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Renaissance Quiz Study Guide
1. Review the overview readings from either textbook World Society (McKay) or World
History Connections to Today. This was previously assigned (see your Renaissance
Benchmark Questions). The McKay Renaissance Chapter 12 pages 360-379 is good to
Review the class power point, “Roots of the Renaissance” and video clips.
Review the Burckhardt vs. Thorndike reading, Boccaccio reading about the plague,
Cassandra Fedele on humanism, and Pico della Mirandola on humanism.
2. Be familiar with the following concepts/terms:
Jacob Burckhardt vs Lynn Thorndike reading (historiography), reasons for the
Renaissance (Black Plague, trade, Crusades, Islamic Golden Age), humanism vs.
scholasticism (see video clip), Christian humanism, reasons for humanism to start in
Italy, the “Great Chain of Being,” role of Medici family and patrons of the arts in
Florence (not detailed – general role as “patrons”), ways in which humanism was
evident in art of the Italian Renaissance – and different than Middle Ages art (School of
Athens, Mona Lisa, Creation of Adam), differences between the Renaissance in Italy and
in Northern Europe, education as a focus for humanists, general reasons for the
development of stronger monarchs in Spain, England and France, general strategies
used by new monarchs to squelch the power of the nobles and the Church
(Examples, Ferdinand and Isabella, Henry VII (aka Henry Tudor of England), Francis I of
France – specific information about these leaders is NOT on quiz). Use the class
Key questions:
o What factors do historians suggest may have led to the Renaissance in Italy? In
what ways might the Black Plague be a particular reason for the development of
o What were the primary differences between the Renaissance in Northern Europe
and the Italian Renaissance? How did these differences manifest themselves in
art? In political philosophy (ie, Machiavelli vs. Erasmus)?
o What values did humanists impart that were different from their Middle Ages
o What values were supported by Christian humanists? How was Thomas Aquinas
(a Scholastic thinker) different from Desidarius Erasmus (a Christian humanist)?
o How did humanists view education differently from the Middle Ages?
o What general strategies did the “new monarchs” use to consolidate power?
3. Be familiar with the big idea(s) of the following people:
Machiavelli, Erasmus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Pico della Mirandola, Petrarch