Presentation on theme: "As the English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, put it in the 1600s, life was “short, nasty, and brutish” Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-69), Beggars,"— Presentation transcript:
As the English philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, put it in the 1600s, life was “short, nasty, and brutish” Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-69), Beggars, 1568
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-69), Blind Leading the Blind, 1567 Medieval Europe was a place full of fear and ignorance.
Hieronymous Bosch, Ship of Fools, c.1500
A simplified diagram of the Ptolemaic model of the universe. In addition to the seven crystalline orbits around the earth shown here were a sphere each for the stars, heaven, and the mechanism God had created to drive the universe. It was an age which saw the earth as the center of the universe
…as well as being small in size and 7/8 covered in land
It was a world inhabited by strange people and monsters.
13th century depiction of arteries & veins Even our own anatomy was weird
Charts of the four humours people believed must be in balance in their bodies to stay healthy
It was a time of corruption in the Catholic Church…
…and then schism as Europe split between factions supporting different popes.
This only seemed to encourage heretics, like John Wycliffe in England who translated the Bible into English and claimed any Church practices not found in the Bible were invalid.
Wycliffe’s idea that the Bible is the sole source of religious truth triggered the Lollard heresy in England….
….which spread to Bohemia, where another scholar, Jan Hus, popularized Wycliffe’s ideas and writings.
When the Council of Constance treacherously executed Hus in 1415, this triggered the Hussite revolt which defeated five crusades sent to crush it.
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-69), Peasants Attacked by Robbers, 1567 It was also an age of violence...
French knights massacre rebels during the Jacquerie, a peasant revolt triggered by the war, plague, & high taxes. ….between peasants and nobles…
Paris uprising in the 1350s ….and between towns and their lords.
It was also a time of seemingly endless warfare…
…such as the Hundred Years War ( ) which raged across France
Even supposedly peaceful times were plagued by unemployed mercenaries roaming the countryside.
English and French forces support rival claimants to the throne of Castile in 1367 And warfare was by no means confined to French territory.
The English fighting the Scots
Even the last vestiges of the Roman Empire vanished when the Ottoman Turks stormed Constantinople in 1453 and resumed a relentless march westward that would terrorize Europe for over 200 years.
But in the 1300s and1400s it was the Black Death, which inspired the greatest terror.
Fleas would spread the plague by sucking blood from infected victims & spitting the infected blood into other victims. But in the 1300s and1400s it was the Black Death, which inspired the greatest terror.
Fleas would spread the plague by sucking blood from infected victims & spitting the infected blood into other victims. But in the 1300s and1400s it was the Black Death, which inspired the greatest terror. Asian black rats that carried fleas infected with the Plague
Traveling flagellants would whip themselves to atone for society ’ s sins and avert the plague. Unfortunately, they also spread the plague in the process.
Plague continued to beset Europe for centuries, as seen in this painting of Naples in 1656.
People saw such calamities as the result of divine wrath for our sins, as reflected in this painting of the biblical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Plague also triggered an obsession with death.
Such as in The Triumph of Death by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
Detail from The Triumph of Death by Pieter Brueghel the Elder
This obsession with death carried over into an obsession with the judgment day and eternal torment in Hell.
Hieronymous Bosch, Heaven and Hell Panels, Fall of the Damned (l.) & Hell (r.)
Hieronymous Bosch, Heaven and Hell panels, Ascent of the Blessed. However, very few of us were expected to be judged worthy of paradise.
Hieronymous Bosch, Bruges Last Judgement Triptych
Hieronymous Bosch, Bruges Last Judgment Triptych, Detail Earth
Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1525/30-69), Fall of the Rebel Angels, 1562
Leading us down the path of sin to eternal damnation was a world full of demons trying to tempt us at every turn …
…and waiting to torment us during an eternity in Hell.
To many it certainly seemed to be a world gone mad and on the verge of extinction….
…..But new forces were about to usher in an age that even the greatest visionaries of the time could never have imagined.