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satire. His masterpiece, Don Quixote, pokes fun at romantic stories of heroic knights as well as Spanish society. The main character in the novel, Don Quixote, is a tall, thin, elderly man who has read too many tales of glorious knights. Although the age of knights is past, he dresses up in rusty armor and sets out to do noble deeds. With him is short, stout Sancho Panza. Sancho is an ordinary farmer who rides a mule, but Don Quixote sees him as his faithful squire.

Together the two men have a series of comic adventures. In Don Quixote’s imagination, country inns turn into castles and windmills into fearsome giants. While his adventures are very funny, there is something noble about the way he bravely fights evil, even if his deeds are only in his mind.

Don Quixote was very popular in Spain. King Philip III supposedly saw a man reading and laughing so hard that he was crying. The king said, “That man is either crazy or he is reading Don Quixote.” Today, Don Quixote is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature.

Don Quixote, shown here with his armor, is the hero of Cervantes’ comic novel by the same name.

Miguel Cervantes

satire a work that uses sharp humor to attack people or society
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30.12 Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance Person

Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was born in a village near Florence. His wide range of interests and accomplishments made him a true Renaissance person.

Personality and Training As a teenager, Leonardo trained in Florence under a master sculptor and painter. All his life he studied many subjects, including art, music, math, anatomy, botany, architecture, and engineering.

Leonardo spent much of his life in Florence and Milan. He worked as an artist, engineer, and architect for kings, popes, and wealthy patrons. A handsome, brilliant man, he had a special love of animals. Sometimes he bought caged animals at the market and set them free. He also was a vegetarian (he ate no meat), which was quite unusual at the time.

As you can see from all the topics he studied, Leonardo was endlessly curious. He was a careful observer and liked to figure things out for himself.

Talents and Achievements Leonardo was gifted in many fields. He was an accomplished painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and inventor.

Leonardo’s notebooks show him to be one of the greatest creative minds of all time. Like Albrecht Dürer, he closely studied proportions. He made precise drawings of people, animals, and plants. He also sketched out ideas about geometry and mechanics, the science of motion and force. He designed weapons, buildings, and a variety of machines. Many of the inventions he drew, such as a helicopter and a submarine, were centuries ahead of their time.

Leonardo’s paintings are among the world’s greatest works of art. One of his masterpieces is the Mona Lisa, a painting of a woman with a mysterious smile. It is one of the most famous paintings in the world. Like his other paintings, it displays a remarkable use of perspective, balance, and detail. The rich effects of light, shade, and color reveal Leonardo’s close study of light. Students of his art also detect how principles of geometry helped him organize the space in his paintings.

Leonardo’s art inspired other great artists, such as Michelangelo. With his many interests and talents, Leonardo is a nearly perfect example of the spirit of the Renaissance.

Mona Lisa is one of Leonardo da Vinci’s best-known paintings. This surprisingly small painting—only about 20 by 30 inches—has had a huge and lasting influence on artists to this day.

Leonardo da Vinci
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30.13 Chapter Summary

In this chapter, you learned how the Renaissance spread from Italy across Europe. You learned that trade, travel, education, and the printing press all helped to spread Renaissance ideas. Then you studied the lives and accomplishments of 10 Renaissance people.

Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Titian, and Dürer created many kinds of art. Each displayed humanist ideals of realism and beauty. Through their observations and fresh thinking, scientists like Copernicus and Vesalius dramatically increased human knowledge. Queen Isabella and Queen Elizabeth were strong monarchs who supported the arts and encouraged exploration. Shakespeare and Cervantes created masterpieces of world literature. Leonardo da Vinci was a creative genius. His many interests made him a true Renaissance person.

The spirit of the Renaissance led people to question many ideas and practices. Some of these questions were directed at the church. In the next chapter, you will learn about a time of religious unrest in Europe called the Reformation.

