By Jon Cook | Published in History Review 2003
Jon Cook identifies the mix of factors that helps explain the Florentine Renaissance.
When Edmund Blackadder memorably lamented, ‘Baldrick, to you the Renaissance was just something that happened to other people’, it was probably the citizens of Florence to whom he was referring. For nowhere else were the ingredients that enabled the Renaissance to flourish – a politically-active citizenry, a vigorous humanist movement and abundant wealth – better blended. It is these ingredients, in Italy in general and in Florence in particular, that are the subject of this essay.