The end of the medieval period in Europe was marked by changes in attitudes towards politics, religion, and learning. These changes became more widespread and sweeping during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, bringing about the cultural movement called Renaissance and the religious movement known as the Reformation .
The Renaissance began as revival of interest in the literature and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. Its emphasis was on the richness of earthly life and on human achievements. One result of the Renaissance spirit was a brilliant period of creativity in the arts.
The Reformation also marked a breaking away from the attitudes of the Middle Ages. It began with attempts to make reforms in the Church and led eventually to the end of religious unity in Western and Central Europe.
1. The Renaissance Brings Change
2. The Renaissance Spirit Is Reflected in Literature and Art
3. The Reformation Ends Religious Unity in Western and Central Europe
1. The Renaissance Brings Change
Late in the Middle Ages, European rulers gained new authority, while the absolute authority of the Church began to be questioned. At the same time, a long period of wars, epidemics, and economic upheaval in Europe came to an end. A new spirit of optimism, confidence, and creativity emerged. In the fourteenth century, these developments led to the start of a remarkable period that is known as the Renaissance.
a. Interest in classical learning inspires the Renaissance -The word renaissance in French for “rebirth”. -Originally referred to a new interest in the learning of ancient Greece and Rome, which began in 1300’s. The Renaissance differed from the Middle Ages in several ways 1. a renewed appreciation for the arts and learning of ancient Greece and Rome. 2. a new interest in worldly matters, accompanied by a growing emphasis on human life and accomplishment. b. Scholars study the humanities -Renaissance scholars’ interest in Greek and Roman learning developed into the study of the humanities-Latin and Greek language and literature, composition, rhetoric, history, and philosophy. -Renaissance scholars found the literature of the ancients exciting to read and beautiful to hear. -Scholars who took part in the intellectual movement that grew out of the study of the humanities were called humanists .
c. Renaissance begins in Italy -The Renaissance began about 1350 in the northern Italian city- states, which had grown prosperous from the revival of trade in the Middle Ages. Italian merchants and bankers had the wealth to acquire libraries and fine works of art. d. Petrarch leads the rediscovery of classical literature - Francesco Petrarch - an Italian poet born in 1304, led the early development of Renaissance humanism. -He studied Roman literature and philosophy and encourage others to become interested. -In the process of collecting ancient manuscript, he rediscovered a number of Roman authors whose work had been forgotten during the Middle Ages. -He loved writing so much that he often worked all night long at his desk. -When a worried friend urged him to relax, he replied, “nothing weighs less than a pen, and nothing gives more pleasure; it is useful not only to the writer but to the others far away, perhaps even those who will be born a thousand years from now.” -On July 19, 1374, Petrarch was found dead in his library, his head resting on an open book, his pen fallen from his hand.
e. The Renaissance emphasizes life on earth -Renaissance humanists tried to understand the entire civilization of the ancient world, not just selected ideas. They looked on the literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans as guide to a joyous, successful way of life. -the people of the Renaissance emphasized living life on earth as fully as possible. -They took ancient literature as their guide to understanding human nature, the conduct of statesmen, the duty of the citizens, and the meaning of duty. f. Renaissance thinkers study history critically -the study of history was important for Renaissance humanists. They believed that history, like classical literature and philosophy, would help them understand their own times. In their efforts to learn more about ancient Greece and Rome, they carefully examined and compared copies of ancient manuscript. -Medieval thinkers had tended to accept Aristotle’s writings as unquestioned truth. Renaissance humanists, however, said that Aristotle’s works should be seen as a product of the time in which he wrote.
g. Politics are important in the Renaissance -Many Renaissance humanists were leaders of society and were active in the politics of their cities. -They valued public service and praise those who were useful to society. -The skills of humanists sought to cultivate - eloquence in communicating ideas, effective public speaking, polished manners, an elegant writing style – were valuable ones for social and political leaders. h. Machiavelli takes a practical view of politics -Political rivalry was intense among the Italian city-states and their rulers. -Renaissance political thinkers were ambitious for fame and power. As a guide, they looked back to Roman history rather than to medieval ideals. -They also turned to the advice given in guidebooks on how rulers could become more successful and skilful in politics.
