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Renaissance & Reformation
SSWH 9: The student will analyze
change and continuity in the
Renaissance and Reformation
Means “rebirth”
Rebirth in ancient Roman & Greek world
Began in Italy and spread throughout
Renaissance Characteristics
More worldly (secular) point of view
Increased wealth (due to trade)
Age of recovery
Black Death 1347 killed one-third of Europeans
Political instability
Decline of church
The Great Schism 1378-1415
New view of human being (focus on
individual ability)
Rise of Florence
No strong Italian Monarch
Back to city-states:
Florence dominated Tuscany
Medici family - Cosimo and Lorenzo
took over in 14th century
ruled Florence indirectly, through surrogates in the city
councils, through threats, payoffs, strategic marriages - all
the tools of despotism
Power was rooted in banking
Reform minded – arts & education; political protectionist
The Prince
still very influential regarding power
Analyzed how to take & keep political power
Prince’s attitude based on understanding of
human nature as self-centered
Political activity cannot be restricted by moral
Prince acts on behalf of the state and cannot let
his conscience determine his rule.
The crude idea: ends justify the means
MORALITY NOT basis for politics
Machiavelli continued…
Doesn’t do away with morality nor advocate wholesale
selfishness or degeneracy.
Does outline his criteria for acceptable cruel actions (it
must be swift, effective, and short-lived).
Says that ironically good can come from evil actions.
Catholic Church put The Prince its prohibited reading
list and it was viewed negatively by many humanists
such like Erasmus.
The primary contribution of The Prince to the history of
political thought is its fundamental break between
realism and idealism.
the ideal society is not the aim (like Plato and Aristotle said)
emphasizes the need for the exercise of brute power
when necessary and rewards people in order to
maintain the status quo.
Renaissance Men
Well-rounded, universal person who
could achieve in many areas
Leonardo da Vinci
Artistic Achievements:
Mona Lisa
Last Supper
Virgin of the Rocks
Vitruvian Man
Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Scientific Achievements
Mathematician – calculator
Inventor – bobbin winder,
machine to test tensile
strength of wire
Engineer – helicopter, tank,
double hull (ships)
Scientist – plate tectonics,
concentrated solar power,
study & drew anatomy of
humans & animals
Artistic & Scientific
Sistine Chapel ceiling
Dome at St. Peters Basilica
Campidoglio at Capitoline Hill
Work on Basilica of San Lorenzo
Dome at St. Peter’s Basilica
Other Renaissance Men
Main Characteristics:
believed that the liberal arts should be
practiced by all:
Using classical texts
approved of self, human worth and individual
Everything has a limited nature, but man is
the only one able to choose his nature.
Humanism of Petrarch
Father of Italian Humanism
Looked for forgotten Latin manuscripts to
use in his studies
Recovered some of the Greek & Roman
writing that had been lost
Realized that these writings provided a new
cultural framework
stressing the importance of individual expression
and glory as opposed to the medieval asceticism
Believed in the value of
studying history (human
thought & action)
Spread Renaissance point of
view through his criticism of
scholasticism and through his
wide correspondence and
personal influence.
Considered to be the first
modern poet through his
perfection of the sonnet form.
One of Petrarch’s Sonnets
Love, that doth reign and live within my thought,
And built his seat within my captive breast,
Clad in the arms wherein with me he fought,
Oft in my face he doth his banner rest.
But she that taught me love and suffer pain,
My doubtful hope and eke my hot desire
With shamefast look to shadow and refrain,
Her smiling grace converteth straight to ire.
And coward Love, then, to the heart apace
Taketh his flight, where he doth lurk and plain,
His purpose lost, and dare not show his face.
For my lord's guilt thus faultless bide I pain,
Yet from my lord shall not my foot remove:
Sweet is the death that taketh end by love.
Dante Alighieri
Married and had three children
active (1295-1300) as councilman, elector,
and prior of Florence.
opposed to the temporal power of Pope
Boniface VIII
allied himself with the White Guelphs
After victory of the Black Guelphs, he was
banished (1302).
Became a citizen of all Italy
served various princes
supported Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII,
hoping he would unite all of Italy.
Wrote in the vernacular – big
Wrote Divine Comedy (Inferno,
Purgatorio, and Paradiso)
a long vernacular poem of more than
14,000 lines composed during his exile.
recounts the poet's journey through Hell,
Purgatory, and Heaven
In Hell and Purgatory Dante is guided by Vergil,
through Heaven, by his lost love, Beatrice.
Literary Details of Divine Comedy
The work is written in terza rima, a complex verse
form in pentameter, with interlocking triads rhyming
aba, bcb, cdc, etc.
pictures a changeless universe ordered by God
allegorical theme is the gradual revelation of God to
the pilgrim.
a religious dialogue on
gradations of sin and piety
classical philosophy
symbolism is complex yet highly rational
verse is musical
Through Divine Comedy, Dante established
Tuscan as the literary language of Italy,
surpassed all previous Italian writers, and gave
rise to a vast literature.
Took Humanism and applied it to the church
Came up with the “Philosophy of Christ”
Christianity should show people how to live rather
than provide a system of beliefs that people have to
practice to be saved.
