieth-century scholar of the Renaissance.
Lynch, John. Spain under the Habsburgs. Oxford, Mattingly, Garrett. Renaissance Diplomacy. Boston, , with many reprints. Classic study not yet superseded. McFarlane, I. Renaissance France, — Survey of French literature. Rabil, Albert, Jr. Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy. Philadelphia, Articles on humanism everywhere in Europe. Schmitt, Charles B. The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Comprehensive coverage. Snyder, James. Stephens, John. Turner, Jane S.
Encyclopedia of Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art. Part of the volume Dictionary of Art Wear, A. French, and I. Lonie, eds. The Medical Renaissance of the Sixteenth Century. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. September 21, Retrieved September 21, from Encyclopedia.
Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia. In the twentieth century, those studying other European nations sought to document outside Italy the presence of both a renaissance of arts and letters and the Burckhardtian characteristics of Renaissance civilization.
The Renaissance, especially in American humanities courses on "Western" civilization and to members of the Renaissance Society of America founded , became a full period concept for European civilization from Petrarch to Milton, including trade routes and colonization. Medievalists, led by Charles Homer Haskins , researched a succession of medieval renaissances Carolingian, Ottonian, twelfth century , suggesting that the fourteenth-and fifteenth-century Renaissance may be viewed as an extension of late medieval culture.
Nevertheless, Erwin Panofsky in Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art argued that the Italian Renaissance differed from the earlier ones in that the revived classical heritage became a permanent possession and ancient forms were reunified with ancient content; to experience Panofsky's point, visit in the renovated Galleria Borghese in Rome the succession of rooms of pagan gods such as Venus or Hermaphrodite.
Petrarch, who was a practical gardener, viewed the rebirth of culture as plants regrowing in the sunlight of spring. Petrarch's French disciple Nicolas de Clamanges refers to flowers together with the Latin term renasci, meaning "to grow again" or "to be reborn. Borrowing from the ancient vegetative imagery, such as the older Cato's image of a broken clover regrowing and Pliny's examples of vegetative matter regrowing as sprouts, humanists praised the work of fourteenth-century Italian artists and writers.
Northern humanists continued a strategy of nourishing, cultivating, and transplanting from classical texts and images the seeds of virtue and knowledge. Burckhardt claimed "the Italian Renaissance must be called the mother of our modern age" and described its six major characteristics: the vision of the state as a work of art in both princedoms breeding egocentric leaders and republics breeding new independent individuals; the development of the individual — newly subjective, conscious of fame, and multi-faceted; the revival of antiquity, especially ancient Latin culture; the discovery of the world and of humanity as evidenced by mapmaking, landscapes, natural science, poetry, biography, and social commentary; the equalization of society through festivals that expressed a common culture; and the advent of an immoral and irreligious age with revival of ancient pagan superstitions and an oscillation between religiosity and secularity.
Medievalists sought to show that especially the first four Burckhardtian characteristics were already present in the medieval world, that in fact a rich Roman culture persisted more in the north than in the divided Italian peninsula. They documented individualism in Thomas Aquinas and Eleanor of Aquitaine and medieval advances in science and in naturalistic art. Scholars of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries in England, France, Spain , the Low Countries , the German lands, Hungary , Poland , and elsewhere have likewise claimed Burckhardtian Renaissances, usually like the medievalists emphasizing the first four traits, although in French scholarship a secular, doubting French Renaissance had a vogue to which Lucien Febvre responded in The Problem of Unbelief in the Sixteenth Century: The Religion of Rabelais In the expansion by later Burckhardtians, the Italian city-states were a model in miniature for the development of the nation-states see Garett Mattingly on diplomacy, Hans Baron on civic humanism in Florence as a precedent for the United States , and individualism emerged not only from political turmoil but from the development of capitalist, middle-class occupations Alfred von Martin, E.