Niccolo Machiavelli-write a famous guidebooks -a diplomat and student of politics -he drew on Roman history to set up guidelines for rulers of his time. -was a cynical about human behaviour and believed that a ruler should do whatever was necessary to gain and keep power The Prince-(the title of his book) written about 1513 -he pointed out that successful rulers often lied, broke treaties, and killed in order to gain power. -he said, politics must be judged only by their result i. Wealthy patrons support the Renaissance -Renaissance life centered on the society, commerce, and politics of the bustling, prosperous cities. In wealthy cities such as Florence, Milan, and Venice, the rulers, noble families, and high-ranking clergy became patrons, or supporters, of the art. Most Renaissance artists came to depend for their livelihoods on wealthy patrons. Florence-The cultural center of Renaissance Italy, was dominated by the Medici family. -Medici-were bankers who had branch offices in cities throughout Western Europe. -Platonic Academy in Florence-Founded by Cosimo de’ Medici in 1450, it became the center of studies in Greek philosophy.
Lorenzo(1449-1492)-(Cosimo’s grandson) best-known member of the Medici -Known as “the Magnificent” -was a classical scholar, a skilled architect, and a talented poet who wrote In the style of Petrarch -he hired painters and sculpture to create works of art for his palace, and invited artists, painters, and philosophers to his court. Women of the wealthy and noble Italian families also played important roles as patrons of the arts. Isabella d’Este(1474-1539)-one of the most remarkable women in Renaissance Italy. -as a child she and her sister Beatrice studied the humanities and learned to read and speak Latin and Greek. -married to Francisco Gonzaga ruler of a small state in northern Italy -She collected many of the books just the beginning to come from Italian printers. Her own learning and her encouragement of the arts made Isabella known in her time as “The first women of the world.”
j. The Renaissance encourages the development of talents -The Renaissance was characterized by an intense appreciation of individualism. -The people of this time were interested in the unique qualities that made one person stand from the others -these attitudes encouraged a spirit of curiosity and adventure -the men and women of the upper classes benefited most from the wealth and leisure to develop the many talents expected in the ideal Renaissance individual. k. Printing spreads Renaissance ideas -The Renaissance was the time of change in technology as well as in culture -Printing press-one of the new developments 1450’s-European first used movable metal type to print a book Johann Gutenberg - credited with printing the first book, a copy of the Bible
l. Renaissance ideas spread to Northern Europe -Printing helped spread the spirit and ideas of the Renaissance northward from Italy to France, England, Germany, and the Netherlands(Holland and Belgium). Desiderius Erasmus-was born about 1466in Rotterdam, Holland. -the most respected and influential humanist of the Northern Renaissance -Ordained a Catholic priest, he carefully studied both the humanities and Christian doctrines. -He wanted the church to return to the simple religious devotion of early Christianity, but did not agree with the leaders of the Reformation who were breaking away from the Church. -He felt that the study of the humanities was more valuable than the study of science. In the Praise of Folly (1509)-He criticized scholars, scientists, philosophers, and clergy of his own time for being narrow- minded. -The new craft of printing made Erasmus’s books available throughout Europe; he was one of the first authors whose books were read by thousands of people.
Sir Thomas More- One of the most important scholar in northern Renaissance -an English statesman -close friend of Erasmus -a devout catholic and a student of both Church doctrine and the humanities -His book Utopia , published in Latin in 1516, described an ideal, peaceful society, and so conveyed More’s criticism of the Politics, society, and religion of his time.
2. The Renaissance Spirit Is Reflected in Literature and Art The Renaissance spirit and the renewed interest in ancient Greece and Rome were the inspiration of a brilliant creative period in literature and art. Writers and artist used stories from ancient history and classical mythology as their subjects. They also adapted styles used by the Greek and Roman authors, artists, and architects. Most important, they portrayed people with greet realism, bringing out the subject’s individuality. Human beings were the focus of the arts of the Renaissance. Renaissance Literature a. Rabelais and Montaigne express the Renaissance spirit in France -The emphasis on individuality was reflected in very different ways in the works of two great French Renaissance writers.
