October 13, 2010
- The Italian cities were very different from others of different cities around Europe
- Towns continued in the North – separated by larger distances.
- Those who made their own wealth, responsible for the secular life of the community.
- The ideas in Italy were sympathetic.
- It was necessary for the clergy to be educated unlike the others.
- In the North the intellectual were separated by the ignorant.
- The culture of the North was dominated by religious ideas – very Christian)
- The collection between Italy and Northern Europe.
- This new mercantile elite was becoming more and more wealthy and intellectual.
- 1480-1490's the powers ofAtlantic Europe tried to find ways to reach the East.
- 1) 1453 - Byzantine empire fell to the Turks - now part of Islamic world.
- 2) It was dangerous and more expensive to go
- In Vasco Degama - The voyages of discovery changed Europe
- There was a whole new place to study.
- Everything they believed to be true were proven wrong.
- There was no proof that there was something out there.
- What else didn’t the ancients know? – if they didn’t know this what else did they not know?
- Maybe its our responsibility to fill in the blanks and make our own kind of world.
- Europe was a dramatic place especially Northern Europe – ideas that were mildly.
- Made a huge group of people questioned what they knew.
- Desiderius Erasmus - Born the illegitimate son of a priest 1466 – 1536 – Educated
in one of the new schools. Became classical scholar.
- The more he learned about Christianity and the books that he was editing – The Priests and
Church being corrupt and vicious – wanted change.
- Advocated a much simpler religion – simple message of the New Testament – Wrote –
Praise of Folly – 1509 – speech from an academic – praised all of the things wrong with the
world – Cardinals, etc… very funny.
- Unstable environment – weakened the Church.
- Indicated to people something was wrong with the Church.
- Gutenberg – moveable type – changed everything – made access to information more
easily available – books were more reliable. Made these new ideas available to the unstable.
- These urban townsmen bought the books, read them. – revolutionary effect.
- Erasmus had access to literate and educated Europe
- It was a satyr - The Revolutionary year was – 1560 – publication – Nobum Instrumentum – His new Tes-
tament – Jerome made fundamental mistake in translation. One of the sacraments of the Church
was a wrong translation. The gospel of John – in the beginning was SPEECH not word – speech
reason and the soul – ability of speech, reason, and souls.
- Erasmus was challenging the text of the Bible – new Testament – people agreed with him
- The Revolution began with his new Testament
- but another book was part of the revolution - Thomas More’s Utopia
- Thomas More was a secular politician – lawyer.
- Henry the 8th chopped his head off.
- More was secular but spiritual.
- Wrote the book – Utopia - in the first instance describes England and the things wrong
- The second part was about an Island where the irrational and uncharitable are reduced to a
criminal offense and humor – new literature – utopian literature – a blueprint for and idealistic
- There was no Christianity in Utopia – but the principles that make Christianity are there.
- More is making a blueprint of revolution.
- Blueprint for an abstract world.
- Would bring down government - should not exist to make the poor poorer and praise the
king – it exists to make the greatest good to the greatest number.
- Invention of Italian renaissance to access antiquity (to make sure the writings of antiquity were
copied out without mistakes) - e.g. textual editing, philology
- Intellectual instability: clergy in N. Europe applied these skills to elements of Christian Revela-
tion (i.e. Bible etc.)
- Shocking to reveal the “Word of God” had errors/typos => texts themselves were WRONG
- Desiderius Erasmus (1466?-1536) - became great scholar; did editions of classical bib-
• Dispute between what he saw written and what he saw in the Church (the clergy
weren’t following scripture)
• Began to make fun of all the problems he saw in the Church: The Praise of Folly
• Written as a speech that praised everything that was wrong with the world: wrongness
with the Church, poking fun at the structure of Church
• People realized the problems of the Church, problems of culture of N. Europe were
- 1450- invention of printing - Access to information = more easily available, all copies of the book are the same (no errors to
be interpreted to the reader)
- Urban merchant tow