Section Information for Spring 2017
Survey of the Renaissance from its origins in late 14th-century Italy to its transmission outside of Italy to northern Europe by the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. One emphasis of the course will be the growth and impact of humanism on intellectual life, education, the arts, and politics. Another will be the ways in which humanism challenged and/or reinforced the hierarchical, patriarchal, and corporate perceptions of European society. The course will also deal with European overseas expansion and the encounter of other peoples, cultures, and continents. Most of the reading will be from primary texts and images of the period, including a variety of humanist texts on education, politics, and the arts, including among others Baldasar Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier, Christine de Pisan’s Treasure of the City of Ladies, and Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince and The Discourses on Livy. There will be two short papers written outside class, one based on the required reading and another based on an interactive web site using the 1427 tax roll (Catasto) of the city of Florence. There will also be a mid-term and final exam.
Survey considering Renaissance as phenomenon rather than chronological period. Emphasizes growth of humanism in Italy in 14th and 15th centuries, development of new political concepts, and laicization of society. Includes transmission of these developments to transalpine Europe in late 15th and 16th centuries.