1 . Francois Rabelais -was born in France -encouraged the Renaissance ideal of living a full, busy life -was a monk, a scholar, and a physician, who also studied plants and Roman archaeological sites. Gargantua and Pantagruel-a five-volume work, that made fun of those who did not take the humanists point of view. The books combined humour, lively imagination, and exciting adventures with scholarship.
2. Michel de Montaigne - a writer lived quietly and wrote short, thoughtful essays that reflected his personal thoughts and interests. -He drew on his own observations, experience, and travels -He wrote in a conversational style, exploring ideas about friendship, education, and many other subjects that interest him
b. Cervantes mocks medieval ideals Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra(known as Cervantes 1547- 1616)-the greatest writer in the Renaissance in Spain -served as a soldier against the Turks and was imprisoned for five years by pirates in North Africa. -became a tax collector Don Quixote-published first in 1605 -in this book Cervantes mocked the way medieval codes of chivalry distorted reality. -Do Quixote is a kind, elderly gentleman who spends so much time reading medieval tales that he loses his sense of reality. He decides to become a knight and sets out to do heroic deeds. Blind to the real world, Don Quixote sees a herd of sheep as an army and thinks windmills are giants. He idealizes a servant on a nearby farm, describing her in the terms of courtly love rather than seeing her as a sturdy peasant she really is.
c. Shakespeare provides insight into human behaviour William Shakespeare(1564-1616)- many people regarded him as the world’s finest dramatist and the greatest writer in the English language. -was an actor and playwright, not a classical scholar -he shared the humanist interest in other times and places, particularly the ancient world. Several plays- such as Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra- Greek and Roman history. -In the play Hamlet, he wrote: “What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason!...in action how like an angel!!” Shakespeare’s plays portrayed the whole range of human feelings – joy, love, greed, jealousy, ambition, range, sorrow.
Renaissance Art and Architecture a. Renaissance artists portray individual -like the writers of the Renaissance, the artists of the time looked back to the ancient Greeks and Romans for their themes and Ideas -they used ancient works of arts as their models in depicting a variety of subjects stories from Greek mythology, scenes from Roman history, incidents in the Bible and Church history -Renaissance artists tried to capture each individual’s character and to show that person’s feelings and personality in a lifelike way. b. Artists strive for balance and proportion -renaissance architects saw nature as beautiful because it was balanced and well proportioned. They hope to achieve these same qualities in their own work so that it would appear more realistic. -architects admired Greek and Roman buildings and strove for the same kind of balance and proportion in the buildings they designed. -they tried to make all the parts of a building appear perfectly balanced in size and shape.
c. The use of perspective adds realism to painting -Another step toward realism was the discovery of how to achieve perspective -the impression of depth and distance on the flat surface of painting Giotto -first used this technique in about 1300. Filippo Brunelleschi-(Florentine architect) discovered that painters could used mathematical laws in painting their pictures and thus show perspective accurately. Massaccio-applied these laws in his paintings. By making it seem that a system of lines met at a certain focal point in the painting, he created an illusion of space and distance.
d. Renaissance artists use new materials -many medieval paintings were frescoes, paintings on freshly plastered walls. This technique had been used since ancient times -medieval painters also commonly used a kind of paint called tempera. It too dried so quickly that painters could not change or correct what they had painted Oil Painting -new technique developed by the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck -let the artists work more slowly and allowed them to obtain more lifelike effects -they could show realistically the look and texture of different fabrics-the smoothness of silk, the intricacy of lace, the coarseness of wool, the softness of fur. Jan van Eyck(ike) - who lived from about 1380 to about 1440.
