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Chapter 13 Euro Society in the Age of the Renaissance 1350 - 1550.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Euro Society in the Age of the Renaissance 1350 - 1550."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 13 Euro Society in the Age of the Renaissance 1350 - 1550

2  New literary and artistic culture first emerged in Italy ◦ spread gradually ◦ at different time ◦ in different ways throughout western and central Europe

3 The rebirth of ancient Greek and Roman artistic and literary styles, languages, and values was at the heart of the Italian (Ital) Ren.  Humanism ◦ revival of classical texts ◦ educational curriculum based on them  The Ren rested on new political and social structures ◦ forged in communes -quasi-independent city-states in Italy, dominated by wealthy merchants who became the patrons of artists and scholars  Individualism and secularism ◦ developed as new society values ◦ city-states competed and went to war with each other  their disunity left them vulnerable to unified nation-states like France (Fr) and Spain.

4  The most influential writers ◦ Castiglione ◦ Machiavelli  In northern Eur. Christian humanism developed with a special focus on ethics and religion. ◦ Two major northern humanists were  Thomas More  Desiderius Erasmus  Ren artists adopted many elements from antiquity ◦ Roman arches ◦ motifs and themes in painting. ◦ Perspective and realism allowed them to imitate nature.  Important patrons ◦ Communal bodies ◦ wealthy merchants ◦ the church

5  Thomas More ◦ Chancellor of the Tutor king Henry VIII ◦ Utopia – a revolutionary text  An ideal egalitarian socialistic community  Everyone works & receives a classical education  Avoids war  Distains gold & silver  Greed & private property ruins society  Desiderius Erasmus ◦ Friend of More’s ◦ 1 st international scholar ◦ Known for his knowledge of Greek ◦ In Praise of Folly – satirized worldly wisdom  Stressed education as the key to reform  Advocate of inner Christianity ◦ New edition of the Greek New Testament  Argued for the translation of scripture into vernacular languages

6 First published in 1516, Thomas More's Utopia is one of the most important works of European humanism. Through the voice of the mysterious traveller Raphael Hythloday, More describes a pagan, communist city-state governed by reason. Addressing such issues as religious pluralism, women's rights, state-sponsored education, colonialism, and justified warfare, Utopia seems remarkably contemporary nearly five centuries after it was written, and it remains a foundational text in philosophy and political theory.

7 The invention of movable type and the printing press in the mid 15thC ◦ quick and relatively inexpensive dissemination of new ideas ◦ fostered literacy ◦ made the Ren an international movement

8  Johann Gutenberg (& several other Ger. craftsmen) ◦ Invented movable type that could be used time after time  Adopted principles of wood stamp and Chinese block printing  Met the growing demand for books ever growing literate population ◦ Paper technology developed – replaced expensive vellum and parchment ◦ Technology spread fast – 110 cities w/n 3 decades ◦ 1 st printed books were religious  Followed by romances, pornography, manual to scholarly, medical & legal texts  Gap between literate and illiterate narrowed as the 1 st read to the other


10  Keep in mind the cultural movement of the Renaissance and the new values it spawned intersected with changes in political, social and religious ideas in the next centuries and the way it changed as it moved from country to country.  Many FRQs (Free Response Questions)on the AP exam have asked students to answer questions using their knowledge of the Ren as a starting point – for example, its influence on later developments or comparison of it with other artistic movements.

11  Northern Italy ◦ Emerging econ powerhouses  Foreign trade & advance shipbuilding  Venice, Milan & Genoa ◦ Birth of the Ren  Florence  Wealthy city-state  Bankers  For the papacy  Extensive networks throughout Eur  Invested profits Florentine manufacturing  Wool  Silk  Selling high quality merchandise

12  Commune ◦ An association of free men who over time won independence from nobles  managed their cities  Built city walls  Levied taxes  Regulated trade/business  Oligarchies (power rests with a small number of people) ◦ Nobles & merchants families  Interwoven by marriage  Wrote constitutions  Called communes republics


14  Popolo ◦ Ordinary people ◦ Excluded from citizenship & disenfranchised  Even after successful revolts  Condottieri – military leaders (control revolts)  Signor – man responsible for running the gov.  Republican Constitution & Signori ◦ Both had small number of men with power ◦ Both has luxurious courts – the centers of cultural life  Became the models for later monarchs outside of Italy

15  The 5 strong states ◦ Florence - republic ◦ Venice- republic ◦ Milan - republic ◦ The Papal States – ruled by the Pope ◦ Naples – Kingdom: The House of Aragon  Competitive ◦ Sought to dominate smaller states ◦ Diplomacy created  Permanent resident ambassadors  Concept of balance of power (to prevent control of any one state)

16  City-state – a city that governs itself and controls the surrounding countryside in order to guarantee the food supply to the city.  Ital. city-states took advantage of the long- standing conflict between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy to assert their independence.  The men who created the republics were aware that they were doing something unusual and articulated new ideas about government.


