The Renaissance



Figure 1.--This unnamed youth was painted by Lorenzo di Credi. The painting is variously dated at 1490. He looks striking modern. His long hair looks like the hair commonly worn by American and European boys in the 1970s. Note the entirely secular content of the portrait. One clear sign of the Renaisance is the immergence of art that was entirely secular. This arrogant boy clearly shows indication of religios piety whatsoever. Abd erhaps even more imprtantly, looking at him you just know that there are all kinds of ideas and thughts swirling within him. That is something you do not see in early portriture.

Although generally classified by most scholars as the last century of the medieval era, the 14th century is generally seen as the beginning of the Renaissance and the beginning of a modern state of mind. "Renaissance" means "rebirth" in French and describes the cultural and economic changes that occurred in Europe beginning in the 14th century. Humanism began to replace Schlolaticism as the philosophical foundation of European intelectual thought. The precise time is difficlt to set and of course varied accross Europe. The Renaissance began at Firenze around 1300 and gradually spread north. Even so, the indicators that constitute the Renaissance did not reach other areas of Europe 1-2 centuries. It was during the Renaissance that Europe emerged from the Feudal System of the Middle Ages. The stagnant Medieval economy began to expand. The Renaissance was not just a period of economic growth. It was an age of intense cultural ferment. Enormous changes began in artistic, social, scientific, and political endevours. Perhaps of greatest importance was that Europeans began to develop a radically different self image as they moved from a God-centered to a more humanistic outlook. The Humanist scholars used their clasical work to assess Church practices and Biblical scholarship. The Renaissance is probably most associated with stunning developmens in the visual artse, especially Italian and Dutch-Flemish painting. The Renaissance is also associated with advances in music, especially the brilliant polyphonic music. Another major achievement during the Renaissance was the birth of modern European drama.

The Feudal System

After the fall of Rome, the Feudal system developed in Europe. The Feudalism was an economic, social, and economic system based apportionment of land in exchange for the provision of fealty and service. The system was based on the king granting land to his important noblemen who became barons. These land grants became heritary. The king also granted land to the Church. These nobels in exchange pledged loyally to the king and to provide soldiers and supplies in time of war. The great nobels in turn divied their fiefdom among lesser lords or knights who became his vassals. This system ws based on the laborof the lowest rung of the social order. Most Europeans were peasant farmers working on the land of a Feudal nobleman--the lor of the manner. They did not own their land, but allowed to work it in exchange for a hare of the crop and labor when required. As the Feudal system developed, the peasants or serfs became tied to the land, not allowed to leave it without permission of the lord of the manner. The Feudal system began to weaken in Western Europe by the 16th century, but persisted much longer in Eastern Europe. The serfs in Russia were not legal freed until the 19th century and it was not until the Revolution in the20th century that the still essentially Feudal estates were broken up.

The Medieval Church

The Christian Church developed in the Roman Empire. The supression of Christians was a constant theme during the reigns of many emperors. The early Church fathers (Peter, Paul, and many others) operated in this hostile environmnt. Finally with Constantine, the Church became the official religion of the Empire. Early Church theologiand like Augustine lived at a time that the Church was not only tolerated, but the official religion of the Empire and a rligion that acted to supress other rival creeds. The Church was thus significantly influenced by the Empire. Much of the Church's organization (pope, cardinal, bishop, ect) was a relection of how the Roman Empire was organized, although the modern organization of the Church and the primacy of the Pope only developed over time. The political structure of the Empire was reflected in how Christian diosceses were set up. Even before conversion, important local officials (Roman, Celtic, and Germanic) might protect or even endow monastaries and convents seeing it beneficial to have "a powehouse of prayer" in their territory. [Brown] One remarkable aspect of the triumph of Christianity in Europe was the fact that Christianity was the religion of the defeated Empire, yet it was gradually adoped by the victorious barbarians. The story of medieval conversions is a fascinating one. Actual conversion took many forms. Very few European people were Christianized by conquest. Rather conversion occurred by coverting leaders, primarily by persuasion. This process took many forms (missionary zeal, princly fiat, election, and shamanistic vision). Many features of the modern Church were not aspects of the early Church. One of the most important is the cult of the saints. Another is the confessional, intitially only practiced by the most deeply pious. One aspects of the confessional was tariffed penances based on penitentials. Surviving medieval penitentials provide a wealth of information to sociologists concerning the intimate details of everyday life. [Brown]