e. Raphael is a master of design Raphael Santi -became famous for his paintings of Madonna’s, picture of Mary the mother of Jesus -he painted a human, loving woman. -was a master of designed and skilled architect f. Michelangelo creates lasting masterpieces Michelangelo Bounarroti -was the greatest sculpture of the Renaissance -he was also immensely skilled as a painter, poet, and architect, Michelangelo called sculpture “the first of arts” -in sculpture, he said, “each act, each limb, each bone is given life and, love, man’s body is raised breathing, alive, in wax or clay or stone.” -Pieta (pyay-tah)-statue which shows Mary holding the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion. He made this when he was 23 years old. -this work won instant fame. One of his contemporaries wrote, “It would be impossible for any craftsman or sculptor, no matter how brilliant, ever to surpass the grace or design of this work or try to cut and polish the marble with the skill that Michelangelo displayed.”
-In 1508 Pope Julius II, a leading patron of the arts, called Michelangelo to Rome to paint religious scenes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The paintings were to show Biblical events from the Creation to the great flood of Noah’s time. For four years Michelangelo worked on the ceiling, stretched out on his back atop a high platform. The sun’s heat beat down on him through the roof of the chapel, and paint dripped into his eyes. When darkness came, he worked by candlelight. He suffered from cramps in his legs; his eyesight began to fail. “I have been here a thousand years” he wrote to his father. “I am more exhausted than man ever was.” Despite his agony, Michelangelo created a masterpiece. The Sistine Chapel paintings made his reputation as Rome’s greatest artist. -When he was in his 70’s, he began to complete the plans for building St. Peter’s Church in Rome. He worked at designing the interior and the huge dome until his death in 1564.
g. Leonardo fulfils the Renaissance ideal Leonardo da Vinci -less famous in his time than Michelangelo, is now regarded as a universal genius, the ideal admired by the people of the Renaissance. -He left few competed paintings, but they include such famous works as The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa -like other artists of the time, he also depended on his patrons. They included Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan, the duke ’ s wife Beatrice d ’ Este, and King Francis I of France. -The proof of Leonardo ’ s genius is found in the many notebooks he left. He drew objects and people as he saw them with his own eyes. To find out more about human body, he dissected corpses and made careful drawings of the structure of muscles and bones. -his notebooks recorded designs for inventions such as flying machines, submarines, and machine guns. These drawings are so precise that modern engineers have used them to build working models.
h. Northern Renaissance artists emphasize realistic detail -the center of the Northern Renaissance in art was the Netherlands, especially the region of Flanders. It was a Flemish artists, van Eyck who won the first master of oil painting. Pieter Brueghel (Broy-gul) The Elder (1525-1569)-the greatest painter of realistic contemporary scenes. -using a wealth of detail and often sly humor, he created latge, dramatic paintings of farm workers and crowds of towns-people at work and play. Jan Vermeer and Jacob van Ruisdael (roys-dahl)-continued the tradition of painting carefully detailed landscapes and interior scenes. -1600’s- Dutch art reached its height in paintings Albrecht Durer - The leading German artist of the Renaissance -who was equally skilled in creating paintings, woodcuts, and engravings. Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543)-another German painter -the most famous portrait painter of his time -he created portraits that vividly show his subjects’ personalities as well as the realistic details of their clothing and the objects around them -Erasmus and Sir Thomas More-two of Holbein's most famous portraits
3. The Reformation Ends Religious Unity in Western and Central Europe Another kind of break with medieval times came as reformers challenged the authority of the Church, whose political influence had weakened in the late Middle Ages. By the fourteenth century, reforms within the Church were being demanded in many countries of Europe. a. Wycliffe calls for changes in church doctrine -late 1300’s JOHN WYCLIFFE (wik-lif)-a scholar at oxford university in England, questioned the teaching that a person could gain salvation only through the Church. -He said that the Bible, not the Church, should be regarded as the supreme source of authority -He denounced bishops and other clergy for amassing wealth and neglecting their religious duties -He and his followers made the first translation of the Bible in English. -His followers known as “the Poor Preachers”, were trained to teach in the language of the people instead of the Latin of the Church.
