The Renaissance and Reformation: A History in Documents

The Renaissance and Reformation: A History in Documents

by Merry Wiesner-Hanks


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At first glance, the Renaissance and the Reformation--two movements (one cultural, one religious) that defined Europe from 1400 to 1600--may appear to be polar opposites. The Renaissance found scholars and artists celebrating the beauty and splendor of the material world, while the Reformation saw Protestant and Catholic religious leaders and their followers focusing on eternal salvation. However, there were actually striking similarities between these two worlds. For instance, while both Renaissance artists and Reformation pastors originally desired a return to a "golden age" of the past, they both ended up creating something very new instead.

In The Renaissance and Reformation, Merry Wiesner-Hanks allows the historical participants to tell their own stories. She presents a mix of visual sources and written documents not only from learned scholars, trained artists, university-educated religious reformers, and powerful political leaders--but also from more ordinary men and women. Leonardo da Vinci considers the merits of painting versus poetry in his notebook, while the Italian diplomat Baldassar Castiglione recommends the pastime of music-making to gentlemen in his book The Courtier. A group of small-time investors signs a contract for a trading venture from Genoa to Corsica and Sardinia, and a wealthy Florentine widow writes a letter to her son, weighing his ability to start a new business. A picture essay uses individual and family portraits to discuss ideas about personality, temperament, and "genius"; social differences in marital patterns; and changes in family relationships. Wiesner-Hanks places events in Europe in a global context, allowing readers to examine the ways in which they were related to the voyages of exploration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195308891
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 09/09/2011
Series: Pages from History Series
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Merry Wiesner-Hanks is Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the editor of the Sixteenth Century Journal and the Journal of Global History, the author or editor of twenty books, including Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (2008) and Early Modern Europe 1450-1789 (2006).

Table of Contents

What Is a Document?
How to Read a Document

Introduction: Re-births and Reformations
Note on Sources and Interpretation

Chapter 1: The Tumultuous Late Middle Ages
The Black Death Reactions and Explanations Religion and the Plague Economic and Social Effects War and Revolts

Chapter 2: The Past and the Perfect
Florence, A City of Gold The Glories and Perils of Poetry Fame and the Renaissance Man Perfect Gentlemen, Perfect Ladies A Perfect Prince or a Perfect Tyrant?

Chapter 3: The Glory of the World
The Book of Nature Nature vs. Art Painters, Poets, and Nature The Artist as Poet Fleeting Life, Fleeting Love Music to Charm the Soul Messages from the Stars

Chapter 4: Picture Essay: The Individual and the Family

Chapter 5: Merchants and Master Craftsmen
The Commercial Revolution Families and Fortunes Merchants and Morality Jews in Renaissance Cities Clothing and Capitalism Craft Guilds

Chapter 6: Religious Reform and Renewal
Prayer, Pilgrimages, and Penance The Power of the Pope Calls for Reform Reform Becomes Reformation The Catholic Response

Chapter 7: Radical Hopes, Popular Protests, and Mystical Visions
Church and State Martyrs and Enemies The Peasants' War A Mystic Reformer

Chapter 8: A New Moral Order
Calvin's Geneva Marriage and the Reformation Preaching and Teaching Were the Reformers Successful?

Chapter 9: Global Connections and Challenges
Spices from the Indies The Voyages of Columbus The Impact of European Voyages in America and Africa European Thinking about the Americas

Timeline Further Reading Websites Text Credits Picture Credits Index

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