Chronology

Although generally classified by most scholars as the last century of the medieval era, the 14th century is generally seen as the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy. This can be seen as the beginning of a modern state of mind. "Renaissance" means "rebirth" in French and describes the cultural and economic changes that occurred in Europe beginning in the 14th century. The precise time is difficlt to set and of course varied accross Europe. The Renaissance began at Firenze around 1300 and gradually spread north. The Renaissance was more pronounced and established outside of Italy by the 15th century. Even so, the indicators that constitute the Renaissance did not reach other areas of Europe until 1-2 centuries lter, especially northern Europe. The Renaissance in northern countries was delayed and really didn't get fully underway in England, France, and Germany until the 16th century.

The Crusades (11th-13th Centuries)

The Crusades are the series of religious wars launched by the Medieval kingdoms of Europe during the 11th-13th centuries to retake the Holly land from Islamic rulers. Christian pilgrims after the Arab conquests of the 7th and 8th centuries had to travel through Islamic lands to venerate the great shrines in Jerusalem and other Biblical sites in the Holy Land. In addition the Ottoman Turks were increasingly encroaching on the Eastern or Byzantine Empire. Islamic scholars often describe the crusades as an example of European brutality against the Muslim world. Today as a result the word "crusade" has a very different connotation in the Muslim and Western worlds. What Islamists never mention is that the Crusades were the first significant Christian reaction to three centuries of Islamic military campaigns against Christian nations in the Middlke East , North Africa, and Europe. The Crusades while bloody and violent had a significant impact on Western intelectual development. Latin kingdoms were established in the Eastern Mediterranean after the 4th Crusade. This resulted in the discovery and translation of classical works long lost to Western scholarship. This inspired an increasred interest in the classics, especially in Italy, but other Western kingdoms as well. Gradually a new philopsophical tradition rose to challenge the increasingly sterile Scholasticism of the Medieval era.

Italy

The Renaisance began in Italy and thus the increasingly accurate depictions and the painting of secular scenes appears earlier in Italy than any where else in Europe. Although generally classified by most scholars as the last century of the medieval era, the 14th century is generally seen as the beginning of the Renaissance and the beginning of a modern state of mind. "Renaissance" means "rebirth" in French and describes the cultural and economic changes that occurred in Europe beginning in the 14th century. The precise time is difficlt to set and of course varied accross Europe. The Renaissance began at Firenze around 1300 and gradually spread north. Even so, the indicators that constitute the Renaissance did not reach other areas of Europe 1-2 centuries. It was during the Renaissance that Europe emerged from the Feudal System of the Middle Ages. The stagnant Medieval economy began to expand. The Renaissance was not just a period of economic growth. It was an age of intense cultural ferment. Enormous changes began in artistic, social, scientific, and political endevours. Perhaps of greatest importance was that Europeans began to develop a radically different self image as they moved from a God-centered to a more humanistic outlook.

Geography

Italy is a peninsula jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. No countryhas such an extensive Meditrranean coast as Italy. And in comination with Sicly is perfectly situated to dominte both the eastern and western Mediterranean. It is also in aposition to engage in commerce with both the eastern and western Meditranean. Rome parlaided that gepgraphy into nuilding one of he world's greatest empires. This gography by the same token exposed Italy to outside influences more than amy other Euroean country. Many Italians taking advantage of the geography also made a living from the sea through fishing and trade. At the time, the primary trding interest was to the east. The Ottoman Empire and Arab ontact to the East. So Europeans had to do bysiness with the Ottomns and Europens. And Italian city state like Venice and Genoa were best positioned to conduct this bisiness. Along with trade goods came ideas. This included classical manucripts from libraries in Byzantium. But thre were alo many in the Ottoman Empire and Arab lands. And at the time the Renaissance began, the Muslims were in many ways more culturally advanced then much of Europe. Merchant could obtain goods from the East (China, India, the Spice Islands, and Japan). A few Italiam merchants even travelled East. The most famous of course was Marco Polo. Few got all the way to China, but many traveled to Byzantium, and and to many other lands. Thus Itlians were more expsed to a wider range of ideas, both classical and others (Bzantium, Ottoman, Arab, Inuam China, and Japan among others ) than any other Europeans at the time. And the ciltural and economic quickening of the ate medeva; periods began first in Italy. Trade eas very important. Italy was the conduit for eastern goods into Europe. Banking and manufacturing (textilkes, jewlry, glaass , and other items) developed in Italy. Thus urbanization increasd in Itly The first European universties were founded there. Italian ities reachedthe unprecedented level of 100,000 and more inhabitants. The Italian climate also proved perfect for olices and gapes leading to wine. Tese were oroducts that culd not be produced in northern Europe.