b. Huss criticizes the church -JOHN HUSS-head of the University of Prague in Bohemia (a state in the Holy Roman Empire) - Like Wycliffe, he challenges the authority of Pope and criticized the Church wealth. -In 1410 he was excommunicated. Nevertheless, he travelled to Germany to attend a Church council that was trying to end the Great Schism. Although the Holy Roman Emperor had promised that Huss would be safe at the council, he was arrested, found guilty of heresy, and burned at the stake in 1415. -In 1420 some of Huss’s followers, called Hussites, began a rebellion against the Church and Emperor. The called together an army for a crusade against the rebels -Peace was finally made in 1434, but many Hussites went on with their efforts to secure the Church reform
c. Martin Luther adopts new beliefs -MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546)-he taught Biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg -He led a strict and pious life but was troubled by a feeling of sin and feared that would never enter heaven. After an intense emotional struggle, he came to believe that men and women could be save only by the grace of God, which would grant them faith in Christ. d. Luther challenges the church -The Church taught that most sins would be forgiven if a person confessed to a priest, regretted the action and ask forgiveness, and did penance, such as fasting or prayer. Indulgence-another way of being pardon for sins -special service to the church such as crusade -obtain in return for a money contribution to the Church -The sale of indulgence was widely criticized October 31, 1517-Luther challenge this practice publicly. On a church door in Wittenberg he nailed 95 theses, or arguments, attacking the sale of indulgences and inviting a debate.
e. Luther defies the pope and the emperor -the Pope ordered Luther to give up his beliefs, but Luther burned the Papal order before a crowd of cheering students, professor and townspeople. Early in 1521 the Pope excommunicated him. -May 1521, Charles V, the holy Roman Emperor, summoned Luther to appear before the imperial assembly, which met in the city of Worms. He refused to go against his own conscience and change his views, reportedly saying, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise.” - He took refuge in the castle of Frederick of Saxony, a German prince. While Luther was in hiding, he translated the New Testament into German, making it possible for more people to read the Bible. f. The protestant movement spreads -Neither Church officials nor the Holy Roman Emperor could keep the reform movement from spreading among those who were dissatisfied with Church practices. -Luther’s teaching were not the only reason why many Germans became Lutherans, as his followers were called. Many people resented the fact that their money flowed from Germany to Rome to pay Church taxes and buy Church offices. Other Germans were annoyed that Italians controlled the most important offices in the Church. -The Emperor tried to suppress the growing strength of the Lutheran movement. In 1529 several Lutheran princes met and issued a formal protest against these efforts. Because of this they became known as Protestants .
g. Religious wars break out -The Lutherans princess continued their open rebellion against the Church and the Roman Emperor. In 1530 many of them signed the Augsburg Confession, a written statement of their belief. The rebellion eventually led to series of wars. -In 1555 a treaty called the Peace of Augsburg ended the religious wars in Germany. The treaty allowed the German princess to decide which religion would be followed in their lands. Most of the southern German rulers remained Catholic; most of those in the north chose to become Lutheran. The division into Protestant and Catholic states became a major barrier to German unity.
h. Calvinism develops in Geneva -The Swiss city of Geneva was an important center of Protestant thinking. The earliest Swiss reformer, Ulrich Zwingli, had taught at the same time as Luther. In 1536 a French scholar and theologian, John Calvin, joined the reformers in Geneva and developed the form of Protestant belief called Calvinism . -Calvin like Luther regarded the Bible as the supreme authority in matters of faith, attacked abuses by the clergy, and emphasized the importance of faith in salvation. -the central ideas of Calvin’s philosophy, however, were predestination, the belief that certain people were chosen by God for salvation. -According to Calvin, those who had not been chosen could never enter heaven no matter how good a life they lived on earth. -Calvin and his followers tried to make Geneva a holy city. The Calvinist supervised people’s lives to make certain they lived strictly and solemnly. Laws punished those who gambled, made noise during church services, drank at certain hours, sang “outrageous songs”, and did not know their prayers. While those who challenged Calvinist teachings faced persecution or exile from Geneva, the city at the same time a refuge for Protestants persecuted from other countries.
