¨ The Road to Feudalism
¨ Powers of the Church
¨ A Rebirth
¨ Art and Culture
¨ The Northern Renaissance
¨ Unrest in the Church
¨ The Spread of Protestantism
¨ The Counter-Reformation
A Rebirth: The Renaissance
- Economic: North Italy acts as intermediary between silks/spices of East and demand in West. Italian merchants accumulate wealth from cloth industry; some turn to international banking. The middle class grows, with a philosophy of enjoying their wealth and, generally, their current life (Humanist). They pursue new ideas and finance Humanist artists/scholars, often competing with the old landed nobility and the underclass (the popolo).
- Political: Italy is fragmented into many city-states, which compete by supporting their artists/scholars. Especially with the Church’s decline (scandals, Great Schism etc.); no one Italian leader has power, so developing changes aren’t stopped. In some places, governments gain power under despots (Milan -> Sforza, Florence -> Medici Family) or oligarchies (Venice -> Council of Ten).
- Historical Connections: Many city states exist on Roman ruins, and people understand Roman heritage. As some men flee the Byzantine Empire, Classical Greek culture is introduced. The fusion of Greco-Roman culture occurrs. These city-states sustained populations of about 100,000.
Georgio Vasari (an early Renaissance painter, architect and writer) called his epoch a renascita, a “rebirth.” They disdained the Middle Ages and directly linked their progress to Greeks and Romans. The “Renaissance” is considered a “rebirth” of Classical culture, as Renaissance artists/intellectuals tried to emulate the Greeks and Romans.
Reinvention of humanism by Petrarch (1304-1374), a “man of letters”. He connects it with morality, inner thoughts, and the admiration and emulation of Greek and Roman work, i.e. Love Letters to Laura, a secular Renaissance work
Characterized by revival of old work, study of old knowledge, and a focus on “this life” and “this world” rather than the heaven/hell dilemma… Divine Comedy (Dante) and The Decameron (Boccaccio)
Petrarch was officially a lawyer/cleric, but really a writes of poetry, treatises and letters. He grew discontent with his world and its lack of moral models, considering it “barbaric.” He turned to the ancients like St. Augustine and Cicero, who provided models of moral/proper behavior. He wrote in both Italian (sonnets) and Latin (poems, letters, esp. to Ancients), and was the first Humanist. He was torn between spiritual peace and fame. Famous works include The Secret and Scattered Rhymes.
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was a famous Renaissance writer who in 1513 publishes one of the most famous books of all time, The Prince. (Nixon was famous for keeping a copy of this next to him when he slept). Machiavelli was “amoral” in the sense he didn’t care of the concepts of good and bad– he cared about benefits and loss. The Prince acted as a guidebook to ruling, responding to the Habsburg-Valois wars going on between Charles VIII of France and Ferdinand of Spain.
- Is it better to be loved or feared? Feared, but not hated.
- Don’t worry about what should be, worry about what is
- Cruel methods work better than compassion
- A ruler needs respect
- You need to be able to fight with the law and with force
- Better to be miserly than generous, but try to LOOK generous (not necessarily act on it)
- Appearances count
- Be secular
He dedicated this book to Lorenzo de Medici, who at the time was the ruler of Florence… commissioned artists and was a huge patron… main idea that the ends justify the means. It was a book, really, about attaining and maintaining power. Cromwell used Machiavelli as justification for the split of the Anglican Church.
- The Medici headed Florence in the fifteen century (Quattrocento), lots of wealth based on textile merchants and bankers
- Rulers were Cosimo (1389-1464), Piero (1416-1469) and Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492)
- Sponsored the Platonic Academy of Philosophy (in addition to libraries, art commission, etc.)
- His ideal prince was Cesare Borgia, one of the rulers of Milan. He came from a cruel family and at one point, publicly executed soldiers who were “wild”
- Was he a humanist? Yes– he was realistic and focused on this world. He studied human nature in depth.
