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April 24, 2007 at 1:32 am #655PhidippidesKeymaster
Am I the only fan of the Renaissance here? If you take a trip to Italy – specifically the town of Florence – you find that the Renaissance has given its indelible mark on the city. Such was its power and sphere of greatness that I would dare to say that part of Rome's greatness and influence was manifested/magnified/sent forth from this Tuscan gem. But even throughout Europe the Renaissance was really the gateway between old and new; it basically closed the Middle Ages and ushered forth the Enlightenment Age and then the Industrial Revolution. An impressive age probably in need of more exploration and discussion here.April 29, 2007 at 2:29 am #8698WallyParticipant
... really the gateway between old and new; it basically closed the Middle Ages and ushered forth the Enlightenment Age and then the Industrial Revolution. An impressive age probably in need of more exploration and discussion here.
Agreed; when I taught 10th grade (here in CA) we began with a rehash of where the kids leave off in grade 7... Age of Discovery and beginning of the Renaissance. Your point is the basis of all I worked toward... after the Middle Ages the clearing out of the Moors and the rediscovery of all the knowledge they had rat-holed in their magnificent libraries plus the survival and growth of the Church were the seeds and the fertilizer of the grow of the Modern Era.Much of the gain was little more than picking up the pieces from the Classical Age, dusting them off and sometimes turning them up; lots of writing and thinking, not much action (save the beginnings of the scientific revolution and the Reformation). For me it isn't until the Enlightenment that folks really start to try to apply things to their own world... on to the Age of Revolutions!While I agree that things were moving toward Industrialization during the late Middle Ages... guilds etc., it isn't until the second agricultural revolution that the necessary surplus of workers is available to really make the factory system fly. No Jethro Tull nor the likes of Mendel... Watt and the rest are just glorified mechanics. This age does make us the consumer society we are as the workers move into more skilled and technical jobs, into middle management and so forth. They make more money (eventually enough to have some discretionary funds) and gain some time to spend it; eventually the workers have to ask for time to spend all the extra $, no? This is where we are expendable $ and leisure time to spend it (to often before it is earned but that is another side of this move into modernity).Hmm, looks like the first semester less the Fr. Revolution (it comes between Ren/Ref and I/R) and the Unifications of Italy and Germany (after...). 😉WallyMay 5, 2007 at 9:28 pm #8699StumpfootParticipant
I am sad to say that my studies in this era are lacking. Phid can you recomend any good general histories?May 6, 2007 at 6:09 pm #8700PhidippidesKeymaster
Much of the gain was little more than picking up the pieces from the Classical Age, dusting them off and sometimes turning them up; lots of writing and thinking, not much action (save the beginnings of the scientific revolution and the Reformation). For me it isn't until the Enlightenment that folks really start to try to apply things to their own world… on to the Age of Revolutions!
That's a good point - the "Classical Age" was manifested in the Renaissance, and then the Englightenment comes along and seems concerned with application of theory. We see theories in economics (Adam Smith), politics (John Locke and others), put into practice. We might point to this transition between the Renaissance and Enlightenment as a break between "old" and "new", and in fact Descartes (17th Century) is considered the father of "modern philosophy". If we really wanted to, we could probably draw up a cost/benefit analysis that society has undergone bewteen the two ages. Just as the Enlightenment has given, it has also taken away.
I am sad to say that my studies in this era are lacking. Phid can you recomend any good general histories?
Stumpfoot, I can suggest some topics rather than titles. To begin with you may want to read histories of Florence and/or biographies of Lorenzo di Medici or Cosimo di Medici - members of the premiere ruling family of the premiere city of the Renaissance. You may also want to read on Pope Julius II and his patronage of the arts and his relation to Michelangelo. You could probably find something about the fighting between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions, which I believe provides a backdrop stemming from the Middle Ages which may help you to better understand Renaissance-era politics. Of course a good read in Italian Renaissance art and architecture is good any day of the week.Of course, outside Italy the Renaissance could be read about in Northern Europe (e.g. Bruges, Belgium) or London. Thomas More's Utopia is an excellent read in political philosophy - perhaps the best book I've read from this era.May 6, 2007 at 8:29 pm #8701StumpfootParticipant
I will take your suggestions and head over to Amazon and see what I can find, Thanks.