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HIST 1001-B Nov 27,2012.docx

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HIST 1001
Hal Goldman

• Middle ages – provide context for the renaissance • Constituted a mostly small elite -> vast majority of people continued to do what they had done for the past thousand years -> work land for themselves and elite -> were deeply religious • Were subject to marauding armies, sickness, etc • Renaissance reflected small urban elite • Renaissance began in Italy -> Wealthiest cities in Europe were in Italy • City states grew very rich from trade with the east • Through these cities that silk, spices and other eastern goods had passed onto the rest of Europe • Cities were increasingly run by commoners, some were run as republics, some as oligarchy and tyrannies • Italian cities brough people together from Europe and beyond -> were very cosmopolitan • Had neither castles or knights to spend money on • Were commoners, not nobles -> lavished people in form of art • Men distinguished themselves through being patron of art • Was business rather than fighting, these men had to read and write -> parents secured education for them • King would bring commoners into the kingdom and teach them • Schools and universities sprang up to teach these wealthy commoners • Had more to read -> texts from anchient Rome began to flow into Europe from the Arab world that had preserved copies of their own in Arabic • Byzantine Empire (true successor of Roman Empire) -> Christian scholars fled West with books and manuscripts • 1454 Invention of the printing press in Germany, the books and manuscripts were available to everyone, enables people to have access to a huge supply of written materials • Prior to this, it would take a year to create a book, hand written • Could just keep pressing new pages, there is an explosion of learning and knowledge -> religion, philosophy, science, etc, all increased dramatically in 1454 • If you could read, you could become an expert on it and build on previous knowledge by adding your own knowledge • Increase of number of non-churchmen who could read meant that people were able to learn more • Result was a new kind of learning -> humanism -> pagan greeks and roman texts -> emphasised human beings • Learning was not in service of the church or of defending Christianity • Studied for its own sake by people willing to take the text on their own terms unbound of needing a Christian framework • Can read for own sake instead of service of the Church • Vital for creativity of the Renaissance • Educated people living during the renaissance were self conscious that they were living in a time of great change • Medieval men and women did not think of themselves as living through time -> stressed continuity • Most who held power (church and nobility) did not appreciate change in status quo • Peasants lack the intellectual power to convene it and the political power make it so • People themselves were agents of change • Understood themselves as people living in a time of change • People were in love with the art of new • In Italy, wealthy families competed with other families for power and influence • Competition took traditional form of murder and war • Also took form of competition between art and science -> who was best sculptor • No matter what their origins, so many patrons were secular rather than in service of the clergy, subjects of the energy were often secular rather than sacred • Even clergy supported radicalism of the renaissance • 1300s, more of the high clergy were drawn from ranks of wealthy commoners • Who emphasised humanism • Clergy was quite corrupt about threats that had secular or radical thinking • If middle ages did not emphasise change, neither would it emphasize the individual • Had to create unified Christian community • Compete to build tallest church or biggest cathedral • By the time of the renaissance, often in secular pursuit • Emphasis on humans in general and individuals unleashed the creativity from individuals • Creativity took various forms, literary, political and artistic • Middle ages created great works of artwork -> Medieval pursuit, making pilgrimage to a shrine • Was mostly secular, was based on Greek and roman ideas, but was pagan, tweaked, not celebrate Christians • During the plague times, people w
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