VIC342H1 Lecture 2: Week 2 - Introduction to Women in the Renaissance

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University of Toronto St. George
Victoria College Courses
Manuela Scarci

Renaissance 13001650; revival of classical civilizations, rebirth, emergence of the middle class (upper mobility) you can still make something of yourself most important change that occurred in the Renaissance Why Italy? Geographical position, Roman Empire, Church Geographical Position 13001400: Italian peninsula = series of independent city states and principalities; no central power or government At the crossroad between welldeveloped markets in the East and underdeveloped markets in the North Commerce never really at a standstill in Italy the early middle Ages dominated by the Maritime Republics: Venice, Pisa, Genoa, Amalfi The Italian peninsula always more highly populated than the rest of Europe Feudalism never as strong as in the North More urban centers because of trade and commerce The Roman Empire Italy = Italy was the natural heir to the Western Roman Empire The myth of Rome (architecture, literature, laws) always present The Church Italy = base for the Church (especially after the definite return of the Pope from Avignon in 1417). Home of the universal Church because the Pope resided in it The church is the universal institution at this point. Italy is a special place in the minds of many because of the presence of the Church PreRenaissance After the fall of the Roman Empire, Roman civilization is no longer: Forms of government are inexistent Roads and aqueducts are in disrepair Great monuments in ruins (arenas, temples, triumphal arches) The Roman Empire owed its existence to (All of this is no longer after the fall): A centralized political power Commercetrade Laws Invasions Barbarians from the north and the Muslims from the south Europe lives in a precarious situation (violence and poverty) There was no middle class, society organized like a pyramid and society was dominated by two classes: Warrior class (feudal laws) and clergy (Church) System consists of unarmed peasants at the bottom of pyramid, warriors owed allegiance to the king and were given dominion over land The Dark Ages are characterized by: Hierarchal society, wellordered, unchangeable Simple life, primitive and isolated Ruralagricultural economy
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