History 243 exam notes
Poggio Bracciolini, “The Ruins of Rome” (379-384) (Year 1430)
-Poggio Bracciolini and his friend Antonio Lusco would contemplate the desert ruins
that used to be the great empire of Rome.
-Disaster of fall of Rome exceeds all other historical disasters, whether natural or from
hand of man.
-Rome encapsulated culture, military discipline, morals, laws, virtues, great
rulers/emperors, heros etc...
Lorenzo Valla, “The Glories of the Latin Language” (131-135) (year 1430-1440)
-Latin is noblest and truest language of the soul
-Latin taught people the liberal arts, the best laws, made way for wisdom, and removed
people from the status of barbarians.
-Latin is glory of Rome, it enhanced vernaculars and promoted peace and love
-Latin is a reminder of the former glory of Rome
-Latin is a single language and therefore better than the many languages of Greece.
-Sad for the decline of Latin because of the destruction of Rome.
-Only recently have arts became to flourish after the destruction of Rome and Latin
Leon Batista Alberti, “On Virtù and fortuna ” (328-331) (year 1434)
-Wonders when he sees families that were once happy and glorious and now lost and
extinguish, could this same fortune fall upon men?
-Many great Italian families with the most talented men are now ruined.
-Not only have these families been reduced, but so have the great men of them
-Could fortune have such power of human affairs?
-Many people who have fallen through their own stupidity, blame it on fortune.
-Man themselves are their own source of fortune and misfortune.
-As well gaining praise/ability/wealth is a result of ability rather than fortune.
-Republics and Principalities also never gained land or glory through fortune, but rather
through just laws, virtuous princes etc…
L.B.Alberti, “Self-Portrait of the Universal Man” (480-492) (year after 1460?)
-He was always the smartest and well diverse in the arts
-He was also always the best athlete.
-He was the best musician
-Went on to study law, but became ill due to overexertion
-Put aside his legal studies to write the play Philodoxeos (at age of 20)
-Resumed legal studies when his health permitted, but again became sick and doctors
advised him to stop over exerting himself so much, but he did not obey.
-Was forced to stop studies that were most fatiguing to his memory
-At age of 24 he turned to studying physics and math
-Continued to write many small works