Introduction Europe circa 1500
What are the general contours of Europe?
Now: Large countries
Then: Over 1500 royal lands and kingdoms and politically fragmented
Crown of Castille and Crown ofAragon---Became Spain
France; roughly what it is now
Poland and Lithuania; kingdom and grand duchy
Italy and Ireland- bloody mess
Florence, Genoa, Venice
Kingdom of Naples
Germany; not yet unified. Small Kingdoms and Duchys.
Russia; large body filled with smaller groups
Ottoman Empire (Muslim population)
Holy Roman Empire: Brought together by Charlemagne
Compromise between Rome and Catholic Church in Western Europe and Germanic
An evolution of a compromise between the pope and Charlemagne
Holy roman emperor; elected by many people (Germanic countries elect)
Europe circa 1500
Europe is largely Christian (either Catholic or Orthodox)
Latin for writing, NOT speech
Catholic Church controls western Europe. (Eastern Europe is Orthodox)
Orthodox; does not use Latin; uses Slavonic languages
Catholic: uses Latin as a common language
The World, according to Ptolemy (1482) Vikings HAD been to Greenland; had not been back to Europe orAsia.
KNEW world was not flat. (Or else Columbus would not have set out on his voyage)
Mid 14 century; reduced between 1/3 and ½ due to bubonic plague
TF Clears up space for developments of cultures.
France: the most populous (16 million people and Paris was over 100 thousand)
Italian: 11 million England: 3 or 4 million
Germany: 10 million Low countries: 2 million
80-90% of the population is peasants (6% lives in the big cities; richer upper class)
New growth in 15 century; increases in trade
2 New Trade Routes
1) Mediterranean; Italian states trading with the east
2) Hanseatic league organisation of states (from low countries into Norway up the Baltic)
Lots of optimism about future due to repopulation, increases in trade, exchange of ideas, etc
Elite: optimism leads to the renaissance
Poor: has buying power and can bargain to an extent for better conditions
Optimism in reinforced by the great discovery and the protestant revolution.
The foundations of the Renaissance
Acultural movement that sought to improve human kind by a greater nuance in learning
Return to classical texts; written well before the 1500
Advanced intellectual development of Europe
Traditionally period had been described as one of growth and revolution
Cultural sensibilities and ideas
Kenneth C Clarke—Civilisation
(Documentaries are on Youtube) Art Historian
“Man becomes the mode of understanding.”
Not really radical change; or continuity.
Covers from the 14 century all the way to the 17 century
World is largely directed by man. (Humans are in control)
Why did it occur?
Why do we see this change is sensibilities?
The fall of Constantinople
The bubonic plague
Gutenberg printing press
1) The search for classical knowledge
Constantinople falls in 1453. The Ottoman turks take the city and sack const.
As a result, many classical scholars emigrate westwards to the east escaping the turks and settle
in the Italian city states due to the intellectual freedom there.
Renaissance is said to have started in Florence.
Scholars start debating, and sharing knowledge.
Explored new courses in antiquity from collected scripts on the way to the east
2) The Unique position of Italy
Italian city states had been built on/around the roman empire
As a result; have a daily encounter with the end of the roman empire
Start exploring sources of antiquity.
Also, because there is no unity in Italian city states, they are largely democratic and publicly
Trying to compete with “the joneses” ; local city states to show that they are superior to other
city states (lots of rivalry and showing off your prosperity)
If you are sponsoring works or art (largely to do with religion); you are a better Christian
***Loses 1/3 of population Anew appreciation for life