Today the Burckhardtian Renaissance is evident in textbooks, in films on Renaissance individuals, and in art exhibitions. The term "renaissance" meaning a flowering of culture is positive and optimistic, and thus it has been extrapolated to other contexts, such as the "Jewish Renaissance" of Hebrew with the rebirth of Zionism in nineteenth-century Europe , the " Harlem Renaissance " of African-American culture in the s, and numerous discussions of urban renewal as a "renaissance. Burckhardtian scholarship continues to emphasize Burckhardt's first four characteristics of the Renaissance, finding isolated precedents in the medieval period.
As social and economic historians and women's historians have made evident the hierarchies of rank and gender that marked the age, scholars have recognized that the fifth characteristic, "equalization," was limited to the mingling and rising of burgher to noble status and that a few daughters tutored along with sons and women's presence at courts did not add up to Burckhardt's "footing of perfect equality with men. In claiming Burckhardtian Renaissances for other nations, generally scholars isolated the "immoral and irreligious age" to the Italians, although in some postcolonial interpretations such as that of Walter D.
Mignolo , point four — the discovery of the world and of humanity — provides the strongest evidence of point six — the immorality of the European colonialist, slave trader, and missionary. Scholars of the Protestant Reformation have always emphasized the Christian characteristics of northern humanists. Criticizing Luther for authoritarianism and asceticism, Ernst Troeltsch contrasted medieval traits of the reformation with modern traits of the Renaissance; admiring Luther for redirecting Christian freedom to vocations in this world, Wilhelm Dilthey interpreted the Renaissance and Reformation together as the foundation of the modern world.
Especially in the United States , where scholars specializing in the Renaissance and the Reformation often interpret the Reformation as a culmination of the Renaissance and focus on the humanist's inquiries into Christian antiquity, the term "Christian humanism" is applied to humanists of both the Italian and the northern Renaissance.
Nevertheless, we must note that curious and daring humanists employed Jews and Greek Orthodox to explore texts in Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic , and Arabic, and openly read and commented upon works written by ancient pagans; Jewish humanists in Italy brought about a renaissance of ancient Hebrew genres see Cecil Roth and Arthur Lesley in Renaissance Rereadings.
Petrarch, Secretum, c. Pierre Belon, Observation, "The minds of men … have begun to wake up and to leave the darkness where for so long they have remained dormant and in leaving have put forth and put in evidence all kinds of good disciplines, which to their so happy and desirable renaissance, all as the new plants after a season of winter regain their vigor in the heat of the Sun and are consoled by the mildness of the spring.
Horowitz, Seeds of Virtue and Knowledge, pp. Coincident with national movements of independence from colonization by European nations, historians in Paris developed a movement disparaging the historical studies focused on "What's new? Funded as social science and utilizing increasingly computerized databases on demography and prices of material goods whether wine, salt, or catechisms , scholars are accumulating more precise information on living conditions in the premodern world.
The work of scholars seeking out lives of lesser-known people women and the marginalized and seeking documents of public performances confraternity events, religious and political rituals has provided a fuller awareness of premodern cultures. To be inclusive of popular as well as elite cultures and to start afresh without the ideological implications of nineteenth-century interpretations of "Renaissance," some scholars prefer the period term "early modern. For those scholars, who view either the invention of the printing press or Martin Luther the protester as the turning point from the Middle Ages to the early modern period and who drop Renaissance as a period concept, the Renaissance in Europe becomes closer to its original definition as a movement in arts and letters — in the early modernist's viewpoint, the first movement in a succession of overlapping movements of the early modern period.
A strain of scholarship has emerged to historicize the development of the concept of a Renaissance period. Scholars are fascinated by various versions of ideas of the Renaissance, such as those of Jules Michelet , Burckhardt, the Victorians, J. Morgan, and Virginia Woolf. Even though Michelet originated the phrase "the discovery of the world and the discovery of man," the term "Burckhardtian" remains the common adjective for "Renaissance" with a capital R. While "medievalisms" are also studied, the brunt of historicizing of the period concept of Renaissance suggests that the Burckhardtian Renaissance is a nineteenth-century historical fiction or a utopian vision.
Bullen traces the development of the "myth" of the Renaissance between Voltaire and Walter Pater Burckhardtians have responded to the undermining of the period concept by printing editions of his work with art illustrations, as art more than any other medium demarcates a distinctive period. Paula Findlen, in a American Historical Review forum on "The Persistence of the Renaissance," demarcated the period by its passion for collecting objects of antiquity and taking creative inspiration from that collecting.
