Hello everyone, this is your Renaissance class for tomorrow, you can download the hand-out here
Renaissance took place during the 14th, 15th, 16th century and early 17th. New ideas and discoveries emerged during this period. The Renaissance traces its origins to Al Andalus, also known as “Moorish Spain,” a part of Spain which was under Islamic rule for more than seven hundred years. During the early centuries of Islamic expansion ‘Al Futuhat Al Islamya’, one major concern of the Islamic expansion was not power but literacy; Islam brought literacy.
While Europe was suffering from The Dark Ages, the Catholic church was concerned about keeping the power by destroying thousands of books with the excuse of ‘heresy’ again “if it repeats what’s in the bible, it’s redundant; if it says things that aren’t in the bible, it’s heresy.” Europe exposed a huge loss that could not possibly regain in a short period.
Why did the Renaissance start in Italy?
City-States: At this time Italy was made up of many states and wasn’t a single country some of the most important were Florence, Milan, Venice and Genoa. These states competed in who had the best art and buildings.
Wealth of Italian cities: During the middle ages, Italy was the centre of trade in Europe. Ideas and knowledge came with them.
They used the knowledge to become patrons of the art.
Major figures of the Renaissance
Gutenberg: Possibility to print in large copies the bible.
Vasco Da Gama (Portuguese explorer) who was the first to sail from Europe to India
Amerigo Vespucci, who discovered the New World that was named later after him ‘America’
Christopher Colombus, who also discovered the New World’ Americas’ by accident.
Galileo Galilei, the Italian scientist who supported Copernicanism (Earth orbits around the sun) But was tried by the Catholic Church for heresy. He was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life.
Michelangelo: One of the most famous Italian artists, known for the Pieta sculpture and David.
Leonardo Da Vinci: A true Renaissance man, Da Vinci was a gifted artist and designer who worked in the fields of astronomy, anatomy, and mathematics. His most famous works include The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Leonardo was also from Florence but worked mainly in Rome and Milan.
Raphael: Architect and painter known for Madonnas and the large figure compositions in the Vatican
Donatello : Florentine sculptor who was the first since the Classical period to sculpt a free standing nude.
Niccolo Machiavelli – wrote The Prince which examined politics in Renaissance Italy and stated leaders should be prepared to employ force and deceit as means of maintaining power. This book would influence not only Machiavelli’s contemporaries but rulers throughout history.
William Shakespeare: English Renaissance playwright whose plays drew from classical mythology, medieval legends, and history.
Christopher Marlowe : A contemporary of Shakespeare. His plays stemmed from similar themes and, like Shakespeare, human attributes such as jealousy and love.
Is was the time of unpaved roads, diseases, plagues, hard work and high taxes. Most children died at birth and the life expectancy average was 40 years.
People during the 15th century Renaissance called them to Freedom, discovery, dignity. While the church demanded obedience, slavery and fear.
The ‘Pope’ was the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The church was wealthy, corrupt and superstitious and the Christians were made to fear ‘God’ and doubt their salvation.
The English Renaissance and the Reformation of the Church
The Tudors(related to the royal dynasty that held the throne from Henry VII until the death of Elizabeth I) The English were preoccupied with the Hundred years War and the Wars of the Roses, that together covered more than a hundred and fifty years. There was less cultural progress during these war years. Tudor kings encouraged cultural activities.
King Henry VIII ruled England for almost four decades. His reign began in 1509, and ended with his death in 1547. This period was one of the most ‘colorful’ in British history, in large part due to Henry’s matrimonial adventures. In addition, a great deal of religious, political and social change occurred during this time.
The English Reformation started in the reign of Henry VIII. Henry VIII decided to rid himself of his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, after she had failed to produce a male heir to the throne, she had a female instead named Marry (who later was known as Bloody Marry) He had already decided who his next wife would be – Anne Boleyn, his mistress. By 1527, Catherine was considered too old to bear children. However, a divorce was not a simple issue. In fact, it was a very complicated one. Henry VIII was a Roman Catholic and the head of this church was the pope based in Rome.
The Roman Catholic faith believed in marriage for life. This put Henry VIII in a difficult position. Henry asked for a special appeal to the pope so that he might get a special “Papal Dispensation”. This meant that the pope would agree to Henry’s request for a divorce purely because Henry was king of England but that it would not affect the way the Catholic Church banned divorce for others. The pope refused to grant Henry this and by 1533 his anger was such that he ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to grant him a divorce so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. This event effectively lead to England breaking away from the Roman Catholic Church based in Rome. Henry placed himself as head of the church and in that sense, in his eyes, his divorce was perfectly legal.Henry knew of the Catholic Church’s unpopularity and, therefore, used this to his advantage.
Henry was made Supreme Head of the Church by an Act of Parliament in 1534. The country was still Catholic but the pope’s power had been ended.
Some interesting videos for further learning