Was Machiavelli right? To some degree– he told Italy to “step up their game” and start unifying because eventually France and Spain would take over… which they did
Changes in Humanism
Humanism can mean two things: (1) the philosophy of Renaissance ideals or (2) a program of study based on Classical education, emphasizing rhetoric and literature. Humanism coexisted with religion and didn’t conflict with the Church (excluding Humanism’s notion of individualism). Some main characteristics include:
- Admiration and emulation of Greeks/Romans; reading and appreciating the “classics.”
- Individualism–enjoying this life, not just preparing for the next.
- Glorification of humans and belief that they can achieve nearly anything.
- Belief that humans deserved to be the center of attention.
Transitions to Humanism:
Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337) was a Florentine painter during the Middle Ages. He studied nature to create more realistic painting, and broke away from Gothic & Byzantine styles. His greatest achievements were using solid bodies, the expression of human emotion, linear perspective and suggestion of landscape. He used chiaroscuro (light/dark contrast) to produce volume/depth/space. Famous works included Madonna Enthroned, Entry into Jerusalem, Lamentation
Guarino da Verona & Vittorino da Feltre: educators who turned classical humanist teachings into a practical curriculum. They founded a school which taught Latin, Greek, mathematics, music, philosophy and social graces.
Civic Humanism: This philosophy advocated involvement in civil affairs (as Cicero did) and using the lessons of the Classics to better one’s community. It rejected the idea of isolated study. In Florence, civic humanists served as diplomats and worked in the chancellery office (writing official documents).
- Caluccio Salutati was a major Civic Humanist. He established Roman libraries to make classical manuscripts accessible. He helped rediscover Greek language, inviting a Byzantine scholar to the University of Florence. By the mid-1400s, Greek works had been translated into Latin/Italian.
- Leonardo Bruni: served as chancellor of Florence, wrote a history of the city, and first used the term “Humanism.”
Neoplatonism: Once civic humanists began the revival of Greek language, Neoplatonism emerged. The philosophy emphasized the works of Plato and his followers. They liked Plato’s belief that beauty/truth exists beyond our senses, and our reason can surpass the limits of senses. There was less of an emphasis on civic affairs.
- Marsilio Ficino: was a Neoplatonist supported by the Medici Family. During his childhood, he was exposed to Neoplatonist scholars and philosophers. He thought Plato’s works demonstrated the dignity and immortality of the human spirit, and translated his works to Latin.
- Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was a Neoplatonist scholar who believed he could reconcile all philosophies to reach a single truth. He believed in “free will”–humans are situated between the material world below and the spiritual world above, and can pursue either, expressing his ideas in Oration on the Dignity of Man. He thought Plato to be divinely illumined and that his views were reconcilable with Christianity.
- Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375): wrote a collection of short stories, The Decameron. It tells of a young group of Florentines at a secluded villa, fleeing the plague and recounting stories. It was one of the first books written for entertainment and created new aims in literature, frankly discussing sex and developing vivid, realistic characters.
- Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529): wrote The Book of the Courtier (courtiers performed political/administrative jobs for nobles), which was written as a dialogue between sophisticated men/women in the Court of Urbino. “Ideal men” were described as having many talents, including conversation, sports, arms, music, Latin/Greek etc., combined with good personality. Sprezzatura was a “lightness of touch”–doing things well with seeming ease. It served as a model of proper behavior for centuries.
Lorenzo Valla: proved that the Donation of Constantine was false (not written by Constantine). He also showed that Jerome, who wrote the Vulgate Bible, mistranslated a lot of Greek.