i. Calvinism spreads in Europe -Calvinist teaching was carried to other countries by dedicated missionaries. -Calvinism appealed too many French people. French Calvinists became known as Huguenots (hyoo-guh-nots) John Knox - Scottish Protestant who carried many Calvinist ideas to Scotland in the 1550’s, lying the foundation for the Presbyterian Church.
j. The English king breaks with Pope -the Reformation in England, however, became closely connected with a struggle for political power. Tudor King Henry VIII (1527 )- ruled England from 1509 to 1547. -sought to divorce his wife Catherine of Aragon (Spanish princess) -Henry feared that only surviving child Mary, would not be accepted as heir to the English throne. -Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn -Henry asked the Pope to annul (because the church prohibited divorce) his marriage to Catherine. Catherine bitterly objected and called for the aid from her nephew Charles V , the Holy Roman Emperor. -Henry and his advisers began to take steps to remove England from the authority of the Pope. Thomas Cranmer - a churchman who agreed with some protestant ideas, to be archbishop of Canterbury, the highest church office in England. He approved the annulment of the marriage with Catherine, and Henry married Anne Boleyn early in 1533. -English Parliament next was persuaded to approve a break with the church in Rome. The Parliament passed the “Act of Supremacy” in 1534 Act of Supremacy - making the monarch head of what was now called the Church of England . Two years later Henry closed the English monasteries and convents, seizing their rich lands and properties and selling them to loyal subjects. -The Reformation in England was carried forward by Cranmer and others. They urged a new English translation of the Bible and began to prepare the Book of Common Prayer for use in the Church of England.
k. England becomes a protestant nation Edward VI – only son of Henry VIII who married six times, -was only nine (9) years old when Henry VIII died (his father) in 1547 -had been taught by Protestant tutors, including Cranmer -Protestant became more establish during his reign -ruled England for only six years after his death in 1553 and the crown went to his half-sister Mary I, the daughter of Catherine of Aragon. Mary I - daughter of Catherine of Aragon -a devout Roman Catholic -she ordered the Persecution of English protestant who refused to become Catholics again -married to Philip II , the Catholic king of Spain -died on 1558 and was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I Elizabeth I - daughter of Anne Boleyn -turned England back to Protestantism 1571 - Parliament gave official approval to the Thirty-nine articles, a statement setting forth the doctrines of the Church of England
l. The Counter-Reformation makes changes within the Church -reforms and other actions that were intended to strengthen and spread Catholicism The council of Trent (1545-1563) Catholics were to continue to accept the principles that a. only the church could explain the Bible b. both faith and good works were necessary for salvation c. the pope was the highest and final authority in the Church Important reforms a. banned the sale of indulgences and tightened discipline for the clergy b. insisted that only worthy people should enter the clergy c. ordered the establishment of seminaries to train the clergy d. encouraged reform of monasteries and convents
m. The Catholic Church takes action against Protestantism -Church took other steps as part of the Counter-Reformation - The inquisition expanded its activities (to the Catholic countries), threatening Protestants in those country with imprisonment or death Inquisition - judicial institution, established by the papacy in the Middle Age, charged with seeking out, trying, and sentencing persons guilty of heresy. Index - List of books that Catholics were forbidden to read, own, or sell Society of Jesus - (Commonly known as Jesuits) a new religious order set up to serve the Church and spread Catholic teaching -Founded by a young Spanish nobleman named Ignatius Loyola -Approved by Pope Paul III in 1540, the order sought to keep Catholics from leaving the Church, to persuade Protestant to return to the Church, and to win converts to Catholicism
n. The reformation has lasting effects The reformation had a profound influence on later history -In both Catholic and Protestant countries, the Reformation strengthened the state at the expense of the churches. Protestant rulers rejected the authority of the Pope, while Catholic rulers allowed the Church fewer privileges and less say in political matters -Reformation and Counter-Reformation both encouraged the spread of education. The protestant reformers insisted that the individuals should read the bible themselves; it became important for men and women to be able to read The Jesuits played an important role in education by establishing Catholic schools and universities