Rome was a city of ancient ruins, and the Papal States were loosely administered, and vulnerable to external interference such as that of France, and later Spain.
Italy in the Mid-Fourteenth Century: Commerce enriched and empowered regions in which the feudal system had not taken a strong hold, especially in northern Italy. The most prosperous of these cities—Florence, Venice, and Milan—became powerful city-states, ruling the regions surrounding them.
Further south, the Papal States, centered in Rome, gradually grew to rival the wealth of the northern cities, and as the seat of the papacy, exerted a tremendous influence over Italian life and politics. Along with a few other minor centers of wealth and power, including Urbino, Mantua, and Ferrara, these four regions became the cradle of the Renaissance, beginning in the fourteenth century to undergo political, economic, and artistic changes.
The beginning of the Renaissance in the mid-fourteenth century was marked by a turn from medieval life and values dominated by the Church toward the philosophical principles of humanism. The Italian people, especially the educated middle class, became interested in individual achievement and emphasized life in this world, as opposed to preparation for life in the next world, which was stressed by religion.
They believed strongly in the potential for individual accomplishment in the arts, literature, politics, and personal life. Individuals began to be encouraged to excel in a wide range of fields and showcase their talents.
Renaissance thinkers decried medieval life as primitive and backwards, and looked further back in history, to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans, for inspiration. One of the earliest and most prominent humanist writers was Francesco Petrarch, often known as the founder of humanism.
Many historians cite April 6,the date on which Petrarch was crowned Poet Laureate upon the Capitol in Rome, as the true beginning of the Renaissance. Petrarch believed that true eloquence and ethical wisdom had been lost during the Middle Ages, and could only be found by looking to the writings of the ancients, especially Virgil and Cicero.
Petrarch wrote extensively, producing poetry, biographies of historical figures, and wrote scores of letters, many of which were eventually published and widely read. One of his most popular letters, "The Ascent of Mount Vertoux," describes his journey to the summit of a mountain, but more importantly, it is an allegory comparing the hardships of the climb to the struggle to attain true Christian virtue.
Commentary Geography, more than anything else, gave Italy an advantage over northern Europe in regard to potential for amassing wealth and breaking free from the feudal system.
Jutting into the Mediterranean Sea, and strategically located between the majority of Europe and the Byzantine Empire, Italian cities had almost no choice but to participate in international trade and the market economy, and to integrate the activities of commerce into daily life.
In this way, Italy became exposed to the large-scale flow of both goods and ideas much earlier than most other regions in Europe.
Thus, during the later years of the Middle Ages, northern Italy flourished economically and intellectually. Further, because Italy's maintained its market economy while the rest of Europe developed a self- contained barter economy of feudal territories spawned by agrarian life, feudalism did not take hold in northern Italy as it did elsewhere in Europe.
Renaissance is synonymous with rebirth, yet rebirth from and to what is an important question. The first thing that comes to mind at the mention of the Italian Renaissance is that it is a period of great productivity and developments in the arts and literature made evident through the works by. Renaissance Ideas (Inspiration from the Ancients, Humanism, Secular Writing, and Science of the Renaissance) Renaissance Art (Patrons of the arts, styles and techniques, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante). Economic growth laid the material basis from the Italian Renaissance, from to , witnessed commercial and financial development, the growing political power of self-governing cities, and great population expansion (cultural achievements).
In both society and mind, it can be argued, northern Italy was more sophisticated and freer than the rest of Europe. The history and ideas of the ancient Greeks and Romans, cast into shadow throughout Europe in medieval times, had perhaps remained closer to the surface of contemporary thought in Italy than elsewhere, due to the geographical location of the Italian city-states, which had been built basically on top of the ruins of the Roman Empire.
However, this geographical proximity should not be overstated. Even in the city of Rome, the buildings of the empire had fallen into ruin, and many were covered by centuries of waste and overgrowth.
It seems unlikely, but even the citizens of Rome who lived in the shadow of the Coliseum and the Pantheon had little sense and less reverence for the history around them during the Middle Ages.From a general summary to chapter summaries to explanations of famous quotes, the SparkNotes Italian Renaissance () Study Guide has everything you need to ace quizzes, tests, and essays.
General Introductions to the Renaissance Overview of the 16th Century - Norton Topics Online Renaissance - The Annenberg/CPB Project The Renaissance - Michael S.
Seiferth History, Politics, and Law Renaissance Backgrounds: A Chronological Outline - Dr. Harriette Andreadis Millennium Timeline: The 16th Century ( - ) - Greenwich Renaissance .
Giorgio Agamben (–) Giorgio Agamben is one of the leading figures in Italian philosophy and radical political theory, and in recent years, his work has had a deep impact on contemporary scholarship in a number of disciplines in the Anglo-American intellectual world.
This is the Renaissance Art overview video for TICE ART , a video from the Utah System of Higher Education. Italian literature - The Renaissance: The European Renaissance (the “rebirth” of the classical past) really began in 14th-century Italy with Petrarch and Boccaccio.
The 15th century, devoid as it was of major poetic works, was nevertheless of very great importance because it was the century in which a new vision of human life, embracing a different conception of man, as well as more modern.
Renaissance is synonymous with rebirth, yet rebirth from and to what is an important question. The first thing that comes to mind at the mention of the Italian Renaissance is that it is a period of great productivity and developments in the arts and literature made evident through the works by.