No aspect of the Renaissance is as famous as Art. Renaissance artists made a distinct break from Medieval Art. For the first time, artists gained special recognition/prestige (weren’t just “craftsmen”).
|Lacked depth||Used depth well, used Pyramid configuration to make 3-D|
|Lacked perspective||Used both linear (father away=smaller) and atmospheric (further away=hazy) perspective and single-point perspective (converges at distant point)|
|Lacked a background (besides gold)||Had more detailed backgrounds|
|Always religious theme, focused on heaven/holy people||Not always religious, more focus on earthly/human themes|
|Not realistic (little mathematical/geometric logic)||Realistic (made sense mathematically/geometrically)|
|Minimal Human expression (just calm/piety)||More Human Emotion|
|Emulated Greek/Roman Art|
|Used contraposto–a subject shifting his/her balance|
|Mostly frescos (plaster/tempera on wood)||Used oil paintings (developed in Northern Europe)|
Artists of the Early Renaissance
- Massaccio (1401-1428): was a painter who inspired by the Classics, put a new emphasis on nature, three-dimensional human bodies and perspective. He was the first painter to show nudes (since antiquity). Main works were Tribute Money and Trinity.
- Donatello (1386-1466): was a sculptor who also focused on the beauty of the human body. His David was the first nude sculpture since antiquity.
- Brunelleschi (1377-1446): an architect whose work was groundbreaking in simplicity, symmetry/balance and harmony. On a Florence cathedral, he constructed the largest dome in Europe since antiquity.
- Less Famous: Perugino–Giving of the Keys to St. Peter; Lorenzetti–Allegory of Good Government
- Leon Battista Alberti was a huge polymath, and designed The West Facade of Sant’Andrea basilica. He broke with medieval traditions by getting rid of statues and Gothic features in his work. He implemented huge Corinthian pilasters.
Artists of the High Renaissance
- Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519): was a painter (and a scientist, architect, engineer, writer etc.) whose paintings reflected technical perfection with difficult angles, perspective tricks and bizarre geological formations (good background). Major Works were The Last Supper, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, and Mona Lisa.
- Raphael (1483-1520): was a painter who used mastery of perspective and ancient styles to produce works of harmony/peace, beauty and serenity. His crowning achievement was The School of Athens, a depiction of Greece’s great philosophers in a Classical architectural setting, with Renaissance artists’ faces substituted in. Other famous works included Madonna and Child and Mary and Jesus.
- Michelangelo (1475-1564): was a painter, but also skilled in poetry, architecture and sculpture. Many of his works displayed a sense of strength of ambition. His David showed power and the human being in full majesty. Warrior Pope Julius II commissioned him to decorate the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Famous works: Moses, Pietá
- Titian (1479-1576): a Venetian painter whose art was very sensual, with lush nudes, stormy skies and rich velvets. One famous work was Bacchanal (of the Andrians).
- Ghiberti (1378-1455): Goldsmith and metalworker who created the doors of Paradise
- Isabella d’Este, (1475-1539) the sister-in-law of Lorenza Borgia, was perhaps the most intelligent woman of the Renaissance. She was proficient in Latin and Greek and was skilled at singing, dancing, and many instruments. She was married to Francesco Gonzaga, the duke of Mantua, and played a huge role in their politics.
- Christine de Pizan (1364-1430) was a prolific writer who became the first woman to earn a living as an author (in Europe). Europe’s first feminist!
^Know the names of those two women, the AP Exam often asks questions about influential figures in women’s history!
The Northern Renaissance
During the late 1400s, students/artists from Northern Europe come to Italy and learn the “new learning” and new style of painting. Since Christianity reaches the North later than Italy, they are still trying to deepen their beliefs. Like the South, they study classical sources with similar methodology, but they focus on Bible/early Christian authors and give their Humanism a Christian content.
Characteristics of Christian Humanism:
- Using Classics to guide personal behavior
- Emphasis on education and power of human intellect
- Desire to combine Classical ideals of calmness/patience with Christian values of piety/love/humility
- Desire to bring about institutional change, moral improvement
- Church Reform (which ultimately led to criticism and the Reformation)
Main points of Northern Renaissance:
- Interest in death (danse macabre, mannerism with artists such as Matthias Grunewald and Pieter Brueghel)
- Polyphony and new notation in music
- Other artists: Jan van Eyck (oil painter), Hans Holbein (portrait painter), El Greco (religious painter)
- Writers: Erasmus, Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1532), Thomas More, Shakespeare, Chaucer (Canterbury Tales), Cervantes (Don Quixote)
The new monarchs retain their feudal income while taxing towns and people—they create professional armies and have a centralized bureaucracy that relies on the educated. Examples include Charles VII (r. 1422 -1461), Louis XI (r. 1461-1483), Francis I (r. 1515-1547)
Unrest in the Church
Lay-piety: it is impossible for the lay-person, or the non-clergy, to communicate with God. Huss and Wycliffe keet reprimanding the Church and pointing out that you don’t need a priest. Fifteenth-century problems like the Avignon exile and Great Schism make people question the church and start feeling unsatisfied.