The general public, as well as the tourist industry, recognizes the innovation, distinctiveness, and sheer visual beauty of art from, say, the cardinal and Christian virtues and vices of Giotto's Arena Chapel in Padua to the nude forms of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel ceiling and Last Judgment. Meanwhile, neither humanist nor reformer ushered in the world of the post-Sputnik generation; government funding of the sciences, including the history of science, has taught historians that the major intellectual shift of modernity occurred in the development of the sciences, especially from Galileo to Newton.
Dava Sobel's Galileo's Daughter illuminates the contrasting mentalities of this shift as represented by the scientist's relationship through correspondence with his daughter Maria Celeste, a nun. The interpretation of Copernicus and Galileo as early scientists rather than as "Renaissance men," as well as the seeking of the origins of science in the practices of apprenticeship, the work of artisan workshops, and in the inventions accompanying military battles and world navigation, rivals the outpouring of current scholarship documenting the humanist movement in countries throughout Europe.
In the second half of the twentieth century, the decrease in humanists educated in Greek and Latin letters, the rise in the status of scientists and those educated in "science" or " social science " curricula, and the funding of the history of science encouraged a search for the origins of modernity in the seventeenth-century innovations in science and technology. To create global and multicultural liberal arts curricula, colleges and universities have condensed posts across the disciplines for pre-modern Europe, making it sensible for those doing scholarship on topics from antiquity to the French Revolution to advocate their common interests in the creation of academic centers, funding of journals, and defending posts in premodern studies.
For those in the historical profession, "early modern" is the category used globally by the American Historical Association. Together with practical on-line resources for accessing published books, such as Early English Books, — , Elizabeth Eisenstein's Printing Press as an Agent of Historical Change refocused attention on as a turning point. E-mail groups such as FICINO and conferences have discussed the rivalry of the term "Renaissance" and the term "early modern," but "Renaissance" persists as a period label for books and articles in disciplinary histories such as art history , music history, and history of science, in national and comparative literatures, and in history.
While the Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies appeared in with the new title Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, expanding its reach to "European and Western Asian cultural forms from late antiquity to the seventeenth century," its home base at Duke University remained the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Women's studies scholars, delving into women's writings and disregarding the stereotype "Renaissance woman," created the Society for Study of Early Modern Women with a home base at the University of Maryland Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies.
Encouraging regional and topical organizations, the Renaissance Society of America holds council meetings with affiliates. As of , there was no early modern umbrella organization. Paul Getty Museum, which ushered in open calls for papers on distinctive topics of the European Renaissance collected in Renaissance Rereadings: Intertext and Context, a selective anthology commemorating the conference to the RSA's international meetings in in Florence, Italy, and in in Cambridge, England, there has been an international renaissance of Renaissance studies.
Benson, Robert L. Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, Brioist, Pascal.
Studies in Spanish Renaissance Thought | Carlos G. Noreña | Springer
La Renaissance: — Paris: Atlande, Bullen, J. Oxford: Clarendon, Burckhardt, Jacob. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Translated by S. New York : Penguin, Illustrations aid in providing visual evidence that Burckhardt did not include. Ferguson, Wallace F. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Findlen, Paula, and Kenneth Gouwens.
Gentrup, William F. Turnhout, Belgium : Brepols, Horowitz, Maryanne Cline. Seeds of Virtue and Knowledge. Princeton, N. Horowitz, Maryanne Cline, Anne J. Cruz, and Wendy A. Furman, eds. Renaissance Rereadings: Intertext and Context. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies 22, no.
Special issue: "The Idea of the Renaissance in France. Kerrigan, William, and Gordon Braden. The Idea of the Renaissance. Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, Committed to vitality of the concept. Marcus, Leah S. Edited by Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn. New York : Modern Language Association, Mignolo, Walter D. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, This article is concerned mainly with general developments and their impact in the fields of science, rhetoric, literature, and music.