Florence

One might think if anywhere you wought find the birthplace of the Renaissance in Rome, once the center, of the western world. Or in the rich port cities like Venice ad Genoa. But this was not the case, rather it is the small city of Florence, (Fierenze) quietly nestled in the Tuscan hills that is commnly seen as the birth place of the Renaissance. From Florence came the artstic giants of the Renaissance--Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Boticlelli. And we find the literary giant, Sante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccacccio. Most countries are not responsible for such preccious talent, let along a small, somewhat isolated city state. Some argue that Florence's importance was ccidental. Simply the result of very talented people being born there--imply luck at chance. We do not find that very satisfying. More likely the great Renaissance figures were able to develop their talents because of the prevailing culture and intelectual ferment of the time. But his was true of other areas of Italy. Others have suggested tht Florence was a rich city. This was not because of trade routes as some have suggested. It was because of two economic sectors, industry (textiles) and banking. Florence in the 15th century was a very exciting place. The city was substatial, but by no means large. There were about 60,000 people. The citial aspect was that it was a self-governed, independent city-state. Florence had politically active citizenry. The city was not controlled by a monarch or the Church. And the citizenry was throughly imbued with the humanist spirit. Politically, Italy was an anomally. Europe was controlled by monarchs who ruled with the authority of divine right and and the Church. Eropean monrchs to varying degrees severly restricted political particiption. Much of Italy was madeup of city states, Naples in the south and the Papal States in the center were exceptions. In the city-states, power was shared. This varied from city to city. Florence was on of the cities were there was a hgh degree of civic responsibility. A key factor in the emergence of Florence was the role played by the Medici family, the dominant family. The Medici patronized and stimulated the arts. Most prominently was Lorenzo de' Medici who appropriated huge sums to commission works from the city's leading artists. Twelve artist guilds regulating the trades were the dominant force in the city. Members of the guilds, were wealthy men who were appoited to government. They dominated society and politics. They cotrolled the city's economy and operated a with a wdely held political philosophy that there duty was to work for the welfare of the city. The city's most important guilds were those associated with textile workers. Much of Florence's wealthy economy was the result of the manufacture and trade intextiles, primarily wool as cotton was not yet available at reasonable cost. The Wool purchased unfinished and untreated, primarily from England and the Iberian Peninsula where hihh quality wool was riduced. Textile workers in Florence cleaned, carded, spun, dyed, and wove the wool into some of the highest quality cloth in Europe. Florence merchats sold their cloth throughut Italy, northern Europe, and even in Ottoman lands. Some Floentines purchased low-quality cloth from northern cities and refinished it to create a high-quality product. The other major industry was banking, a newndutry arising in Italy (13th century). Many Floentine families began banking ad achievd considerable success. The Florentine gold coin name the florin was of such cnsistenly reliable purity that it became the standard coinage throughout Europe until the Spanish conquest of the America (16th century). Florentine bankers became known throughout Europe. They opened banking houses in other important cities (London, Geneva, and Bruges). The importance of Florence can be overstated. Aspects of what we now call the The Renaissance was certainly already underway in Italy before Florence blossomed. It is, however, fair to say that it was in Florence that all the cultural threads driving the Renaissance first came togeeter, and nowhere else did the cultural flame burn so brillantly.

Constantinople Falls (1453)

Increasing interest in Greek classics cause Italian scholars to study Greek so they can read the original clasic texts. Dante's disciple Boccaccio studied Greek and translated Homer into Latin. The University of Florence establisshed a the first chair of Greek (1360). Other Greek scholars were encouraged to come from Byzantium to Italy. Greek scholar Manuel Chrysoloras began to teach in the chair of Greek at the University of Florence (1396). Florence was to become one of the great Italaian Renaissance centers. Italian Humanist scholars traveled to Byzantium to learn Greek and to buy the old manuscripts that had been saved from Barbarian and Crusader pillages. Many original Greek clasical texts were found in Constantinople. Libraries were founded in Italy and other locations. The papacy participated in the search for classical texts. Pope Nicholas V was a strong proponent and helped found the huge Vatican collection. Cardinal Bessarion helped found thee Library of St. Mark at Venice. The fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453 fueled the Renaissance by the number of clasical Greek scholars that dought refuege in Italy, many bring ing priceless texts with them. Temporal leaders also supported the Humanist movement. Cosimo de' Medici in 1462 sponsored the Platonic Academy in Florence.

