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SOL WHII.2b, 2e, 3a, 3c
The Northern Renaissance Begins
By 1450 the
population of northern
Europe, which had
declined due to the
bubonic plague, was
growing again.
 Remember—
 Italy was divided into
 Monarchs and rulers
were often patrons to
the arts
Artistic Ideas Spread
1494: French king
claimed the throne in
Naples in southern
Italy and launched an
invasion through
northern Italy.
As the war dragged on,
many Italian artists and
writers left for a safer
life in Northern Europe.
Brought with them the
styles and techniques
of the Italian
Northern Writers
Italian humanists were very interested in
reviving classical languages and
classical texts. When these ideas
reached the north, people used them to
examine the traditional teachings of the
 The northern humanists were critical of
the failure of the Christian Church to
inspire people to live a Christian life.
Christian Humanists
1. ERASMUS – of Holland
a) Wrote his most famous work –
The Praise of Folly. This book
poked fun at greedy
merchants, heartsick lovers,
quarrelsome scholars, and
pompous priests.
b) Believed in Christianity of the
heart, NOT one of ceremonies
and rules.
c) In order to improve
society…all people should
study the Bible.
Christian Humanists
The other well-known
2. Thomas More, from England
Tried to show a better model
of society
In 1516, he wrote the book
The book is about an
imaginary land where greed,
corruption, and war have been
weeded out.
Originally wrote in Latin, but
was later translated into many
The Elizabethan Age
The Renaissance spread
to England in the mid1500s…this was known as
the “Elizabethan Age” after
Queen Elizabeth I who
reigned from 1558 to
 She was well educated
and spoke French, Italian,
Latin and Greek.
 Supported the
development of English art
and literature
William Shakespeare
Most famous writer of
the Elizabethan Age
 Used the classics for
 Most famous plays
include the tragedies
of Macbeth, Hamlet,
Othello, Romeo and
Juliet, etc.
Printing Press
1440 – Johann Gutenberg
from Germany developed
a printing press that made
it possible to produce
books quickly and
 Printed a complete Bible,
the Gutenberg Bible, in
 It was the first full size
book printed with movable
Legacy of the Renaissance
Broke away from the medieval focus on the Church
Believed in the dignity of the individual
Led to the rise of democratic ideas
Movable printing press spread ideas
Changes in art: new techniques, realistic and
lifelike, both secular and religious works, arts
praised individual achievement
Changes in society: printing made more
information available, greater number of books
prompted a desire for learning, people began to
question political structures and religious practices