For a discussion of developments in the arts see Renaissance art and architecture. Historical Background In the 12th cent. In addition to emphasizing Greek and Latin scholarship, humanists believed that each individual had significance within society. The growth of an interest in humanism led to the changes in the arts and sciences that form common conceptions of the Renaissance. The 14th cent. After the death of Frederick II in , emperors lost power in Italy and throughout Europe; none of Frederick's successors equaled him. Power fell instead into the hands of various popes; after the Great Schism —; see Schism, Great , when three popes held power simultaneously, control returned to secular rulers.
During the Renaissance small Italian republics developed into despotisms as the centers of power moved from the landed estates to the cities. Europe itself slowly developed into groups of self-sufficient compartments. Italy's economic growth is best exemplified in the development of strong banks, most notably the Medici bank of Florence.
England, France, and Spain also began to develop economically based class systems. Science Beginning in the latter half of the 15th cent. Among the works rediscovered were Galen 's physiological and anatomical studies and Ptolemy 's Geography. Botany, zoology, magic, alchemy, and astrology were developed during the Renaissance as a result of the study of ancient texts. Among Leonardo's discoveries were the revelation that thrown or shot projectiles move in one curved trajectory rather than two; metallurgical techniques that allowed him to make great sculptures; and anatomical observations that increased the accuracy of his drawings.
In Copernicus wrote De revolutionibus, a work that placed the sun at the center of the universe and the planets in semicorrect orbital order around it; his work was an attempt to revise the earlier writings of Ptolemy. Galileo's most famous invention was an accurate telescope through which he observed the heavens; he recorded his findings in Siderius nuncius [starry messenger] Tycho Brahe gave an accurate estimate of planetary positions and refuted the Aristotelian theory that placed the planets within crystal spheres.
Kepler was the first astronomer to suggest that planetary orbits were elliptical. While the scholastics claimed a logical connection between word and thought, the humanists differentiated between physical utterance and intangible meditation; they gave common usage priority over sets of logical rules. The humanists also sought to emulate classical values. Joseph Webbe wrote textbooks that taught Latin through reconstruction of the sentences of classical authors from individual phrases and clauses.
Roger Ascham taught that one could learn to speak effectively by studying the speeches of ancient orators. Thomas More 's most significant contribution to humanism was Utopia, a design for an ideal society based primarily on works by classical authors. The effect of humanism on English literature was wide and far-reaching. It is evidenced, for example, in the works of Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare. The poems and plays of Jonson often center on the difference between virtue and vice; Jonson considers sincerity, honesty, self-discipline, and concern to be chief virtues, while dissimulation, lying, or masking of identity is vicious behavior.
His Volpone and The Alchemist exemplify humanist values. In a play such as Shakespeare's Tempest, a main character Prospero embodies a full range of human abilities: father, creator, ruler, magician, master, and scholar. In addition, Shakespeare took subject matter for many plays from classical sources e.
Montaigne's essays are memorable for their clear statement of an individual's beliefs and their careful examination of society. In "On the Education of Children," he suggests a remaking of secondary education according to classical models; in "On Cannibals," he writes that cannibals are more civilized than others because they are removed from the dissimulation and vice of human society. Rabelais was the author of Gargantua and Pantagruel, the satirical biographies of two giants; the characters may be said to represent the humanist belief in the immensity of human capability.
In Italy Petrarch is considered a founder of the humanist movement. His De viris illustribus, a set of heroes' lives, included both ancient heroes and such men as Adam; he also wrote a series of letters to classical figures e. Giovanni Boccaccio , a follower of Petrarch, wrote works that include De genealogia deorum gentilium [on the genealogy of the gods of the gentiles], a collection of classical myths, and the Decameron, a book of stories told by Italian courtesans taking refuge from the Black Plague.
Coluccio Salutati — was a Florentine political administrator who wrote treatises on humanism, taught thinkers Poggio and Bruni, and accumulated a large library of ancient Greek and Roman texts. The Renaissance Italian Leone Battista Alberti is famed for a series of dialogues in which he teaches classical virtues in a vernacular tongue. The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione is essentially about Castiglione himself; in it the author delineates the characteristics of a perfect gentleman.