Spains Expells the Jews and Moors (1492)

Father Tomas de Torquemada, the Grand Inqisitor, concluded that if the Jews remained in Spain, then they would influence the Marranos, the new converts to Christianity. He reached this conclusion in part because he had participated in the disputations (debates) with Jews and was frustrated that he could not convert Jews by his arguments. With the fall of Granada (1492), the last Moorish outpost in Spain had been reduced. Father Torquemada advanced the idea with the Catholic monarchs (King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella) that the Jewish religion should be banned in Spain. Ferdinand and Isabella obtained financial support for the operation against Geanada from Don Isaac Abravanel and Don Abraham Senior, Senior Comptroller of Castile and Chief Rabbi of the kingdom. The Catholic Monarchs, none the less, were drawn to Torquemada's advice. Queen Isabella in particular was a fervant Catholic. Ferdinand may have been more attracted by the money to be made. Torquemada concinced the two soverigns to expel the Jews. They issued the fateful Edict of Expulsion on March 31, 1492. Don Isaac Abravanel pleaded for mercy, but his pleas were rejected. The order allowed the Jews 4 months to leave Spain. Those who refused to convert had to sell their homes, businesses, and other possessions at low prices. There are no definitive records, but scholars believe that about 100,000 Jews remained true to their religion and fleed fom Spain. The expulsion is today commemorated on the holiday of Tisha B’Av. The expelled Jews became known as Sephardic Jews. They played an important role in the economic success and cultural life in Muslim North Africa, the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands, and other countries. The descendants of the Jews expelled by the Spanish and subsequently the Portuguese are referred to as Sephardim. 'Sephardim' is the Hebrew word term for Spain and it appears in the Old Testament, one suggestion that Jews in Spain predate the Roman era.

Economic Change

It was during the Renaissance that Europe emerged from the Feudal System of the Middle Ages. The stagnant Medieval economy began to expand. The Renaissance was not just a period of economic growth. The economic growth was the major factor leading to the voyages of discovery in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Voyages of Discovery

The account of Marco Polo with actual descriptions of China and the Spice Islands fueled a desire by Eurpdeans to establish direct trading links. At the same time Europeans by the 14th century had significantly imroved their navigational and ship building skills. The astrolabe helped mariners determine latitude. (Longitude proved a much more difficult undertaking. The magnetic compass permitted mariners to determine which direction was north. Great improvements were made in maps. Here Portuguese cartographers played a key role. Information provided by travelers was refined by explorers who began to sail south along the African coast. Europeans also made great strides in shipbuilding. Large capacity ships called galleons were adopted. Powered by sail and woth large holds, they greatly reduce the cost of transporting good over distances. These developments permitted Europeans them to begin to make voyages od substantial distances and the goal was to reach the East to develop direct trade contacts with China. Many of the advances were made by the Itlalian mariners of the eastern Mediterranean. It was, however, the western European countries of the Atlantic that would conduct the great voyages of discovery.

Printing Press (1450s)

One of the vital factors in the Renaissance was the invention by Johann Gutenberg of moveable print and the printing press. This was the most significant development in information technology until the personal computer of the late-20th century. Gutenberg (1400?-68?) working with partners developed the technology for printing (1450-56). The first printing was the Bible which is now known as The Gutenberh Bible. What once took months of ardous labor now could be accomplished within days. While the results were less elrgant, it greatly increased the number of copires of books and the economic level, of those that could own them. And the book most in demand was the Bible. For the first time in history, ordinary people could have a Bible in their homes and read it as a family. It is no accident that within a few decades, the Reformation would be launched. Other vooks were of course published, leading to the spread of Humanist ideas.

Cultural Ferment

It was an age of intense cultural ferment. Enormous changes began in artistic, philosophical, political, scientific, and social endevours. The Renaissance had a profound affect on Europe. It affected science and art, but even more it affected the way man thought and his outlook on life. Individuals other tha royals and Churhmen begin to play promient roles.

