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The Renaissance 1300-1500
Chapter 17 Sections 1 & 2
Today’s Goal  Essential Question(s)
What were the characteristics that led
to the emergence of the
End of Middle Ages
• Europe suffered from war & plague
• People began to question institutions & religion
• Breakdown of feudalism
• Writers & artists began to
express new spirit &
experiment w/new styles
Beginnings of the
• Renaissance = rebirth or revival
of art & learning
1. Thriving city-states
• Plague brought economic
changes – merchants began
to pursue other interests
Italian City-States:
The Five Powers
• Naples, Papal States,
Milan, Florence, Venice
• No central gov’t
• Competing city-states
Santa Maria del
Fiore, Florence
• Center of Renaissance culture
• One of wealthiest cities
• Republic, but basically ruled by
the Medici family
Palazzo Vecchio
2. Merchants & the Medici
• Wealthy middle class
emerged which
dominated politics &
stressed individual
• Powerful banking
family, the Medici
• Cosimo de Medici – won
control of Florence’s gov’t
• Lorenzo de Medici (“the
Magnificent”) came to power
in 1469
3. Classical heritage of Greece & Rome
• Drew inspiration from ruins of Rome
• Studied ancient Latin & Greek literature
Study of classics led to Humanism
• Humanism focuses on human potential &
• Studied classics such as
history, literature, &
philosophy – today known
as the “humanities”
Renaissance writers
change literature
• Wrote either for self-expression or to
portray individuality of subjects
• Francesco Petrarch – father of
Renaissance humanism
– Sonnets to Laura
“True, we love life, not because we are
used to living, but because we are used to
loving. There is always some madness in
love, but there is also always some reason
in madness.”
Renaissance writers
change literature
Giovanni Boccaccio
– Composed the Decameron, a series
of stories that discuss realistic,
tragic, and comic views of life
“Do as we say, and not as we do.”
“People tend to believe the bad
rather than the good”
Classical & Worldly Values
• Humanists suggested one could enjoy
life without offending God
• Society was secular
(worldly, not based on
religious themes)
Patrons of the Arts
• Patrons = financially supported artists
• Wealthy used arts to
demonstrate own importance
• Church leaders spent money
on art
Renaissance Man
• Known as “universal man”
• Excels in many fields: the
classics, art, politics, combat
• Baldassare Castiglione’s The
Courtier (1528)
Renaissance Woman
• Upper-class women should
know classics & be charming
• Inspire but not create art
• Little role in politics
Isabella d’Este
Answer/Summary of Essential
• What were the characteristics that led to
the emergence of a Renaissance?