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This movement that started in Italy caused an explosion of creativity in art, writing, and thought that lasted approximately from 1300 to 1600. Historians call this period the Renaissance . The term means rebirth, and in this context, it refers to a revival of art and learning.
The bubonic plague struck these cities hard, killing up to 60 percent of the population. This brought economic changes. Because there were fewer laborers, survivors could demand higher wages.
the city-state of Florence had a republican form of government. But during the Renaissance, Florence came under the rule of one powerful banking family, the Medici. The Medici family bank had branch offices throughout Italy and in the major cities of Europe.
he won control of Florence’s government. He did not seek political office for himself, but influenced members of the ruling council by giving them loans. For 30 years, he was dictator of Florence.
Cosimo de Medici died in 1464,
Lorenzo de Medici, came to power
Christian scholars in Constantinople fled to Rome with Greek manuscripts when the Turks conquered Constantinople
Baldassare Castiglione wrote a book called The Courtier that taught how to become such a person.
They were about a mysterious woman named Laura, who was his ideal. (Little is known of Laura except that she died of the plague
The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, also examines the imperfect conduct of human beings. It does so by taking the form of a political guidebook.
Yet, some of them had great influence. Vittoria Colonna (1492–1547) was born of a noble family.
she married the Marquis of Pescara. He spent most of his life away from home on military campaigns.
Away at the Battle of Ravenna in 1512, she wrote to him:
Renaissance ideas had spread to Northern Europe—especially England, France, Germany, and Flanders
the population of northern Europe, which had declined due to bubonic plague, was beginning to grow again.
cities grew rapidly. Urban merchants became wealthy enough to sponsor artists.
French king claimed the throne of Naples in southern Italy and launched an invasion through northern Italy.
the most famous person to do this was the Germanartist Albrecht Dürer. He traveled to Italy to study
Flemish painting reached its peak
Erasmus wrote his most famous work, The Praise of Folly. This book poked fun at greedy merchants, heartsick lovers, quarrelsome scholars, and pompous priests. Erasmus believed in a Christianity of the heart, not one of ceremonies or rules. He thought that in order to improve society, all people should study the Bible.
Shakespeare was born in 1564 in Stratford upon-Avon, a small town about 90 miles northwest of London.
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