Italian Renaissance-- 1400s -1500s • “renaissance” means rebirth--usually in context of a renewed interest in classical Greek and Roman society, philosophy, history and the arts. • Can also be seen as the beginning of the “modern age” • expansion of trade and commerce • town life/ urbanization • disintegration of feudal system • strong central governments
Renaissance Italy--or the Italian states • city/state governments--independent and self contained. Ruled by powerful families: • Florence--- Medici family • Milan --- Visconti family • Venice --- Sforza family • large, powerful cities controlled by wealthy families who earned their money in trade, commerce, and banking. • Currency exchange, deposits for merchants, interest bearing loans • Italian city states benefitted from geography that had Italy in the center of the Mediterranean Sea and the center of trade for that entire region.
These powerful cities ruled by wealthy families fought for control and dominance of trade and banking and territory. Led to endless feuds and wars and murder of each other’s relatives. • Some, like the Visconti’s in Milan were truly ruthless in their control and power. Others like Lorenzo d’Medici in Florence were more benevolent in their rule. Lorenzo was a great patron of the arts, giver to charities, interested in architecture to beautify his city.
Aspects of the Renaissance • Individualism • interest in the assertion of authority by individual rather than by state or by religion. • Assert own personality • demonstrate unique talent, seek fame and glory • individual achievement to be celebrated. The renaissance artists are among the first to sign their works of art. I did this. Assert rights. • Not as religiously concerned as in earlier times. • Value life for its own sake. Especially after plague years.
F. Petrarch • poet and writer who wrote about this new golden age of learning and achievement. Among those who coined the term’ renaissance’--away from the dark ages of feudalism and barbaric leadership. • Read and understood Greek and Latin texts. Wrote to classical authors like Cicero as if they were still alive. As equals. Without a Christian context. • Analysis of work instead of just memorization. Relevance to contemporary society.
Humanism-- • humanities (liberal arts--history, language, art, music, philosophy) • learning and intellectual activities • emphasis on personal achievement--active, educated scholarship pursuing interests in history and the past, in literature, in the arts. • Worry less about eternal salvation and death. • Pico della Mirandola -- • Oration on the Dignity of Man --- • book declaring that it mankind is free to be what God made. Everyone has within themselves the spark of the divine. No limits to ones potential or accomplishments. One can rise to the level of the angels or fall to level of the brutes and savages.
Renaissance Art • high sense of realism • natural world revealed • oil paints • shading and perspective • life and energy to paintings • faces that took on realistic appearances (old man, individual portraits, the Mona Lisa) • accurate human anatomy (artists would purchase dead bodies and perform dissection for accuracy) • Individual sponsorship of art by merchants, bankers, popes and princes. They supported artists with money and housing and bill paying and allowed them to work on their sculpture, paintings, and metalwork.
This was not done to glorify the artists but themselves for hiring them. • They wanted the best and they paid for the best. In return the artists would include the portraits of their patrons in their works of art. • Many times, in these instances, instead of accuracy, the artists chose to go for flattering looks so that the patron would be pleased and probably give the artist more work. • Sometimes artists hid the patrons as a saint, or an historic figure, or even themselves in a work. They would also be hired to decorate wall frescoes or the tombs of families. • Art works in the city/states of Italy were in town squares and city centers as sources of civic pride.
Pope Julius II became of the greatest patrons when in 1506 he hired Michelangelo (Buonarroti) to paint the 10,000 square foot ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome. • It took Michelangelo four years on his back and stooped in corners to complete the magnificent frescoes illustrating the Old testament from the time of Creation. • He would also paint the Last Judgement on the front wall of the Sistine Chapel as well as sculpt biblical heroes like David and Mary, the mother of Jesus. He was also the architect behind the dome of St. Peter’s cathedral.
Other artists of the Renaissance included Leonardo da Vinci--engineer, sculptor, painter, anatomist, weapons maker-- left 5000 pages of drawings. • The Mona Lisa (of course) and the Last Supper at the moment of Judas’ betrayal of Christ.
New learning and education • useful and practical education in law, medicine, literature, history, arts, languages, politics, sciences • textual analysis of historic documents. Passage of time allowed for more objectivity towards historic events. • Point out problems with Biblical translations • Lorenzo Valla in 1444 wrote a work --On the False Donation of Constantine--that proved a 4th century document giving the Pope vast territorial power was actually an 8th century forgery-- • He did so by using text analysis and proving that certain wording, phrasing not known in the 4th century was used in the document.
Politics-- • cut throat world of 14th-15th century Italian politics --warfare, betrayal, espionage, murder, invasions by France, Spain, and Austria-- • Niccolo Machiavelli • political writer, thinker • worked for the Medici family in Florence • 1513 The Prince • How to obtain, maintain, and increase power • a leader must manipulate--by any means--to get what he wants • cunning • use of force • use of intellect • more safe to be “feared than loved” • No place for idealized “good” government or Christian morality
Survival is all • Instill fear and keep power • Always watch your back • want to be be a good leader to the people, but never let them forget who is in charge. • Machiavelli was living in dangerous times for in the years previous to the publication of The Prince the city of Florence was over taken by French invasion, the Medici family thrown out of power and a Dominican monk by the name of Savonarola took power.
Savonarola became a fiery religious leader of Florence after denouncing moral vice and Medici extravagance. • He grew increasingly intolerant and the citizens of Florence grew impatient with him. • 1498 he accepted a challenge to undergo an ordeal by fire to prove his sanctity. The citizens of Florence turned out to see him burn or be saved from the flames. It rained. They got mad. He was imprisoned for heresy, tortured and was later burned at the stake--he was not saved by God. • The Medici’s returned to power.