Art

The European Renaissance began in Italy. It involved fundamental changes in the way individuals viewed their world. A central element of the Renaissance was the rediscovery of ancient world of Greece and Rome. The ancient classics of philosophy, literature, and science inspired the development of empirical methods to persue studies in these fields. As Europeans became increasingly aware of classical knowledge some like Galileo began to build on that knowldge actual observation and study of the natural world, even conceiving experiments to test his theories. It is art, however, that is the most vissible indication of the changing outlook of Europeans. The focus on the natural world caused many artists to move away from the Medieval focus on God to an increasing concern with the natural world and more precise depictions of that world. The horrors of the plague had caused many to question their faith in the 14th century, another factor in undermining a God-centered world. As a result, the themes of Renaissance artists are less and lss devote to the glory of God and increasingly to secular themes. Many artists now not only paint Biblical scenes but Greek and Roman history and mythology are depicted. Later in the Renaissance, artists will begin painting genre scenes of contemporary life. The increasingly sophisticated artistic techniques permit artists to create amazingly realistic depictions. The role of the artist also changes in the Renaissance. The Medievl artist was a craftsman whose name, especially in the early Medieval era. was rarely applied to his creations. His task was to Glorify God along guidelines clearly established by the Church. The Renaissance artist was a very diufferent indovidual. He was much more than a craftman. He was a creator. And he was viewed very differently than the mere artisan artists were viewed in the Medieval era. The Renaissance artist was greatly respected in a world still dominated by the airistoracy. Both the airistocracy and the Church and later imn the Mefdieval era wealthy merchants began respecting the artist not only for his technical prowess, but also for his creative powers and imagination--in fact a new development in Western art. The artist was seen as an individual whose personal aesthetic expression was of importance.

Music

Stunning advances in music were made during the Renaissance, especially the brilliant polyphonic music by such great composers as Palestrina (Italy), Tallis, Byrd, and Gibbons (England), and Victoria (Spain).

Drama

The great drama of Renaissance Europe is concentrated in two countries--England and Spain. England is by far the most important. This leads us to wonder why theatrical plays were so much more advanced in England and why boy characters emerged in England and not in other countries. Lope de Vega, of course, was the Spanish Shakespeare, and he wrote hundreds of plays. But they are much more formal and less realistic than Shakespeare's plays, and they don't feature the same kind of comedy as we have exemplified in characters such as Falstaff. Boy characters are very rare and quite insignificant when they do occur. There was virtually no professional theatre in 16th-century Germany--only ad lib farces and knock-about comedy performed by schoolboys and town amateurs who had regular non-theatrical jobs. The French produced a rather sterile academic kind of drama based on classical models, and had almost no boy characters. The Italians went in for commedia del arte--a kind of street theatre with stock characters that was mostly improvised and didn't have set plots and certainly not written-out scripts. The English actors became famous on the continent, and we know that they travelled to Germany and performed English plays (untranslated apparently) for German audiences. But this was an exotic import rather than a native dramatic tradition. Tradition such as it was in Germany involved quite a primative sort of drama. The English theatre was by far the most advanced and sophisticated in all of Western Europe. And the tradition of sophisticated plays being performed by companies of men and boys (for the women's parts) and designed for a cross-section of the middle-class public was almost uniquely an English phenomenon as was the tradition of dramatic blank verse (sometimes intermingled with prose for the lower-class or lower-toned scenes) which developed as the medium of dialogue.

Philosophy

Perhaps of greatest importance was that Europeans began to develop a radically different self image as they moved from a God-centered to a more humanistic outlook. Humanism began to replace Schlolaticism as the philosophical foundation of European intelectual thought. Humanism was a revival of classical thought, both classical learning and the spirit of inquiry expressed in the great classical writers oif Greece and Rome. Humanism was fueled by both the Crusades and fall of Constantinope (1453) which helpec unearth long lost clssical texts and revive classical scholarhip. Humnaism first appeared in Italy. It was generated by a revival of interest in classical literature and the classical ideals. Humanism was a rejection of the Medieval mindset and world view and the intelectual constraints of Scholasticism. Humnist scholars reveled in the intellectual freedom cultural riches of the classical pagan world. A hintb of Humanist thought can be seen in the Medievel poet Dante (1265- 1321) who selected Roman poet Virgil as his model. Petrarch (1304-1374) was the first poet to truly reflectthe spirit of the Renaissance. His poems were penned in Latin hexameter as did the classical Roman poets. It was Petrarch who virtually rediscovered which was virtually unknow in the West. The Medieval Church had endorsed Schlasticism which became the doiminant philosophical tradition of Western Christendom during the Medieval era. The rise of Hunanism ended the Church's monoploy on learning. Laymen began reading the ancient texts which because of the printing press were available in inctrased quantities. The new ideas first appeared in Italy, but gradually circulated throughout Europe. Humnists scholars appeared in most important countries with the possible exception of Portugal and Spain where the Soanish Inquiisition imhibited scholarly discussion. Important Humnist scholars included: England (John Colet and Sir Thomas More), France (Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples), Germany (Reuchlin), and the Netherlamds (Desiderius and Erasmus).

