world civ renaissance notes

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Ch 17. European Renaissance and Reformation (1300-1500/1350-1600)
Pages 468
European Renaissance and Reformation (1300-1500/1350-1600)
Pages 468Renaissance - rebirth of learning
Whose learning is being reborn?
Knowledge established by the ancient Greeks/Romans (classical period) rediscovery of the
classical period
Hub of European renaissance - Northern Italy - spreads throughout Europe.
Structured as city-states. Rest of Europe was largely rural.
Cities: people exchange ideas rapidly in cities “breeding grounds for an intellectual revolution”
Backdrop: 1300 - bubonic plague. 60% of population died. Merchants could demand higher
prices, since there were fewer laborers. Merchants began patronizing (sponsoring) the arts.
Medici family ruled Florence - Cosimo de Medici developed a powerful banking family. Made
loans to politicians to have influence. Cosimo died 1464. His grandson Lorenzo de Medici
Renaissance Man - Castiglione wrote a book called The Courtier - itemized the ideal
characteristics of the renaissance man and woman. Excel in many fields - chrm , wit, well
educated in the classics… dance, sing, play music and write poetry… and aslo be skilled as a
rider, wrestler and a swordsman
Renaissance Woman - know the classics, be charming, inspire art but not make it. Not to seek
fame and had little political influence.
Proverbs
1. To be a pillar-biter (to be a religious hypocrite)
2. To marry under the broomstick (to live together without marrying)
3. The scissors hang out there (they are liable to cheat you out there)
4. To be armed to the teeth (to be heavily armed)
5. To shave the fool without the lather (to trick someone)
6. To fish behind the net (to miss an opportunity)
7. There is no turning the spit with him (he is uncooperative)
8. To tie a flaxen beard to the face of Christ (to hide deceit under a veneer of Christian
piety)
9. To be barely able to reach one loaf to another (to have difficulty living within budget)
10. To put a spoke in someone’s wheel (to put up an obstacle in order to destroy one’s plans)
11. To have the world spinning on one’s thumb (to have every advantage)
The eleven proverbs that I found in Bruegel’s artwork all point to society in the renaissance
being full of complex institutions such as privilege and corruption, as well as a society starting to
question things that had always been assumed to be true. These proverbs suggest that at times
people would step on others, lie to others, and perform corrupt acts for personal gain. There are
also many proverbs that point to the challenging of Christianity and corrupt practices of the
church, whereas previously the church had been accepted as a definite power. Bruegel’s artwork
allows us to pick out proverbs and make observances that give us insight into renaissance
society.
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