18  Humanism ◦ Studia humanitates – liberal studies  Refers to the study of Latin and eventually Greek classics  Broader – emphasis on the abilities and achievements of humans  During the medieval period Latin classics were studied, largely religious in orientation  Humanists revived classical Latin v medieval church Latin  Art of rhetoric  Elegant written/oral communication  Emulate the lively dialogues of the ancient Platonic Academy  Petrarch – 14thC poet led the way

19  On the Dignity of Man – Pico della Mirandola ◦ Man’s inherent & unlimited potential for greatness  Reflected Greek thought – particularly Plato  In 1484 Pico became a member of Florence's Platonic Academy.  studied and tried to reconcile the teachings of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  In 1486, he published a collection of 900 philosophical treatises  in which his conclusions often differed from those of the Roman Catholic Church.  "Oration on the Dignity of Man," describes his belief, contrary to church dogma, that people have free will and are able to make decisions affecting their destinies.  Not surprisingly, the Church declared Pico a heretic;  he was only saved from demise by the intervention of Lorenzo de Medici.

20  Individualism (individual ambition) hallmark of humanism ◦ Italy – ambitious men became wealthy, powerful  Renaissance Men – uomo universale ◦ multitalented & highly creative  Leon Battista Alberti – architect & humanist  Leonardo da Vinci  Benvenuto Cellini  Goldsmith/sculptor  Self proclaimed genius and beautiful  Autobiography

21  Ren individualism is easily seen in the genre of autobiography and portraits (useful point in an essay) ◦ Portraits – put a face on Ren leaders, something that was not handed down from the medieval period  Medicis  Raphael The Madonna of the Pinks ('La Madonna dei Garofani') 1506-7, Raphael Self portrait by Raphael (1483 - 1520 The Girl with the Pearl Earring, originally called Girl Wearing a Turban – thought to be Vermeer’s eldest daughter.

22  New educational curricula & values were the heart of the Ren ◦ Validity of the secular world  Prepare students for success  Training in “highest gifts” & firm moral foundation ◦ Not for private benefit alone  City - states needed people trained to speak & write well  Argue persuasively  Paul Vergerio  Opened schools teaching Latin & Greek grammar  Historical, ethical, philosophical texts ◦ Advanced education for middle/upper classes

23  Women ◦ Excluded  No schools for girls created ◦ Humanists  Rhetoric is the proper study for men  Morals & religion for women  On the Family – Leon Battista Alberti  Women should be strictly limited to household responsibilities ◦ Some upper class women did acquire a humanist education & wrote humanist texts.  ? Was there a Ren for women ? Portrait of a lady, tempera painting on panel by Sandro Botticelli, about 1470

24 Christine de Pizan is seen as the first female to really display feminist ideals with her book, “The Book of the City of Ladies”. de Pizan wrote of different females and their contributions to society. also showed women alternate ways to use their abilities in order to counteract the high degree of misogyny that existed (Christine de Pizan: An Illuminated Voice). Humanists also began to believe that women who were aristocratic deserved to have at least a minimal education. very limited educational rights not really welcome to participate in intellectual activities such as debate and lecture. The main purpose of women during the Renaissance marriage child-bearing The Renaissance represented the beginning of a slow change in thought

25  The Courtier – Baldassare Castiglione ◦ Most influential educational text (1528)  Ideal - aristocratic men & women  Gentlemen  should have a broad academic background  Physically skilled  Be able to recite Latin poetry  Compose a sonnet  Wrestle  Solve a mathematical problem  Dance  Ladies  Develop artistic talents  Be modest  Be beautiful ◦ Contrast with medieval period  Ren – all spheres of human endeavor – universal competence  Med – religiosity - conformity

26  Niccolo Machiavelli ◦ Excellent scholar of history ◦ Intimately involved in the politics of Florence  Diplomat  Local official ◦ The Prince – 1513  Written for signori (princes)  How to achieve and hold power  Amoral & ruthless manipulation of people  People = selfish & inconstant  Rulers should be clever as a fox & fierce as a lion  Considered the 1 st work of modern political science  Sought to analyze what people did rather than what they ought to do  Identified politics as a distinct discipline with its own laws

27  The Prince ◦ Embodies the Ren value of secularism  Held this world, rather than the next, in highest regard  Values changed ◦ Basic tenets of Christianity/religion remained strong ◦ Secularism adopted by new wealthy elite who patronized the arts and sought more pleasurable lives

28  Lorenzo Valla ◦ Father of modern historical criticism  Used his knowledge of Latin to unmask an 8 th C papal forgery known as the Donation of Constantine  Justified the authority of the popes ◦ On Pleasure –  Exalted sensual pleasures  Boccaccio ◦ Decameron  Portrayed the rascality, wit, and sensuality of ordinary people  The Popes ◦ Appreciated worldly pleasure  Decorated the Vatican with works of art  Spent huge sums on commissioning the best artists of the day  Michelangelo  Built the dome of St. Peter’s  Painted the ceiling and altar wall of the Sistine Chapel


30  Northern Renaissance – 15 th C ◦ Ideas transferred north by students studying in Italy  Northern humanists sought to reconcile classical and Christian virtues  Stressed the value of reason and human intellect Albrecht Durer Praying Hands, (c. 1508 )

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