Pope Julius II ordered artists Bramante, Michelangelo, and Raphael to construct the Vatican and St. Peter’s cathedral.
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Chapter 31

The Reformation Begins

Corruption in the church led to questions about the morals of church officials.
31.1 Introduction

In the last chapter, you met 10 leading figures of the Renaissance. At the height of the Renaissance, western Europe was still Roman Catholic. In this chapter, you will learn about the beginnings of the Reformation. This historic movement led to the start of many new Christian churches that broke away from the Catholic Church.

The Reformation began in the early 1500s and lasted into the 1600s. Until then, all Christians in western Europe were Catholics. But even before the Reformation, the church’s religious and moral authority was starting to weaken.

One reason for the weakening of the church was the humanism of the Renaissance. Humanists often were very secular (non-religious) in their thinking. They believed in free thought and questioned many accepted beliefs.

Problems within the church added to this spirit of questioning. Many Catholics were dismayed by worldliness and corruption (immoral and dishonest behavior)in the church. Bishops and clergy often seemed devoted more to comfort and good living than to serving God. Sometimes they used questionable practices to raise money for the church. Some popes seemed more concerned with power and money than with spiritual matters.

These problems led a number of Catholics to cry out for reform. They questioned the authority of church leaders and some of the church’s teachings. Some broke away from the church entirely. They became known as Protestants because of their protests against the Catholic Church. The establishment of Protestant churches divided Christians into many separate groups.

In this chapter, you will learn more about the problems that weakened the Catholic Church. You’ll meet early reformers who tried to change the church. Then you will learn how a German priest, Martin Luther, ignited the movement that ended the religious unity of Europe. Finally, you’ll read about other early leaders of the Reformation.

Use this illustration as a graphic organizer to help you explore the causes and spread of the Reformation.
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31.2 The Weakening of the Catholic Church

By the Late Middle Ages, two major problems were weakening the Catholic Church. The first was worldliness and corruption within the church. The second was political conflict between the pope and European monarchs.

Worldliness and Corruption Within the Church During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church united the Christians of western Europe in a single faith. But the church was a political and economic institution as well as a religious one. By the 1300s, many Catholics felt that the church had become far too worldly and corrupt.

Too often, people who were supposedly dedicated to the church failed to live up to their role as spiritual leaders. For example, priests, monks, and nuns made vows, or solemn promises, not to marry or have children. Yet many broke these vows. Some seemed to ignore Christian values and morals. Church leaders often behaved like royalty instead of humble servants of God. Popes, cardinals, and bishops lived in elegant palaces and wore jeweled robes.

People were also troubled by the way many church officials tried to get money to support the church. One practice was the selling of indulgences. An indulgence was a release from punishment for sins. During the Middle Ages, the church granted indulgences in return for gifts to the church and other good works. People who received indulgences did not have to perform good deeds to make up for their sins. Over time, popes and bishops began selling indulgences as a way of raising money. This practice made it seem that people could buy forgiveness for their sins. Many Catholics were deeply disturbed by the abuse of indulgences.

The church also sold offices, or leadership positions. This practice is called simony. Instead of being chosen for their merit, buyers simply paid for their appointments. Buying an office was worthwhile because it could be a source of even more income. Often people acquired multiple offices in different places without actually going there to perform their duties.

People questioned other practices as well. Some clergy charged pilgrims to see holy objects, such as the relics of saints. In addition, all Catholics paid taxes to the church. Many people resented having to pay taxes to Rome as well as to their own governments.

The selling of indulgences made it seem as though people could buy forgiveness for their sins. This and other moneymaking practices led people to distrust the church.

indulgence a grant by the Catholic Church that released a person from punishment for sins

simony the buying and selling of spiritual or holy things
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Political Conflicts with European Rulers In medieval times, the pope became a powerful political figure as well as a religious leader. The church also accumulated vast wealth. Its political and economic power presented a problem for monarchs, because the church claimed to be independent of their control.

As kings and queens tried to increase their own power, they often came into conflict with the pope. They quarreled with the pope over church property and the right to make appointments to church offices. Popes also became entangled in other political conflicts.

These disputes added to the questioning of the pope’s authority. At times they led to scandals that damaged the church’s reputation.

