The Cultural Rebirth of Europe
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From art to architecture, music to literature, science to medicine, political thought to religion, The Renaissance expertly guides the reader through the cultural and intellectual flowering that Europe witnessed from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Ranging from the origins of the Renaissance in medieval Florence to the Counter- Reformation, the book explains how a revival in the study in Antiquity was able to flourish across the Italian states, before spreading to Iberia and north across Europe.
Nimbly moving from perspective in paintings to Copernicus's understanding of the Universe, from Martin Luther's challenge to the Roman Catholic Church to the foundations of modern school education, The Renaissance is a highly accessible and colourful journey along the cultural contours of Europe from the Late Middle Ages to the early modern period.
15th century Europe
Some historians dispute the term 'Renaissance' and its dates. The Mediterranean Trade revived with the crusades. Looting of Constantinople in 1204. Influx into western Europe of Byzantine scholars and scholarly texts after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. How western Europe benefited from Arabic copies of ancient Greek texts: after the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West, much ancient Greek though was lost, or at least overlooked, in the West. Decline in feudalism. Impact of the plague on the Renaissance.
Chapter One: Origins
Florence - how Italian city-states, led by Florence, unencumbered by heavy Papal influence or empire, and growing rich on wool production and east-west, north-south Mediterranean trade, were well placed to leap ahead intellectually and artistically. From Florence, the Renaissance reached Venice. Medici. Banking.
Chapter Two: Art and Architecture
Fine Art - laws of perspective. Giotto, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli Pigments - Titian's blue. How Venetian Mediterranean trade enabled Architecture: Brunelleschi's Duomo in Florence, Doge's Palace in Venice, St Peter's Basilica, Rome. Papal patronage
Northern Renaissance: Van Eyck, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Albrecht Durer, Hieronymus Bosch
Chapter Three: Science and Medicine
How studies in anatomy advanced figurative art Understanding blood flow in the body Copernicus. Galileo. Inquisition.
Chapter Four: Exploration
Wealth, advances in shipbuilding and navigation skills, as well as the pioneering zeal of some Renaissance minds, enabled travellers to sail far further by sea. Age of Discovery. The Americas. Mapmaking. Amerigo Vespucci, Christopher Columbus.
Chapter Five: Literature and Music
Tallis, Taverner and Byrd. Polyphony in the Netherlands. Boccaccio, Petrarch, Dante. Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre. Shakespeare and the English stage.
Chapter Six: Humanism, Political Thought and Religion
Machiavelli's The Prince. Thomas More's Utopia. Erasmus. Martin Luther, Vasari. Bookkeeping: Luca Pacioli
Chapter Seven: Legacy
Fully illustrated guide to Europe's great late medieval awakening in the arts and sciences