01_Ch17-Italy: Birthplace of the Renaissance- Florence

Timeline: 14th - 17th C.
FS: Europe looks to Italy for a 'Rebirth' and a new 'World View'.
Main Idea: Relative freedom from the feudal norms of Europe along with peculiar geographic,
political, & economic circumstances, permit northern Italian communities to form city-states with
heavy dependence on commerce. These cities lead Europe toward a commercial resurgence
that contributes to a philosophical and material transformation. The Italian Renaissance was a
rebirth of learning that produced many great works of art and literature.


I. Feudalism Declines and Commercial Interest Rise (12th - 14th C.)
Ponder: Why were financial institutions needed to improve trade?

II. Vocabulary: Refer to Crossword Puzzle

III. Case Study: Florence
A. Fine Textiles
B. River access
C. City-State
D. Wealth & Power
1. Merchants inter-marry w/ nobility. (eg. Lorenzo di Medici's marriage into a
Roman aristocratic family)
2. Medici Banker Family (The Sforza family in Milan)
a. Cosimo=> Filippo Brunelleschi & contest to build dome for Santa Maria
del Fiore church.
b. Lorenzo=> Cared for and nurtured prodigies- eg. Michelangelo
3. Political Theory=> Niccolo Machiavelli
4. Patronage of the Arts

IV. The Arts
A. Literary
1. Poetry (verse)
2. Prose
3. Latin vs. Vulgate/ Vernacular (Ex. Italian, Spanish, etc.)
B. Performing
1. Theatre
2. Music
3. Dance
C. Visual
1. Sculpture
2. Painting

V. General Themes
A. Celebration of the Individual (Humanism).
1. Physical
a. Portraits (Mona Lisa), Autobiographies
b. "David" (Sculpture)
2. Spiritual/ Intellectual
a. Reformation & Counter Reformation (Catholic Reformation)
b. Classical Learning Expands/ Philosophical
! Ideal Man (Ancient Greece=> Arete, Ancient Rome=> Gravitas,
Cincinnatus, Sung  Dynasty=> Universal Man, Renaissance=>
Renaissance Man)
! Ideal Woman
c. Scientific Method: Astronomy, Anatomy, Physics
B. Rise of Secularism (Societal Focus)
1. Materialism (Rise of Standard of Living)
a. Accumulation of Wealth for Worldly Pursuits.
b. Rise of Merchant Class
2. Political
a. Centralized Government
b. Increasing Authority of Monarchs

VI. Summary: Why it matters now.
Renaissance art and literature still influence modern thought and modern art.

Time Permitting: “Build Me a Dome where the Students can Roam and Mr.V can Rest all Day…”

Materials/Sources: Refer to the course calendar for additional assignments and pertinent due dates.
! Renaissance (Crossword Puzzle)
! Slide Presentations
! World History: Patterns of Interaction
! Films and discussion
! Mindmap: Renaissance World View
! Fotopedia Image Gallery: http://www.fotopedia.com/magazine/stories/WtStp8CMvnc/
Nature, by the Numbers.