One dramatic crisis unfolded in France in 1301. When King Philip IV tried to tax the French clergy, the pope threatened to excommunicate him. In response, soldiers hired by the king kidnapped the pope. The elderly pope was soon released, but he died a few weeks later.

The quarrel with the king ended under Pope Clement V. In 1309, Clement moved his headquarters from Rome to the French city of Avignon. He appointed 24 new cardinals during his reign, 22 of whom were French. The next six popes also lived in Avignon and named still more French cardinals. Many Europeans believed that France’s kings now controlled the papacy (the office of the pope). As a result, they lost respect for the pope as the supreme head of the church.

An even worse crisis developed after Pope Gregory XI moved the papacy back to Rome in 1377. The next year, Gregory died, and an Italian was elected pope. The new pope refused to move back to Avignon. A group of cardinals, most of them French, left Rome and elected a rival pope. The church now had two popes, one in Rome and one in Avignon. Later a church council elected a third pope. Each pope claimed to be the real head of the church.

This division in the church is called the Great Schism. For nearly 40 years, the various lines of popes denounced each other as impostors. Catholics were divided and confused. The Great Schism lessened people’s respect for the papacy and sparked calls for reform.

When Pope Clement V moved his headquarters from Italy to France, the quarrel between King Philip IV and the pope ended.

papacy the office, or position, of pope as head of the Catholic Church
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31.3 Early Calls for Reform

As you have seen, by the 1300s the church was beginning to lose some of its moral and religious standing. Many Catholics, including clergy, criticized the corruption and abuses that plagued the church. They challenged the authority of the pope. Some began to question church teachings and express new forms of Christian faith.

Reformers wanted to purify the church, not destroy it. By challenging the church’s practices and teachings, however, they helped pave the way for the dramatic changes of the Reformation. In this section, you will meet four of these early reformers.

John Wycliffe (About 1330–1384) John Wycliffe was a scholar in England. Wycliffe challenged the church’s right to money that it demanded from England. When the Great Schism began, he publicly questioned the pope’s authority. He also attacked indulgences and immoral behavior on the part of the clergy.

During the Middle Ages, church officials tried to control interpretations of the Bible. Wycliffe believed that the Bible, not the church, was the supreme source of religious authority. Against church tradition, he had the Bible translated from Latin into English so that common people could read it.

The pope accused Wycliffe of heresy, or opinions that contradict church doctrine. Wycliffe’s followers were persecuted, and some of them were burned to death. After his death, the church had his writings burned. Despite the church’s opposition, Wycliffe’s ideas had a wide influence.

Priest Jan Hus was an early reformer who agreed with Wycliffe’s ideas and spoke against the pope. For this, he was burned at the stake as a heretic.

heresy beliefs that contradict the official teachings of a religion or church; one who holds such beliefs is called a heretic

doctrine the official teachings of a religion or church
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Jan Hus (About 1370–1415) Jan Hus was a priest in Bohemia (today’s Czech Republic). He read Wycliffe’s writings and agreed with many of his ideas. Hus criticized the vast wealth of the church and spoke out against the pope’s authority. The true head of the church, he said, was Jesus Christ.

Hus wanted to purify the church and return it to the people. He called for an end to corruption among the clergy. He wanted both the Bible and the mass to be offered in the common language of the people instead of Latin.

In 1414, Hus was arrested and charged with heresy. In July 1415, he was burned at the stake.

Like Wycliffe, Hus had a major influence on future reformers. Martin Luther would later say that he and his supporters were “all Hussites without knowing it.”

Catherine of Siena (1347–1380) Catherine of Siena was an Italian mystic. She was extraordinarily devoted and felt that she had a direct experience of God. Even as a child, she had visions of Jesus and promised to be his “bride.”

Catherine spent long hours deep in prayer and wrote many letters about spiritual life. She also involved herself in church affairs. Her pleas helped convince Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy back to Rome from Avignon. Later she traveled to Rome to try to end the Great Schism.