Religion

The Humanist scholars used their clasical work to assess Church practices and Biblical scholarship. Important improvements in developing a more accurate understanding of the Holy Scriptutres. The work of the Humanist scholars in many ways laid the foundatiin for the Protestant Reformation. Luther, Calvin and other leading figures of the Redormation were to claim that it was the Holy Bible and not the pope and Roman Catholic Church that was the ultimate religious authority in Christendom.

Political


Science

The rising sence of inquiry resulted in Western minds for the first time in a millenia actively observing and studying the natural world. The cklassical workls fueled assessments of thoise observations and the development of actual experiments to test conclusions rather than resorting to searhes of Scholastic philoopsophical works and Church dictrine. In debates with the new inquiring minds, such as Copernicus and Galileo, the Church fared poorly. Only the punative authority of the Holy Inquisition silenced Galileo, but hardly his ideas--at least in northern Europe.

Social


Clothing

One interesting aspect of the Renaissance is fashion. Fashion changed slowly in the Medieval era. With the Renaissance, the pace of fashion quickened. The painters of the era provide us a fascinating record of contemporary fashion. We have not yet begun to develop information on clothing during the Renaisance overall. There is already information on the specific centuries which made up the Renaisance (1400s, 1500s, and the 1600s). We have also begun to develop some overall garment pages. A very important element of Renaissance dress was hosiery. One style of footwear that we have noted are strap shoes.

Seamy Aspect

The Renaissance is one of the periods of human history almost universally admired and aplauded. It was critical to the emergence of the West as a critical aspect of the modern world--chalengimg the control of the Church on aristic and intellecutal thought. It is the failure of the Islamic world to make a comparable break from the shackles of theocracy than led to a millenium in which there was virtually no social and technological change. In contrast, the Chrsistian West began a remarkable cultural rebirth and launch of phenominal technological innovation. Even so, the Renaissance was not the bright light of purity often depicted. There was a seamy side to the Renaissance not often discussed. Along with all the magnificent artistiic and intelectual achievements there lurked a hotbed of power politics, corruption, and perversity. This dichotomy is often observed in times of cultural change. And this dichotomy was not just the era as a whole but among the individual luminaries of the Renaissance, incredible men like Botticelli, Caravaggio, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and many others. One author writes of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, "Shortly after his first visit to Florence, he seduced the wife of one of Lorenzo de'Medici's cousins, and, after being caught trying to elope with the love-struck woman, was horribly wounded and thrown into jail for a while. No sooner had he recovered when he leaped into something new, albeit of a rather different character. Finding that they had more than a little in common. Pico began a passionate friendship with Angelo Poliziano that blossoimed into a smoldering sexual relationship. Even after they were poisoned--perhaps on the orders of Piero de;Medici--the bond between them was commemoratd by being buried side by side in the church of San Marco, despite the Church's strict injunctions against homosexulaity." [Lee] And it was during the Renaissance that persecution of the Jews contunued, including the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and Portugal.

Renaissance Celebrations

We notice many communities throughtout Europe have local celebrations dating back to the Renaissance. They seem to be more popular than medieval celebrations. We re not sure that many sctually date back to the Renaissance, but some do. They seem to celebrate all kinds of local traditions. Sometimes only a few participants dress up in Renaissance costumes, but in some instances quite a number of people do. Some of tge celevrations include religious components. We have seem some images that we can not identify. The costuming of course helps us to date the period intended in the various festivals if we do not have the actual details. The costuming is often elaborate.

Sources

Brown, Peter. The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity, A.D. 200-1000 2nd edition (Blackwell paperback: 2003), 625p.

:ee, Alexander. The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence and Depravity in an Age of Beauty (2014), 416p.







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Created: August 10, 2003
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