Music Renaissance music took great liberties with musical form. In the most popular music was French and secular. Although secular music gradually spread all over Europe, it flowered in Italy. In fact, in about an Italian school of musical composition developed in Padua, Verona, Bologna, Florence, and Milan. Often this music was written in the vernacular; its primary composers, thinkers such as Leonardo Giustiniani — and Marsilio Ficino , would often improvise words to the accompaniment of a lute-viola.
This experimentation led to the development of contrapuntal music, or music that hinged on the pleasing interplay of two melodic lines. Josquin Desprez composed masses, chansons, and motets, of which his Hercules Dux Ferriare mass and Misere motet are lasting examples; he was one of the first composers to use imitation, or repetition of melodies, successfully within a composition.
Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina also composed mainly religious music. He distinguished himself with his motets and masses, namely Veni creator spiritus, Missa brevis, and Accepit Jesus calicem ; he also made full use of the cantus firmus, or pre-existing melody around which other melodies are intertwined, in his compositions. Orlando di Lasso was also a noted composer whose work included motets, chansons, and madrigals. Often, English madrigal composers were influenced by the work of Italians.
Monteverdi was the most accomplished artist of the three; in addition to composing madrigals, he composed the first major operas, including L'Arianna and Orfeo. Hale, ed. Ramsey, ed. Snyder, The Northern Renaissance ; M. Renaissance rebirth characterizes the impulse, initiated in Italy, towards improving the contemporary world by discovering and applying the achievement of classical antiquity.
The 20th cent. For Burckhardt the defining emphasis of the Renaissance was secular and individual; the new attitudes he detected in the Italy of that epoch to nature, morality, religion, affairs, art, and literature made him see it as inaugurating the modern era. Some later historians intensified Burckhardt's stress on paganism. Others reacted against it both by indicating continuities with medieval Christianity and by positing earlier renaissances.
Post-Burckhardtian valuation of social, economic, and political factors has led to stress on difference in continuity, with classical learning, defence of the active life and of the virtue of possessions seen as coexistent with earlier knowledge and ideals. The Renaissance discovery of classical antiquity was essentially a revival of learning, which Petrarch believed had dispelled the ignorance which had prevailed since late antiquity. Petrarch's mode of studying and transmitting the Latin classics became the province of the 15th-cent. From the 15th cent. At the turn of the 15th—16th cents.
German imperial scholarship claimed a translatio studii parallel with the Carolingian translatio imperii. Later German humanists such as Melanchthon were usually advocates of the Reformation. Greek studies flourished especially in 16th-cent. The English Renaissance was influenced by the Italian indirectly, through France, Burgundy, and the Netherlands , as well as directly. From about , however, the chief force in English humanism was the concept of pietas literata , or evangelical humanism, associated with Erasmus.
England produced no humanist scholar of the first rank, More's Utopia being the finest Latin achievement of its early Tudor phase. Many classical and humanist works were translated into the vernacular, however. Machiavelli 's Prince , known in the s, was printed in Italian at London in the s, as were works by the philosopher Giordano Bruno. Greek studies were notable, from the s especially in association with the Reformation. Erasmus' Greek New Testament with Latin translation —19 was used by Martin Luther for his German New Testament : William Tyndale used both for his English version —34 ; later reformed English versions, including the Authorized , kept much of Tyndale's language.
The visual arts and architecture of Renaissance England remained predominantly traditional, in spite of the presence of Italian sculptors and of north European painters such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Rubens, and Van Dyck. The first English architect and designer of international stature was Inigo Jones , the Palladian — Music similarly remained traditional until the flowering of the Italian fashion — The Renaissance in Scotland was notable for logical and theological studies, and for its connections with French humanism.
Its earlier stages produced three of the finest poets of their time in Robert Henryson d. George Buchanan —82 won a lasting European reputation as humanist, poet, and historian; he was also tutor to the young James VI and I. Hale, J. New York , ; Skinner, Q. Renaissance , Renascence. It is also a convenient label for the style of architecture that developed in, and was characteristic of, that period from the time of Brunelleschi in Florence early C15 to the beginnings of Mannerism c.
