History 125
James Overfield
Summer 1993


Study Guide and Assignments: July 7-12

July 7:

Jaques Coeur
Medici family
Craft guilds
Black Death
"Commercial revolution"
Hansa (Hanseatic League)

Questions to answer: (My answers)

1. What were some of the obstacles to the development of capitalism in the Renaissance period?

2. Briefly summarize Boccaccio's description of society's response to the onset of the Black Death.

3. In the wake of the Black Death, the prices of agricultural goods plummeted, hurting the landowning nobility and landowning institutions like the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, much of Europe's urban population seems to have been better off. What factors c ontributed to this seeming paradox? (You won't find much of anything written about this issue in your readings. Use your imagination, common sense, and whatever knowledge you have of the most up-to-date economic theories.

July 8:

Papal states
Francesco Sforza
Peace of Lodi
Albizzi faction
Guelfs and Ghibellines
Cosimo de' Medici
Lorenzo de' Medici
Pazzi Conspiracy
Ordinances of Justice

Questions to answer: (My answers)

1. Basing your answer on the excerpts from Waley, The Italian City Republics, comment on the ways the era of the republican communes affected medieval Italy's cultural and educational development.

2. What factors contributed to the continual political and diplomatic instability of late medieval and Renaissance Italy?

July 9:

Charles V
Peace of Lodi
Charles VIII
Ludovico Sforza
Alexander VI
Louis XII
Holy League
Julius II

Questions to answer: (My answers)

1. What factors in France and Italy inspired Charles VIII's invasion of Italy in 1494?

3. According to Martines, why were the Italian states unable to resist foreign invasion and interference after 1494?

July 12:

Boniface VIII
John Hus
Avignon Papacy
Great Schism
C. of Constance
Marsiglio of Padua
C. of Basel
John Wyclif
Eugenius IV
Nicholas V
Pius II

Questions to answer: (My answers:)

1. The Catholic Church experienced severe economic problems during the 15th century. List five factors that contributed to these problems.

2. Most of the 15th-century Italians who read Valla's arguments against the Donation of Constantine were convinced his arguments were correct. Why did they find Valla so convincing?

3. What do the documents written by Savonarola and by Aeneas Sylvius reveal about the religious values of Renaissance Italy?

Week 2 Assignments

July 13: Women and Families in the Renaissance

1. Take two of the following documents or groups of documents - a. Francesco Barbaro, On Wifely Duties (Bartlett, 139-160) b. the various documents dealing with marriage arrangements (Bartlett, 174-181) and c. the excerpts from the court tri als (Bartlett, 195201, 206-208) -- and list for each document or group of documents what in your view are the three or four most important insights each provides about the role and status of women in the Renaissance. (My Answer)

July 14: Vernacular Literature

Divine Comedy
Christine de Pizan
Ludovico Ariosto

Write a paragraph or two about what you consider to have been the primary purpose of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio in writing the works that make up today's assignment . You might also want to reread the segment from Boccaccio in Bartlett (part of assign ment for July 7).
(My Answer)

July 15: Petrarch and the Origins of Humanism

Please note the following assignment change: Add Bartlett, 17-32: delete "To Posterity" and whetter to Cicero" from assignment in Thompson.

studia humanitatis
Coluccio Salutati
Giovanni Boccaccio
"Verona School"
Jeremiah of Montagnone
Albert Mussato

Questions to answer: (My Answers)
1. Humanism has been characterized as "not the revival of antiquity, but rather a new way of looking at antiquity." In what ways does Petrarch's "Letter to Cicero" illustrate this "new way of looking at antiquity?"

2. Take any two letters of Petrarch and describe what they reveal about Petrarch as an individual and/or his intellectual convictions.

July 16: The Nature of Italian Renaissance Humanism

Manuel Chrysoloras
civic humanism
Leonardo Bruni
Lorenzo Valla
Pietro Paulo Vergerio
Guarino da Verona

Questions to answer: (My Answers)
1. According to Salutati, what were the pros and cons of the active vs. the contemplative life? How did the views of the Florentine humanists change on this issue during the early 1400s?

2. According to Battista Guarino, what are the major purposes of education, and what course of studies is best suited for achieving them? What of his ideas may explain why women were generally excluded from humanist education in the Renaissance?

Assignments: Week 3

July 19: Political Thought

Flavio Biondo
Francesco Guicciardini

Write a paragraph about each of the following: (My Answers)

1. What "proofs" does Machiavelli offer to convince the reader that his arguments and observations are correct?

2. Why does Machiavelli admire Cesare Borgia?

3. How does Machiavelli define "virtue" for a prince?

4. According to Machiavelli, why have the princes of Italy lost their states?

July 20: Renaissance Philosophy and Science

Please add to the assignment, Jensen, 28, 29; 19S-210

Platonic Academy
Marsilio Ficino
Nicholas of Cusa
Niccolo Tartaglia
Pico della Mirandola
Andreas Vesalius

Consider Ficino's Commentary on Plato's Symposium and Pico's oration of the Dignity of Man (both in Bartlett). Then briefly answer each of the following questions: (Hope note: missing my answers to this one)

1. In what ways do you believe that Ficino and Pico were influenced by or reflected the same ideals and interests of the earlier "literary" or "rhetorical" humanists?

2. How was their thought different from that of the earlier humanists?

July 21: Renaissance Art

Written work need not be handed in until Thursday, July 22. (See note below.)
Filippo Brunelleschi
Antonio Pollaiuolo
Leon Battista Alberti
Sandro Botticelli
Lorenzo Ghiberti
Leonardo da Vinci
Andrea Verrocchio
the "High Renaissance"
Paolo Uccello
Piero della Francesca

Questions to answer: (My Answers)
1. The first group of sources in Bartlett (pp. 211-223) sheds light on various aspects of the patron-artist relationship during the Renaissance. What insights into this relationship did you derive from the sources?

2. According to Alberti, what role does intellectual training play in the process of artistic creation? .

Your "portfolio" of assignments may be handed in on Thursday, July 22, or at the time of the final exam on July 23.

This file is part of Hope Greenberg's Graduate Portfolio for the course History 300. Created 14 October 1996.