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Great Books of the Renaissance LEC 5

3 Pages

Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Course Code
Andre Basson

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1 MARS 1F90 Winter Term (2011) Lecture 5: Great Books of the Renaissance 1. Introduction: the three great books of the Renaissance a. Castiglione: The Book of the Courtier b. Machiavelli: The Prince c. Guicciardini: The History of Italy 2. Castiglione: The Book of the Courtier a. Italy in the first decade of the 16 century i. Autonomous states / principalities ii. Each ruled by a prince / lord (signore) iii. Who received his power from the Holy Roman Emperor or the pope iv. Florence and Venice were the only exceptions v. Hereditary rule vi. The princely courts became centers of a flourishing cultural life vii. Princes of the Italian Renaissance as patrons of the arts viii. Petrarch and Leonardo da Vinci ix. Humanist scholars employed as royal secretaries or served as ambassadors x. A highly aristocratic culture xi. A new model of behavior in the later Renaissance b. Castiglione’s book exemplified this new trend c. It became one of the most popular and widely read books of the Italian Renaissance d. Castiglione i. Lived from 1478 to 1529 ii. He came from the nobility iii. In the service of the Duke of Milan iv. He ends up at the court of the dukes of Urbino v. He is appointed ambassador to the Holy See (1513) e. The Book of the Courtier: plot, structure and context i. It is a dialogue ii. It is cast in the form of a series of discussions iii. The tone iv. The historical context v. The discussion as a metaphor 1. The possibility of perfecting humanity 2. The role of culture 3. The rules of courtly etiquette 4. The barbarians (the French and the Spanish) and Renaissance culture vi. The influence of Neo-Platonism f. The last years of Castiglione’s life i. He is forced to leave Urbino 2 ii. He becomes papal ambassador at the court of the Holy Roman Emperor iii. The sack of Rome by the forces of Charles V iv. Castiglione’s death v. His portrait by Raphael 3. Machiavelli: The Prince a. Written after the return of the Medici from exile b. Machiavelli is born in the year Lorenzo de’ Medici beco
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