Indeed, it was referred to as maniera all'antica , and the style was codified by Alberti in De re aedificatoria begun around , drawing on the exemplary work of Vitruvius. In architecture the Renaissance includes the High Renaissance c. Elsewhere in Europe, Renaissance architecture tended to acquire Italian Renaissance motifs, either from printed sources or from the observations of travellers, but each country or region produced buildings that looked un-Italian: German, French, Flemish, Spanish, and English the latter associated with Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture Renaissance styles all had distinct flavours.
English, Flemish, German, Polish, and Scandinavian Renaissance buildings of C16 and early C17 fall into the Northern Renaissance category, but the infusion of Mannerism gave French Renaissance architecture a different flavour. Only in the early C17 was uncorrupted Renaissance architecture, firmly based on Italian prototypes, introduced in England see Paesschen by Inigo Jones , an event that was enormously influential in C18, first in England, and then elsewhere.
There are some e. Osborne ; Jane Turner Renaissance the revival of art and literature under the influence of classical models in the 14th—16th centuries; the culture and style of art and architecture developed during this era. The Renaissance is generally regarded as beginning in Florence, where there was a revival of interest in classical antiquity. Also Karl Kohut offers a selection of the available sources on criticism of 15th and 16th century Spanish and Portuguese literature, and he justifies his work as a mere preliminary approach to a task of greater scope.
Similarly, Antonio. Marti , who devotes his efforts to the analysis of Rhetoric in the Golden Ages, declares that this subject remains highly neglected and concedes that his is not a definitive study. Margarete Newels , too, considered her research on the dramatic theory of that time as a preliminary investigation in the field. Moreover it is well known that numerous scholars, especially in Germany, have been systematically denying the existence of a Renaissance in Spain, arguing that there was in this country no authentic break with the spirit of the Middle Ages.
One could therefore ask the question : Gibt es eine spanische Renaissance?
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Klemperer ; or could simply, deny its existence : Spanien, das Land ohne Renaissance Wantoch Francisco Marquez Villanueva, in an ample recension of Green's Spain and the Western Tradition, questions the Christian and Western basis of Spanish culture, and emphasises instead the combination of Christian, Islamic and Jewish components in Spain's history. He also thinks we lack an appropriate and profound analysis of the Spanish Inquisition, and draws our attention to the seeming heterodoxy of Gomez Pereira and Juan Huarte de San Juan.
Villanueva underlines how these two physicians, together with Francisco Sanchez, contributed to founding a radically modern philosophy. In fact, none of these three philosopher-physicians was as mysterious or margina as Villanueva states. What we must emphasise here is the extraordinary interest that the analysis of their writings has now attracted.
What follows is a brief outline of these writings : Pereira's Antoniana Margarita , Huarte's Examen de Ingenios and Sanchez' quod nihil scitur This maxim has been justly considered as a probable precedent of Descartes' cogito, ergo sum. Pereira is also the author of a series of observations about sound waves and syllabic articulation, for which he clearly deserves a place of honour in the history of acoustic phonetics. Pereira starts with the idea that sound is nothing other than air that moves in a certain way, cum sonus nihil aliud sit, quam aer taliter vel aliter motus Pereira The air is disturbed and expelled through the mouth cavity and the other organs of articulation, and moves according to the movements of these organs, aer enim, agitatus ab ore et instrumentis vocalibus, taliter ferme moveturprout ipsa mota sunt.
Pereira's argumentation is evidently based on an analogy : in the same way as articulated language makes the air vibrate, so the air vibrations are able to produce articulated language. So far Pereira is merely following the ideas of the ancients, yet with a certain degree of originality.
Laying the Foundations for a Spanish Renaissance: Late Medieval Politics and Government
It was thought, in fact, that the power of hearing must be linked with an air principle, similar to the object of the act of hearing, which is the sound. Analogy also explains how animals can imitate the human voice. According to Pereira, what happens is that the sound of the human voice enters the brain of parrots making their vocal organs vibrate, in psittacorum aut turdorum cerebro introducto saepe vocum humanarum sono, moventur eorundem vocalia instrumenta. This occurs in a wholly mechanical way, since animal automatism is one of the fundamental premises of Pereira's philosophical system.