Stressed inward religious feeling
personally driven by a desire to reform religion
and education
wanted to free Christian life from the
abstractions of scholasticism
wanted to encourage a simpler and
undogmatic Christian faith
stressed the importance of the Scriptures &
fathers of the church
Wrote The Praise of Folly in 1509
With humor, he criticized aspects of society
that he thought needed reform
Worldliness of the clergy
Ignorance of the priests
Rigid systems of theology
Superstition in popular piety
Politics in the Church
General intolerance
Christian Humanism
Set the stage for the Reformation that
came later
Goal of the movement was to reform the
Catholic church
Believed humans could reason for
If people would read the basic works of
Christianity, they would become more
This would cause church reform because people
of the church would be better.
Gutenberg & the Printing Press
Around 1439, Johannes Gutenberg
invented the printing press
Printing paper using movable metal
Gutenberg & the Printing Press
1455 – Gutenberg’s Bible
1st European book produced from
movable type
By 1500
over a thousand
printers in Europe
Over 40,000 titles
Encouraged research and increased
public’s desire to gain knowledge
Spread new religious ideas faster
Allowed European civilization to
compete with China, who had been
printing earlier
Protestant Reformation
Began with German Martin Luther
Monk & professor
U of Wittenberg
Protestant Reformation & Luther
Bothered by certainty of his salvation
Did not accept salvation by works like
the Catholic Church stressed
Idea: Justification by Faith
We are saved by God’s mercy not our
Become the chief teaching of the
Protestant Reformation
Hated the Catholic practice of
selling indulgences
Releases from all or part of the
punishment for sins
Oct 31, 1517 –95 Theses nailed to
the church door in Wittenberg
List of church abuses that Luther
thought needed to change
Pope Leo X did not react, thinking Luther’s
Theses would not spread.
Luther’s Theses were printed (using the printing
press) and spread all over Germany
By 1520, Luther was calling for German
princes to break with the Church
Attacked sacraments because Church
and Pope destroyed the meaning of the
Gospel with them
– Kept only 2 (Communion and baptism)
Excommunicated from the Church in
1521 by Pope Leo X
Luther still did not recant
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
issued Edict of Worms
Made Luther an outlaw within the
Frederick of Saxony hid Luther in his
He translated the Bible into German
Lutheranism gained support and
became the 1st Protestant faith.
John Calvin
Converted to Protestantism
1536, published Institutes of the
Christian Religion, a summary of
Protestant thought
John Calvin
Believed God was all powerful
Led to new idea of predestination
God determined in advance who would
be saved and who would not.
1536 – moved to Switzerland
(Geneva) and Calvinism grew from
Calvinism stresses the
sovereignty or rule of God in
all things.
Sovereign grace – only
divine intervention can
change human hearts from
rebellion to willing obedience.
Five points of Calvinism, which
can be remembered by the
mnemonic TULIP are:
Total depravity
Unconditional election
Limited atonement
Irresistible grace
Perseverance of the saints
Counter Reformation
3 Pillars of Catholic Reformation
Reform of the papacy
Council of Trent
Pope Paul III was very honest &
upstanding Pope, helped in
reforming the office of Pope
Founded by Ignatius of
Took oath of loyalty to Pope
Used education to spread
their message in parts of
Germany & Eastern Europe
& other parts of the world
Council of Trent
Meeting reaffirmed Catholic teachings in
opposition to Protestant beliefs
Specific Catholic Teachings from Council
Faith & Good works are necessary for salvation
7 sacraments and clerical celibacy were upheld
– Baptism
– Reconciliation (Confession)
– Marriage
– Holy orders
– Anointing the Sick (Last Rites)
– Communion
– Confirmation
Belief in purgatory & use of indulgences were
Latin Vulgate translation was only acceptable
version of Bible
Council of Trent
Reinstituted the Inquisition Court
Led by Jesuits
After this meeting, Roman Catholic
Church had clear body of doctrine and
was under the supreme leadership of
the Pope.
English Reformation
Henry VIII
Wanted to divorce his wife
– Catherine of Aragon –
so he could marry Anne
Catherine had not given
him a son, only a daughter
named Mary
English Reformation
Pope wouldn’t annul
his marriage
Catherine was the
aunt of Charles V,
the Holy Roman
Emperor, whose
protection the Pope
Henry turned to English
church courts.
Archbishop of Canterbury,
Thomas Cranmer, annulled
his marriage in May 1533.
In June 1533, Anne was
crowned queen
3 months later she had a
daughter, Elizabeth (who
becomes Elizabeth I)
In 1534, Parliament broke with
the Catholic Church & the Pope
Act of Supremacy made the King
the head of the English church
Kept basic Catholic doctrines
Henry died in 1547 and Edward VI,
son of his third wife, succeeded him
He was 9 years old and sickly
During his reign, Church of England
officials brought in Protestant Doctrines.
Mary Tudor took over in 1553.
She was Catholic
Called Bloody Mary because she
killed 3000 Protestants trying to get
rid of Protestantism in England.
Elizabeth I became queen in 1558
Established the Anglican Church
Followed what Henry’s church had taught
People were receptive because Mary had
been so violent
Some Protestant teaching are evident in
Anglican Church