Italian city-states such as Milan, Venice, Florence, and Naples rose to power. They formed guilds to protect their prized artisans, reestablished some of the organized governing principles of the Romans, and re-invigorated the region's trade and economy. Increased prosperity was reflected in the lavish style and refined etiquette of the era.
Prominent men and women of the time mastered skills in many diverse activities, wore the latest fashions, and developed many of the polite social manners we value today. This informative textbook offers review questions, further thoughts, and suggested projects at the end of each chapter to further explore the events, personalities, culture, and achievements of this incredible era.
The book is full of color maps, photos and illustrations that help convey the liveliness and character of the Italian Renaissance. Many Renaissance thinkers feared being too bold, which stifled creativity. Furthermore, in , the Council of Trent established the Roman Inquisition , which made humanism and any views that challenged the Catholic church an act of heresy punishable by death. By the early 17th century, the Renaissance movement had died out, giving way to the Age of Enlightenment. The Renaissance, History World International. Facts About the Renaissance, Biography Online.
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HISTORY OF THE RENAISSANCE
International Humanist and Ethical Union. Why Did the Italian Renaissance End? We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. Toward the end of the 14th century AD, a handful of Italian thinkers declared that they were living in a new age.
Known as the Renaissance, the period immediately following the Middle Ages in Europe saw a great revival of interest in the classical learning and values of ancient Greece and Rome. Against a backdrop of political stability and growing prosperity, the development of new The Harlem Renaissance was the development of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City as a black cultural mecca in the early 20th Century and the subsequent social and artistic explosion that resulted.
Lasting roughly from the s through the mids, the period is Luther spent his early years in relative anonymity as a monk and scholar. Leonardo da Vinci was a painter, architect, inventor, and student of all things scientific. Puritans were members of a religious reform movement known as Puritanism that arose within the Church of England in the late sixteenth century. Under siege from church and crown, it sent an offshoot in the third and fourth decades of the seventeenth century to the northern His theses challenged the authority of the Catholic Church, and sparked the historic split in Martin Luther, the chief catalyst of Protestantism, was a professor of biblical interpretation at the University of Wittenberg in Germany From Darkness to Light: Humanism During the 14th century, a cultural movement called humanism began to gain momentum in Italy.
To protect themselves against the landlords and the innkeepers and the boarding-house ladies of the city, they formed a corporation or University and behold the beginning of the university of Bologna. Next there was a quarrel in the University of Paris. We do not know what caused it, but a number of disgruntled teachers together with their pupils crossed the channel and found a hospitable home in n little village on the Thames called Oxford, and in this way the famous University of Oxford came into being.
In the same way, in the year , there had been a split in the University of Bologna. The discontented teachers again followed by their pupils had moved to Padua and their proud city thenceforward boasted of a university of its own. It is quite true that much of the teaching done by these early professors would sound absurd to our ears, trained to listen to logarithms and geometrical theorems. The point however, which I want to make is this—the Middle Ages and especially the thirteenth century were not a time when the world stood entirely still.
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Among the younger generation, there was life, there was enthusiasm, and there was a restless if somewhat bashful asking of questions. And out of this turmoil grew the Renaissance. But just before the curtain went down upon the last scene of the Mediaeval world, a solitary figure crossed the stage, of whom you ought to know more than his mere name.
This man was called Dante. He was the son of a Florentine lawyer who belonged to the Alighieri family and he saw the light of day in the year He grew up in the city of his ancestors while Giotto was painting his stories of the life of St. Francis of Assisi upon the walls of the Church of the Holy Cross, but often when he went to school, his frightened eyes would see the puddles of blood which told of the terrible and endless warfare that raged forever between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, the followers of the Pope and the adherents of the Emperors.
When he grew up, he became a Guelph, because his father had been one before him, just as an American boy might become a Democrat or a Republican, simply because his father had happened to be a Democrat or a Republican. But after a few years, Dante saw that Italy, unless united under a single head, threatened to perish as a victim of the disordered jealousies of a thousand little cities.