However, the basis of this process is the same. Let us now consider the different stages of this process in Pereira's original description. Let us suppose, he says, that the air is a kind of molten wax, velut quaedam cera eliquatissima, which hardens when the human voice falls on it, and thus absorb, in a sort of mould, the various ondulations produced by the voice. From this mould of wax we could obtain a bronze cast, ut si ipsa cera talker figurata ab aere agitato, ut ipse est, solidesceret, typus ac proplastice valeret esse, and consequently prepare as many casts as there are words or fragments of.
Pereira here aims at producing a syllabic spectrogram. The various syllables would thus be cast in a series of bronze pieces, and in this way language would be made visible. In fact, the impression of these pieces on to a waxen. If these bronze moulds, continues Pereira, were thrown into the air or water, they would produce a set of waves, which would have the same shapes as the waves that the corresponding words produce.
Pereira's criteria are naturalistic based on a rudimentary knowledge of physiology, but yet illustrated at times by brilliant intuitions. In the last third of the 16th century, the Spanish physician Juan Huarte de San Juan wrote a book on the nature of human intelligence, which has been widely translated 2. In this book, the relations between language and mind are accounted for once again, by the simile of childbirth :. Porque de la manera que en la primera.
In this respect, Huarte also reaffirms what Plato says in De scientia about Socrates, who, being himself a midwife's son, used to maintain that just as his mother could not make a woman deliver who was not pregnant, so he could not possibly make his pupils give birth to knowledge either, unless their mind were not previously pregnant Huarte But the generation and birth of concepts are not alike for every human being, there being in fact three different kinds of wit or levels of intelligence.
The lowest degree is represented by the absolute inability to conceive ideas. A second kind of inability is manifested in those who, having. At this stage of our discussion, it is of interest to focus us on the generative power of the human mind. This creative aspect, i. However, what Huarte distinguishes in fact, as we have just seen, is something completely different.
We must underline here that nowhere in his writings does Huarte attribute this kind of wit to beasts. They are, therefore, negative magnitudes. In fact, the founder of generative linguistics here desires to emphasise the creative power of the human intelligence, particularly at those levels where the mind is naturally able to engender and bear conceits all by itself. He maintains that everything we know proceeds from our senses : omnis a sensu cognitio est Sanchez , and : ccgnitio omnis a sensu trahitur Sanchez Francisco Sanchez explicitly rejects Plato's theory of innate ideas : the senses are our only source of knowledge.
There are no preexisting ideas whatsoever. When a man is born, he is like an amorphous mass of wax cerea moles. Now, as Sanchez points out, it is not true that on one of these blank sheets everything can be written. Nor is it true that all of them can receive the right impression, nee enim omnes ad literas aptisunt, even under the most favourable circumstances.
Not every man has the same capacity for understanding. Like Huarte, Sanchez also admits qualitative and quantitative differences in wit. Where does the cause of these differences dwell? Man being a composite of body and soul, in which of the two does the origin of the diversity of wits reside? Francisco Sanchez' answer is determined by his empiricist postulates and the common belief that every soul possesses an identical perfection. Therefore the origin of such differences must take its roots in the body Sanchez About precise location of the intellectual powers, Sanchez' opinions also differ from Huarte's.
Sanchez, on the other hand, maintains what can be termed a theory of organic interactions. The brain is not the only support of intellective activities. All bodily organs, whatever the distance between them, mutually influence one another. It is a mistake, says Sanchez, to think that, for man to understand, he has no need of arms and legs, sed dices forsan ad intelligendum non egere nos brachiis et cruribus ; proinde, etsi ilia defectuosa sint, modo cerebrum bene habeat, sufficere.
At dedperis. Any defect in any one part of the body, wether congenital or not, is bound to affect the rest of the organism. The Spanish philosopher here intends to emphasise that, as there is no such thing as a perfect body, it follows that no such thing as perfect understanding is possible. Nullus ergo sciens. Nil scitur.