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Chapter 10

Textbook Notes - Chapter 10

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HIST 1010
Peter Goddard

Chapter 10 Renaissance and Discovery *period of the vernacular; humanism, voyages, With the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, Italys once unlimited trading empire began to shrink. City-state soon turned against city-state and by the 1490s, French armies invaded Italy The Renaissance in Italy (1375-1527) *Jacob Burckhardt Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy gave rise to new secular and scientific values *period in which people began to adopt a rational and statistical approach to reality and to rediscover the worth and creativity of the individual *most scholars agree that the Renaissance was a time of transition from medieval to modern times *Medieval: fragmented feudal society with agricultural economy, church dominated thought and culture *Renaissance: growing national consciousness and political centralization, urban economy based on organized commerce and capitalism, growing lay and secular control of thought and culture, including religion *Two events coincide with the beginning of this period: the deaths of Petrarch (father of humanism in 1374) and Giovanni Bocaccio (author of the Decameron in 1375) *Florentine humanist culture spread throughout Italy and into northern Europe thereafter *creative expansion ended in 1527 when Spanish-imperial soldiers looted and torched Rome *French king Francis I and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V made Italy battleground for mutual dynastic claims to Burgundy and parts of Italy. - The Italian City-State o Trade-rich cities became powerful city-states, dominating the political and economic life of the surrounding countryside o Warfare between pope and emperor and propal and proimperial factions assisted the growth of Italian cities and urban culture. Instead of focusing on subduing one another, they chose to weaken one another, which strengthened the merchant oligarchies of the cities. o Unlike the great cities of northern Europe, which kings and territorial princes dominated, the great Italian cities remained free to expand on their own. o 5 major competitive states evolved: the duchy of Milan, the republics of Florence and Venice, the Papal States, and the kingdom of Naples o social strife and competition for political power became so intense within the cities that most evolved into despotisms just to survive. o Venetian government 300 members and a ruthless judicial body; Council of Ten quick to anticipate and suppress all rival groups o Social Class and Conflict: Florence example of social division and anarchy: grandi (old rich), popolo grosso (fat people); middle-burgher ranks of guild masters, shop owners, etc; popolo minuto (little people lower class uprising of he poor in 1378 Ciompi Revolt established a chaotic 4-year reign of power by the lower Florentine classes; stability did not return to Florence until he power of the Florentine banker and statesman Cosimo de Medici in 1434 o Despotism and Diplomacy: Cosimo de Medici wealthiest Florentine and natural statesman; controlled city from behind the scenes; Signoria was a council of 6-8 members governed the city, members represented major clothing industries, banks, jusges, doctors, informal; Cosimo was able to keep councillors loyal o him; grandson Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492) ruled Florence in almost totalitarian fashion; assassination of his brother in 1478 by rival Pazzi family made Lorenzo a cautious and determined leader; despot held executive, military and judicial authority but could not count on the loyalty of the divided populace; Milant Viconti family came to power in 1278 and Sforza family in 1450, ruling without constitutional restraints or serious political competition o Italian Renaissance culture was promoted as vigorously by despots as by republicans and as enthusiastically by secularized popes as by the more spiritually minded. - Humanism o Paul O. Kristeller humanism was not a philosophy or value system but an educational program built on rhetoric and scholarship o Humanism based on scholarly study of Latin and Greek classics and of the ancient Church Fathers embracing grammar, rhetoric poetry, history, politics and moral philosophy celebrated dignity of humankind and prepared people for a life of virtuous action o Leonardo Bruni humanitas (humanity) to the learning that resulted from such scholarly pursuits; Bruni was a start student of Manuel Chrysoloras (opened the world of Greek scholarship to Italian humanists) o First humanists were orators and poets, wrote in classical and vernacular languages; taught rhetoric in universities; when not employed as teachers, princely and papal courts sought their talents as secretaries, speechwriters and diplomats o Study of classical and Christian antiquity Carolingian renaissance in 9 century, th th Chartres in 12 century, Aristotelian revival in 13 century ~ latest renaissane more secular and lay dominated, broader interests, more recovered manuscripts, less bound to recent tradition, made manuscripts available to contemporary scholars o Petrarch Dante and Bocaccio Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), father of humanism; left legal profession to pursue letters and poetry; lived mostly in and around Avignnon; involved in popular revolt in Rome (1347-1349); served the Visconti family in Milan; Letters to the Ancient Dead, Africa, Lives of Illustrious Men; letters to Laura; classical and Christian values coexist uneasily in his work; more secular than Dante Alighieri Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375), Decameron o Goal of education: was wisdom eloquently spoken, both knowledge of good and ability to move others to desire it; better to wil the good than to now the truth Pietro Paolo Vergerio (1349-1420) On the morals that befit a free man Quntilian Education of the Orator, basic classical guide tfor the humanist revision of the traditional curriculum Vittorino da Feltre exemplified the ideals of humanist teaching Guarino da Verona, rector of U of Ferrara, another student of Greek, under Manuel Chrysoloras, streamlined study of classical languages Baldassare Castiglione Book of the Courtier rediscovered knowledge of the past model and challenge to the present; practical guide for nobility, highest ideals of Italian humanism Christine de Pisan, daughter of physician and astrologer French king Charles V expert in classical, French and Italian languages and literature The Treasure of the City of Ladies how to handle your husbands o Florentine Academy and the Revival of Platonism Revival of Greek studies stands out the most, especially works of Plato Greek scholars fled to Florence for refuge Florentine Platonic Academy evolved under the patronage of Cosimo de Medici and Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola Academy was not a formal school, but informal gathering of influential Florentine humainists devoted to the revival of the works of Plato and the Neoplatonists (Plotinus, Proclus, Porphyry, Dionysius Picos Oration on the Dignity of Man, Platonic influence; introduction to his pretentious collection of 900 theses published in Rome served as the basis fr public debate on all of lifes important topics o Critical Work of the Humanists: Lorenzo Valla (1406-1457) Author of Elegances of the Latin Language in 1444, explosive character of new learning; a good Catholic who became a hero to later Protestant reformers expose of the Donation of Constantine and his defense of predestination; fraudulent Donation; discoveries did not make Valla any less loyal to the church o Civic Humanism Basic humanist criticism of Scholastic education was that much of its content was useless, should promote individual virtue and public service - Coluccio Salutati, Leonardo Bruni, Poggio Bracciolini used their skills to rally the Florentines against the aggression of Naples and Milan; Bruni and Poggio wrote adulatory histories of the city; Alberti (noted Florentine architect and builder) did the 3 famous humanist chancellors of Florence want to simply exercise power; Niccolo Machievelli and Francesco Guicciardini wrote in Italian and made contemporary history their primary source and subject matter - Renaissance Art o High Renaissanc
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