Northern European Renaissance • France, Germany, England--was more distinctly religious--sometimes called era of Christian Humanism • leading a more ethical life through education and learning • Sir Thomas More • English lawyer, writer--eventually Chancellor of England under Henry VIII. More was a deeply religious man, devoted to the Roman Catholic faith. • Utopia 1516 “nowhere,” “nothing,” • if one could create a perfect society out of nothing--what would it be? • Idealized, educated, full of work, business, intellectual activity, social equality, no more greed or violence
Protestant Reformation • “protest” • “reform” • Reform and Change the Roman Catholic Church • So many problems left unchanged especially priests not leading spiritual life and the overt desire for extravagance and power. • So many avenues of power available to those within the church--many became administrators, diplomats, officials, that interfered with their religious duties.
So many had already been critical of the church (Wyclif, Waldo, issues of the great schism) that forced many people to question not only spirituality of the priests of the church but the doctrine of the Catholic Church and the authority of the pope. • Desire for a more personal, spiritual relationship with the church • Many more people could read the Bible for themselves--in their own vernacular language. • Many were forming their own religious study groups with threatened church authority
1517--Roman Catholic church authorities began the selling of indulgences--a document certifying the remission of sins granted by the church for a payment of money. • Money needed to help pay for the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. Julius II had started the project and other popes finished it--the new glorious cathedral was to be a great example of renaissance architecture--but was very expensive.
Johannes Tetzel, among many others, was an indulgence seller. He was selling them on behalf of the church in the German states. Tetzel even went as far as creating a chart that listed a price for each type of sin • He even had a jingle: ‘As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, a soul to heaven springs.’ • Buy for yourself, your relatives, your sinful relatives, your deceased relatives to ensure their passage to heaven. • While many bought the indulgences, many others were very angry at the thought of buying your way to heaven.
Martin Luther-- • son of a German mine owner • college educated • legal career • Luther had a religious experience after being caught out in a ferocious thunderstorm--he promised the saints he would devote his life to the Church • He vowed to become a monk--and did so joining the Augustinian order. • Became a professor of Biblical scholarship and religious studies at the U. of Wittenberg.
Very devoted and religious man--worried constantly about salvation-- and nothing in the church doctrine relieved him of his worries. • He began to contemplate thoughts of faith alone could bring one salvation. Salvation comes not from good works (pilgrimage, donations, worship of holy relics) but from simple faith. • “priesthood of all believers”--no need for Catholic hierarchy of priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals--all could be ministers in Christ. • He was horrified by Tetzel and other indulgence sellers that one could buy your way to salvation and heaven.
In October 1517 Luther wrote a letter to the archbishop of Wittenberg complaining about indulgences and other problems within the Catholic Church. This document is known as the 95 Theses (questions) posted on the door of Wittenberg Abbey. • He received no answer that satisfied his desire to help reform problems within the church. He continued to write and protest. • In 1521 The Church authorities ordered Luther to recant (say he was wrong) about his criticisms or face excommunication.
Luther burned the letter. He supposedly said, “I cannot recant, Here I stand.” • Luther was excommunicated and went to safe protection under Duke Frederick of Saxony who among others among the rich classes of Germany supported Luther. Not necessarily out of faith, but because they felt constrained by the Catholic church and looked to Luther to organize a new Church so that their taxes and tithes and land would not go to Rome. • In 1525 Luther sided with the German princes in forcibly putting down the German peasant rebellion of that year.
While in seclusion, Luther worked out what would become the first Protestant Church—the Lutheran faith. • 2 sacraments—infant baptism; communion (Lord’s Supper) • Community of believers • Faith alone for salvation • He also translated the Bible into German in 1523. • In 1525 Luther married Katherine von Bora. This signified the introduced clerical marriage into all Protestant churches. They had 6 children.
The term Protestant has come to mean those who protested the Catholic church and later left that church---or in other words any non-Catholic Christian. • All protestant churches began with Luther and the Lutheran church. • Those individuals that disagreed with Luther on doctrinal or religious issues then broke away from Lutheran church and began their own church.
One reason by Protestant church led by Luther succeeded when others had failed was the invention of the moveable type printing press in 1454 by Johannes Gutenberg. • Blocks of letters easily arranged into words and pages • Paper manufacturing easier • Less cost • Gutenberg Bible 1456 • Printed word transformed Europeans way of life • Government • Propaganda • Books, pamphlets, religious tracts • Literacy rates increased • Easier to obtain, transmit knowledge • Protestant books, sermons, songs spread all over Europe—penny a book.
John Calvin—Geneva, Switzerland • Literal interpretation of the Bible • Predestination—salvation pre-decided by God • The “Elect” made up the Calvinist church • Form the natural leaders of society • Disciplined and regulated church • No singing, dancing, laughing, dice, cards • Banishment or death • In Britain (especially Scotland) and later immigrants to America (Puritan Pilgrims on the Mayflower) were followers of Calvin. • Presbyterianism/ Calvinism
Anabaptists— • Re-baptize children as adults when they are free to choose their faith rather than as children when it is chosen for them. • Baptists, Quakers • English Reformation (development of Protestant church in England) • England had history of dislike of Roman Catholic Church and individuals who had protested issues • Kings disliked papal authority
Henry VIII—1527 Requested pope to annul marriage to Katherine of Aragorn on the basis of her being the widow of his older brother. That it was a sin that he married her. And has been punished by having girl children. • Daughter Mary— • Pope refused. Katherine’s nephew was the Holy Roman Emperor of Germany and the King of Spain Charles V—in other words she had friends in high places.