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HIS109Y1 Study Guide - Sebastian Lotzer, Erasmus, Polymath

Course Code
Kenneth Bartlett

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HIS109 Brophy Readings
Humanism & Renaissance Italy
High Middle Ages, 1000-1300 (350-61)
The Charter of Liberties of St. Omer, William of Normandy
Issued to citizens of St. Omer in 1127
Such charters were the foundations of urban freedom, reveal what city people
needed to conduct their business
Embodies results of bargaining between the merchants & their lord
9) I make free from the cavagium, that is, from the head tax, & from payments to
the court officials.
The Anonymous Treatise on Husbandry (France, late 13th cent.)
Intended to be a guide for an official, a steward, in charge of managing a monastic
estate or manor
Job of the farm manager was to keep track of resources, maximize income,
oversee the lesser officials bailiff & the reeve (sr. peasant tenant)
Husbandry: the work of raising crops & animals
Window into the lives of farmers
C.19) If there is a manor in which there is no dairy then it is always advisable to
have a woman there for much less money than a man would take. unequal
pay, differentiation between the division of labour between men & women
Medieval Commercial Contracts & Reports (Genoa)
Urban society required reliable contracts
Two basic types of documents: 1) commenda & 2) societas partnerships in
which the parties contributed varying amounts of capital & labour to a joint
enterprise & divided profits accordingly
Letter from an Italian merchant in France, shows his work & worries
Renaissance, 1350-1550 (551-59; 564-67)
I Libri della Famiglia (On the Family), Alberti
Alberti embodied the Renaissance man
Written in dialogue, among the members of the Alberti family gathered at the
deathbed of Leon Battistas father
Examines the ideal family as a unit for the begetting & rearing of children, for the
amassing & maintaining of fortunes, & for the accumulation & exercise of power

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Children act as pledges & securities of marital love & kindness. At the same time
they offer a focus for all a mans hopes & desires.
His children keep his own position & his true image in the family.
The Lives of the Artists, Vassari
Vassari traveled around Italy on various commissions, & gathered specific
information about artists & their works
Insight into the practice of art in the Renaissance
Artists seemingly in divine regard He (God) determined to give this
artist the knowledge of true moral philosophy & the gift or poetic expression, so
that everyone might admire & follow him as their perfect exemplar in life, work, &
behaviour & in every endeavour, & he would be acclaimed as divine.
The Notebooks, Da Vinci
Discusses techniques used in his art
Oration on the Dignity of Man, Della Mirandola
Figure of Renaissance Humanism (heretical)
Man is the intermediary between creatures, the intimate of gods, the king of
lower beings, by the acuteness of his senses, by the discernment of his reason, &
by the light of his intelligence the interpreter of nature, the interval between
fixed eternity & fleeting time.
* With freedom of choice & with honour, as though the maker & molder of thyself
(God), thou mayest fashion thyself in whatever shape thou shalt prefer. 
humans have the power to shape themselves, notion of free will
Whatever seeds each man cultivates will grow to maturity & bear in him their
own fruit. notion of free will (goes against what the Church professed at the
Northern Humanism, (567-80)
The Prince, Machiavelli
Fundamental truths of modern politics: 1) necessity of national unity based on a
common language, culture, & economy; 2) preservation of national unity through
the concentration & exercise of power by the state
Advice for the prince (or ruler)
If you wish to widely known as a generous man, you must seize every
opportunity to make a big display of your givingprince of this character bound

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to use up his entire revenue in works of ostentation, in the end if he wants to keep
a name of generosity, he will have to load his people with exorbitant taxes &
squeeze money out of them in every way he can.
No prince should mind being called cruel for what he does to keep his subjects
united & loyal.
To be feared is much safer than to be loved keeps the people obedient, they
wont do something for fear of punishment
General rule about men they are ungrateful, fickle, liars, & deceivers, fearful
of danger & greedy for gain
People can be easily manipulated by the prince
Prince has to be a fox that is wary of traps (cannot defend itself from wolves), & a
lion to overawe the wolves (lion cannot protect themselves from traps)
Ten Colloquies, Desiderius Erasmus
Renewal of Christian piety through the study of Christian literature, the Bible
& church fathers above all
Christian Humanism northern European variant of classical Italian
Colloquies written to inspire Christian conduct
Utopia, Thomas More
Describes a pagan, communist city-state in which all policies & institutions were
governed by reason
Such a state was contrasted with the polity of Christian Europe with its greed,
self-interest, & violence
As long as you have private property, & as long as cash money is the measure of
all things, it is really not possible for a nation to be governed justly or happily
Absolute equality of goods, eradication of private property (“So long as private
property remains, there is no hope at all of effecting a cure & restoring society to
good health.)
The Reformation (591-606; 609-13)
95 Theses, Martin Luther
Founder of Protestantism
Sale of indulgences in 1517 provoked Luther to public protest (salvation the
result of divine grace, do not have buy your way into heaven)
Sale of indulgences went to rebuild church of St. Peter 86) why does not the
pope, whose wealth is to-day greater than the riches of the richest, build just
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