® In Islam, caliphs decide to suppress the rediscovery of Aristotle and interest in Greek learning; the religion slows
® Christianity, it is declared dangerous BUT Thomas Aquinas asks to look at Aristotle and says that “knowledge is in itself a path to God”, leading to the formation of universities and scholasticism
Ideas of 15th Century Faith:
- Scholastics say a general truth can be known– one just needs knowledge. Aquinas writes the Five Proofs on the Existence of God
- Mystics disagree and argue you cannot have a concept of God… one cannot figure the world out, so one must use intuition. Believe.
- Nominalists agree with mystics in that one can’t know or understand the concept of God. Abstract concepts like “beauty” or “justice” can’t be grasped; specific instances or examples are all that can be known.
- William of Ockham (1288-1348) was a famous nominalist who believed that the simplest way to explain existence of something is just to say it exists. He thought the universe was best understood through direct observation, not abstract comparisons. Ockham’s Razor was: “With two explanations for something, choose the simpler one.”
People are getting mad. There are many problems in the church such as:
- Incelibacy, nepotism, simony, sale of indulgences, pluralism
- Poster boy of corruption is Julius II (1503-1513) (the Warrior Pope) who allegedly has many random affairs, illegitimate children, and a “holy army” that keeps him in power
- Girolamo Savonarola, a friar who wants to banish any religious materialism, arranges a huge book burning in 1496 (he is promptly executed with charges of treason)
- Only in Spain are people doing something about it, and it is not led by the people but by Queen Isabella herself and the head of the Spanish Church, Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros
- Veilées that took place are evening gatherings where people tell stories and speak of their daily challenges– it makes congregation (and on occasion conspiracy) much easier
- Impact of Johannes Gutenberg’s 1454 printing press, leads to broadsides (sheets that had vicious assaults on religious opponents to the Church)
- Hieronymus Bosch and demonic paintings
- Black Plague strikes -> a ton of anti-clericalism (b/c of such a catastrophe, why would God allow that?)
- Thomas More (1478-1535) of England (who is later executed by Henry VIII, writes Utopia, a book depicting his version of an ideal society. Although he is deeply devout, he wants to “purify” the Catholic church
- Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1466-1536) is a Dutch satirist who writes The Praise of Folly (1509) and Julius Excluded from Heaven, a personal attack on Julius.
Martin Luther (1484-1546) is living a successful life in the bourgeoisie and is a professor of theology. One day, he is caught in the middle of a thunderstorm and is thrown to the ground (but spared) because of a lightning bolt. He cries out to St. Anne, saying he will join a monastery. He keeps questioning his own salvation by pointing out the underlying evil in humans and giving away all his possessions, wanting only God. Occasionally, he resorts to self-flagellation and constantly doubts himself. He is an astute and erudite man who practically memorizes the Bible. One day, he comes across a particular line in the Holy Book– “the just shall be saved by faith alone“– WHAT A RADICAL IDEA! Faith itself will give you salvation? (ALSO, he is a HUGEEEEEE anti-Semite. Not the nicest guy…)
- Goes on a pilgrimage to Rome and does the tourist rounds– goes to the seven churches, pays respects to dead popes, kisses holy steps… but Luther is disgusted with the city and how religious leaders are not paying homage to its spirituality and beauty (at the time, St. Peters Basilica is being built and Luther thinks taxing the people to build yet another church is not God’s wish)
- Comes back to Wittenburg, sees Johann Tetzel selling indulgences (he was hired by the Pope and Archbishop of Mainz, who needs money to pay off bribes). He’s enraged and writes the 95 Theses, goes and posts it on the door of the Wittenburg Church on *October 31, 1517* (the day before All Saints Day, people will go to Church and see it). Mainly it criticizes the sale of indulgences and it says that the Church doesn’t decide whether you go to heaven or hell. Nor do the sacraments. It’s faith alone.