Then he became a Ghilbeiline. He looked for help beyond the Alps. He hoped that a mighty emperor might come and re-establish unity and order. The Ghibellines were driven out of Florence in the year From that time on until the day of his death amidst the dreary ruins of Ravenna, in the year , Dante was a homeless wanderer, eating the bread of charity at the table of rich patrons whose names would have sunk into the deepest pit of oblivion but for this single fact, that they had been kind to a poet in his misery.
During the many years of exile, Dante felt compelled to justify himself and his actions when he had been a political leader in his home-town, and when he had spent his days walking along the banks of the Arno that he might catch a glimpse of the lovely Beatrice Portinari, who died the wife of another man, a dozen years before the Ghibelline disaster. He had failed in the ambitions of his career. He had faithfully served the town of is birth and before a corrupt court he had been accused of stealing the public funds and had been condemned to be burned alive should he venture back within the realm of the city of Florence.
To clear himself before his own conscience and before his contemporaries, Dante then created an Imaginary World and with great detail he described the circumstances which had led to his defeat and depicted the hopeless condition of greed and lust and hatred which had turned his fair and beloved Italy into a battlefield for the pitiless mercenaries of wicked and selfish tyrants.
He tells us how on the Thursday before Easter of the year he had lost his way in a dense forest and how he found his path barred by a leopard and a lion and a wolf. He gave himself up for lost when a white figure appeared amidst the trees. It was Virgil, the Roman poet and philosopher, sent upon his errand of mercy by the Blessed Virgin and by Beatrice, who from high Heaven watched over the fate of her true lover. Virgil then takes Dante through Purgatory and through Hell.
Deeper and deeper the path leads them until they reach the lowest pit where Lucifer himself stands frozen into the eternal ice surrounded by the most terrible of sinners, traitors and liars and those who have achieved fame and success by lies and by deceit. But before the two wanderers have reached this terrible spot, Dante has met all those who in some way or other have played a role in the history of his beloved city.
Emperors and Popes, dashing knights and whining usurers, they are all there, doomed to eternal punishment or awaiting the day of deliverance, when they shall leave Purgatory for Heaven. It is a curious story. It is a handbook of everything the people of the thirteenth century did and felt and feared and prayed for. Through it all moves the figure of the lonely Florentine exile, forever followed by the shadow of his own despair. That was Francesco Petrarca, the son of the notary public of the little town of Arezzo. He too had been exiled and thus it happened that Petrarca or Petrarch, as we call him was born away from Florence.
At the age of fifteen he was sent to Montpellier in France that he might become a lawyer like his father. But the boy did not want to be a jurist. He hated the law. He wanted to be a scholar and a poet—and because he wanted to be a scholar and a poet beyond everything else, he became one, as people of a strong will are apt to do.
He made long voyages, copying manuscripts in Flanders and in the cloisters along the Rhine and in Paris and Liege and finally in Rome.
Then he went to live in a lonely valley of the wild mountains of Vaucluse, and there he studied and wrote and soon he had become so famous for his verse and for his learning that both the University of Paris and the king of Naples invited him to come and teach their students and subjects. On the way to his new job, he was obliged to pass through Rome. The people had heard of his fame as an editor of half-forgotten Roman authors.
They decided to honour him and in the ancient forum of the Imperial City, Petrarch was crowned with the laurel wreath of the Poet.
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From that moment on, his life was an endless career of honour and appreciation. He wrote the things which people wanted most to hear. They were tired of theological disputations. Poor Dante could wander through hell as much as he wanted. But Petrarch wrote of love and of nature and the sun and never mentioned those gloomy things which seemed to have been the stock in trade of the last generation.
And when Petrarch came to a city, all the people flocked out to meet him and he was received like a conquering hero. If he happened to bring his young friend Boccaccio, the story teller, with him, so much the better. They were both men of their time, full of curiosity, willing to read everything once, digging in forgotten and musty libraries that they might find still another manuscript of Virgil or Ovid or Lucrece or any of the other old Latin poets.
They were good Christians. Of course they were! But no need of going around with a long face and wearing a dirty coat just because some day or other you were going to die. People were meant to be happy.
From Darkness to Light: The Renaissance Begins
You desired proof of this? Take a spade and dig into the soil.
What did you find? Ruins of ancient buildings.