Italian Renaissance



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Italian Renaissance

Core Content and Overview “List”

Italian Renaissance – Dates : c. 1300 – 1500/1600

Northern Renaissance; importance of Italian Wars (French invasion) for the spreading of

ideas to the north



Basis for development of the Renaissance in Italy

Politics and Government

  • Use of the arts and patronage for power; changing status of the artist

  • Oligarchy; republic; despot; signori

  • Medici family in Florence: Cosimo and Lorenzo “the Magnificent”

  • Savonarola and the “Bonfire of the Vanities”

  • Role of “public works”

  • New political ideas: Machiavelli’s The Prince

  • Venice: the doge and the Council of Ten

  • Renaissance Popes and changes in influence of the papacy: Alexander VI, Julius II and Leo X

Humanism as a “World View”

Renaissance Life

  • Jacob Burckhardt and the “power of the historian” to interpret and describe

  • Concentration of wealth in cities and creation of new social class structure

  • Decline of power of landed nobility

  • Increase in money economy

  • Changes in dress and housing as reflections of the Renaissance; gender differences

  • Decline of authority of Church as an institution; Renaissance Popes

  • Humanism as a world view

  • Vast majority of those alive at the time largely “invisible” as part of the Renaissance


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