- Consubstantiation– Christ is present in the bread anyway, there is no miracle and priests are unnecessary
- Personally translates Bible into German (which consequently sparks a whole batch of translations)
- Single-handedly destroys the monopoly the Catholic church held on European religion
- 95 Theses challenging authority and almost begging for rebuttal
How does Luther manage to get away with this? (Think of what happened to Huss and Wycliff…)
- Protection of the princes (who want to be able to seize Church land in their respective domains)
- Charles V becomes Holy Roman Emperor and wants to unify the land (he’s Charles Hapsburg, the previous king of Spain, grandson of Ferdinand and Isabella… right now he’s the greatest single source of power in Europe.) He faces the problem of a possible religious division that isn’t subsiding by 1521 (in 1520 Luther was excommunicated but it doesn’t do anything)
- Invites Luther to Diet of Worms on April 17, 1521… Scholars assemble to debate Luther. They show him his works and ask if he still backs all of his words (he says yes, “it’s neither safe nor right to go against the conscience…I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me, Amen.“)
- What’s not in the Bible that the Church supports? “Pope” “bishop” “sacraments”… the Diet tries to suppress him saying that individual interpretation is abstract… who wins? (Luther and the scholars in the Diet of Worms did not notice that in Letter of James in the New Testament, it says “What does faith do without action?” interestingly enough)
- Charles declares Luther an outlaw, lets him go under the pretense that he was invited there, but next time will have to kill him. Frederick the Wise of Saxony takes Luther in and asks him to change his name to Junker George… he stays there until 1546 where he dies of natural causes
- Two sacraments only: baptism and communion, the two ones mentioned in the Bible)
- Appeal of Lutheranism: no tithe, politiques will want to join him because it prevents Charles from unifying the empire, excommunication becomes void, people can seize church land (and consequently you can tax peasants more), bourgeoisie no longer need a priest, allows for individual interpretation, values education and literacy rather than listening to a clergyman, religious equality
- I guess peasants found Luther’s story inspiring… led to the 1525 Peasant Rebellion in Munster, Germany; peasant group meets and makes a list of social and religious grievances… Luther first sympathizes with them but later writes a vicious pamphlet called Against the Rapacious and Murdering Peasants, ordering nobles to crush the revolt… 100,000 died within two years
- Nobles who convert formed the Schmalkaldic League and a war breaks out against Charles (France is led by Francis I (1515-1547), and they support the Schmalkaldic League even though France is Catholic because they don’t want Charles gain even more power) ends with the Peace of Augsburg where each prince is allowed to choose either Lutheranism or Catholicism for their land… DON’T think this is freedom of religion, it’s more of a choice rather than a Freedom
- Luther actually communicates with Erasmus (who is an religious elitist and Christian humanist… at first, he supports Luther and likes the idea of new learning but warns him of the wrath of the Church, later on he hates him and wrote that he was an uneducated wacko)
Was Luther a reformer or a revolutionary? Keep in mind Huss and Wycliff had already said similar things.
He’s religiously radical, politically conservative.
