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AP Euro Notes
Unit 1: Renaissance and Discovery

I. The Renaissance in Italy (1375-1527)
Renaissance-a time of transition from the medieval to the modern world Jacob Burkhardt: the renaissance was the release of the “full, whole nature of man” Started after the death of Pertrach, “the father of humanism” and ended with the sack of Rome from Spanish-imperial soldiers.

A. The Italian City-State
Growth of City-States: endemic warfare between emperor and pope of Italy weakened one another and strengthened merchant oligarchies of the cities. 5 major, competitive states in Italy: Milan, Florence, Venice, the Papal States (Rome), and Naples.

Social Class and Conflict: Florence-four social groups: old rich/grandi, new rich merchant class-capitalists/ “fat people”, Middle class, populo minuto/ lower economic class.
Social divisions = conflict
Ex: Ciompi Revolt- In 1378 the poor established a chaotic four-year reign of power. Causes: feud between old and new rich, social anarchy from Black Death, collapse of banking houses
Despotism and Diplomacy: Despots ruled the city states through the support of merchant oligarchies. podesta-a strongman hired by dominant groups in a city who was given all authority to allow the normal flow of business activity through mercenary armies obtained through military brokers known as condoterri. Florence- Cosimo de’ Medici controlled city internally manipulating constitution and influencing elections. Government: Florence was governed by a council known as Signoria chosen from the powerful guilds. Cosimo kept councilors loyal to him and as the head of the Office of Public Debt he had influence. His grandson, Lorenzo the magnificent ruled Florence in almost totalitarian fashion.

Milan-the Visconti family and Sforza family ruled without constitutional restraints or serious political competition as despots
Venice-ruled by successful merchant oligarchy with Senate of 300 members, a judicial body of the Council of Ten, which suppressed rival groups. City-states established embassies in other city-states and the ambassadors became spies as well

Impact: Despots provided flow of wealth that promoted Italian Renaissance culture B. Humanism
Humanism- the scholarly study of the Latin and Greek classics and ancient Church Fathers in hope of a rebirth of ancient norms and values
Studia Humanitatis-liberal arts program of study that embraced grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, politics, and moral philosophy promoted by humanists Petrarch, Dante, and Boccaccio:
Petrarch- “father of humanism”. served the Visconti family in Milan, celebrated ancient Rome in his Letters to the Ancient Dead-personal letters to Cicero, Livy, Vergil, and Horace, Africa-poetic historical tribute to Roman general Scipio Africanus, and Lives of Illustrious Men-biographies of famous Roman men, his critical studies and elitism were precedents for later humanists, Classical and Christian values co-existed in his work

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AP Euro Notes
Unit 1: Renaissance and Discovery
Dante- his Vita Nuova and Divine Comedy, with Petrarch’s sonnets were the cornerstones of Italian vernacular literature
Boccaccio-student of Petrarch’s. Writings: Decameron- 100 bawdy tales told by 3 men and 7 women which was a social commentary on human behavior, also collected an encyclopedia of Greek and Roman mythology.

Educational Reforms and Goals
Humanists used primary sources and refused to be slaves to tradition Pietro Paolo Vergerio’s On the Morals That Befit a Free Man wrote about the idea of liberal education as education that developed and trained the body to be free Quintillian’s Education of the Orator became the classical guide for the humanist’s curriculum. Reading the works of Greek philosophers and classics, vigorous physical exercise and games, and study of classical languages were a part of this curriculum. Baldassare Castiglone’s book of the Courtier- became a practical guide for the nobility to learn...
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