Catherine was a faithful Catholic, and in 1461 the church declared her a saint. Yet her example showed that people could lead spiritual lives that went beyond the usual norms of the church. She and other mystics emphasized personal experience of God more than formal observance of church practices. This approach to faith helped prepare people for the ideas of the Reformation.

Desiderius Erasmus (1466–1536) Desiderius Erasmus was a humanist from Holland. A priest and devoted Catholic, he was one of the most outspoken figures in the call for reform.

In 1509, Erasmus published a book called The Praise of Folly. (Folly means “foolishness.”) The book was a sharply worded satire of society, including abuses by clergy and church leaders. Erasmus argued for a return to simple Christian goodness.

Erasmus wanted to reform the church from within. He angrily denied that he was really a Protestant. Yet perhaps more than any other individual, he helped to prepare Europe for the Reformation. His attacks on corruption in the church contributed to many people’s desire to leave Catholicism. For this reason it is often said that “Erasmus laid the egg, and Luther hatched it.”

Catholic priest Erasmus of Holland was perhaps the most influential person in spreading the ideas of reform before the Reformation.

mystic a person who is devoted to religion and has spiritual experiences
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31.4 Martin Luther Breaks Away from the Church

By the early 1500s, there was considerable turmoil in the church. In Germany, then part of the Holy Roman Empire, a priest named Martin Luther became involved in a serious dispute with church authorities. Condemned by the church, Luther broke away and began the first Protestant church. The Reformation had begun.

Luther’s Early Life Luther was born in Germany in 1483. Raised as a devout Catholic, he planned a career in law. As a young man, he was badly frightened when he was caught in a violent thunderstorm. As lighting flashed around him, he vowed that if he survived, he would become a monk.

Luther kept his promise and joined an order of monks. Later he became a priest. He studied the Bible thoroughly and earned a reputation as a scholar and teacher.

Luther Pushes for Change in the Catholic Church Like many Christians of his time, Luther asked the question, “What must I do to be saved?” The church stressed that keeping the sacraments and living a good life were the keys to salvation. Luther’s studies of the Bible led him to a different answer. No one, he believed, could earn salvation. Instead, salvation was a gift from God that people received in faith. People, he said, were saved by their faith, not good works.

Luther’s views brought him into conflict with the church over indulgences. In 1517, Pope Leo X needed money to finish building St. Peter’s, the grand cathedral in Rome. He sent preachers around Europe to sell indulgences. Buyers were promised pardons of all of their sins and those of friends and family. Luther was outraged. He felt that the church was selling false salvation to uneducated people.

Luther posted a list of arguments, called theses, against indulgences and church abuses on the church door in the town of Wittenberg. He also sent the list, called the Ninety-Five Theses, to church leaders.

Luther’s theses caused considerable controversy. Many people were excited by his ideas, while the church condemned them. Gradually, he was drawn into more serious disagreements with church authorities.

In response to critics, Luther published pamphlets that explained his thinking. He argued that the Bible—not the pope or church leaders—was

Luther nailed his list of 95 arguments, called the Ninety-Five Theses, to a church door in Wittenberg. Church leaders condemned the ideas in this document.
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the ultimate source of religious authority. The only true sacraments, he said, were baptism and the Eucharist. The church’s other five sacraments had no basis in the Bible. Moreover, all Christians were priests, and all should study the Bible for themselves. “Faith alone,” Luther wrote, “and the efficacious [effective] use of the word of God bring salvation.”

In the eyes of church leaders, Luther was attacking fundamental truths of the Catholic religion. In January 1521, he was excommunicated (no longer allowed to be a member of the church). The church also pressured the authorities in Germany to silence him once and for all.

In April, Luther was brought before the Diet, an assembly of state leaders, in the city of Worms. At the risk of his life, he refused to take back his teachings. The Holy Roman emperor declared Luther a heretic and forbade the printing or selling of his writings. For a time Luther went into hiding. But the movement he had started continued to spread.

Luther Starts His Own Church Many Germans saw Luther as a hero. As his popularity grew, he continued to develop his ideas. Soon he was openly organizing a new Christian

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