The Spread of Protestantism
|Zwingli and the Radicals||Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) was a priest, humanist, and disciple of Erasmus who created doctrines similar to that of Luther, but much more simplified. He found sacraments to be symbolic and not hold any real miracle.- More thoroughly dependent on individual believer- Tribunal of clergy and secular officials enforce discipline among the faithful (moral issues and theological schools…lengthy sermons)- Spread rapidly in Swiss Confederation helped by autonomous states… never became a major religion but affected Calvinism- It’s Calvinism without predestination. Anabaptists were a group of hippie “free lovers” who baptized themselves as adults. Also had utopian sects who shared everything (including property and spouses). Wanted complete separation of church and state. Headed by Thomas Munzer.|
|Calvinism||John Calvin (1509-1564) studied law and humanities and the University of Paris and experienced a sudden conversion where he was indicted by French Church authorities in 1533 for holding heretical views. He settled in Geneva and wanted to create a new Church. Published Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536-Much in common with Lutheranism and emphasized sinning, lack of free will, and helplessness- Only two sacraments, baptism and communion- Predestination and idea of the elect- Actually one of the strictest religions– no alcohol, dice, premarital sex; prohibition of baking of festive PIES, dancing, etc…; public confessions; popery (Calvin crime of a minister wearing bright clothing or acting with gambol – Spread very quickly: Huguenots in France, Presbyterians in Scotland (John Knox), Puritans in England, Dutch Reform in Holland- Formed a theocracy in Geneva; really had pockets of influence rather than a unified state (but those areas developed a “Protestant work ethic”. Those who were hard working were thought to be the ones predestined for heaven.Spread because created class equality and was very simple to follow– does best among bourgeoisie|
|The Anglican Church (and its irony)||The War of Roses is a thirty year civil war where Henry VII (1485-1509) becomes the first in a line of new English kings– the Tudors. He wants power and means to make England a major player in the tough game of European diplomacy. The best alliance possible? Spain (think Charles V). Marries his son Arthur to Catherine of Aragon (aunt of Charles V).- Marriage not complete until consummation, which never happens as Arthur falls sick and dies. Henry instead married her to his son Henry VIII (1509-1547) as a condolence. Since this is technically marrying his “sister” (Arthur’s ex-wife), he gets special permission from the Pope
- Gives birth to Mary, but unable to produce a male heir… Catherine is aging and he wants a son… he’s already in love with his mistress Anne Boleyn, why not marry her and try for a child with her?
- Formation of The Church of England. Henry grants himself a divorce, takes the Church land, and collects his own taxes
- Henry’s now an egotistical jerk… he divorces Catherine, marries Anne Boleyn and gives birth to Elizabeth, marries Jane Seymour and beheads Anne Boleyn giving birth to a sickly boy but she dies in childbirth (little do people know Henry has syphilis)…he marries Anne of Cleves but Henry finds her ugly (Cromwell is executed for arranging the marriage, he divorces Anne. At this point Henry is a fat blob) THEN he marries Catherine Howard who cheats on him and then gets executed, marries Catherine Parr who outlives him (Henry dies in 1547)
DO NOT WASTE TIME MEMORIZING ALL HIS WIVES.
- Crown goes to Edward VI (1547-1553) but he dies soon, the throne passes to Mary (1553-1558)… is she technically a bastard child? She is Catholic because her mother is of Hapsburg blood…
In which the Catholic Church responds to the mess (1545-1563)
Council of Trent established– liberal on reform, conservative on doctrine– tries to eliminate much of the corruption in the church. They abolish simony, sale of indulgences, nepotism, pluralism, etc.
- How do you get to heaven? They say good deeds, the sacraments, and consulting a Latin Bible
- Should a Christian read the Bible? No, but go to a priest.
- Bishops must stay in the dioceses until they serve.
- Powers of the clergy? Yes, they perform miracles, administer the sacraments, etc.
Index of Forbidden Books/Inquisition, a reactionary organization set up to prosecute any who goes against the church– they compile a list of books that are then banned.
Ignatius Loyola, another great reformer, approaches Pope Paul III in 1540 and asks to start a new order of priests known as the Jesuits or Society of Jesus… they take a vow of poverty and embark on a rigorous education. Loyola writes The Spiritual Exercises, and was an ex-soldier in the Spanish military. Jesuits are like the lawyers of the church – they know the bible front to back. They also serve as missionaries.