Questions tagged [renaissance]

Cultural epoch in Europe, covering 15th and 16th centuries, between Medieval and Baroque.

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What could be the origin of this polychrome wooden statue?

I purchased this statue at an estate sale. I initially thought it was depicting a Wise Man from a nativity scene, but the back is flat indicating it was against a wall. Now I'm thinking it was ...
bxmog111's user avatar
3 votes
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247 views

How effective were early modern hand grenades?

I saw a video about the 1683 siege of Vienna, and in the video, it talked about hand grenades that were used in the siege, and that the Ottomans used glass grenades that would explode once shattered ...
Chuck's user avatar
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Did Dukes, Counts, Barons, etc. have courts similar to a King/Emperor? [closed]

So this question is somewhat based on my thoughts from playing Crusader Kings. But how historically accurate was it for anybody besides a King/Emperor to have a court system of courtiers? Did a Count ...
NeuseelandRotVogel's user avatar
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Are there any concepts that Da Vinci drew in his notebooks that still have not been realized today?

I know that da Vinci had a sketch of a perpetual motion wheel and a perpetual water pump but is there anything else he conceived of that modern science (mid-late 2023) has not achieved yet?
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7 votes
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Why are the ground floors windows of northern Italian palazzi often barred up?

This is something that I have noticed while traveling many northern Italian cities, e.g. Florence, Genova, Bologna, Milano, ... These cities are covered with impressive late-medieval / renaissance ...
fgysin's user avatar
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How much did cannon cost in 1410?

I originally asked "How much did cannon cost during the renaissance?" However, comments below seem to be of the "ask for something more specific" kind. Well, ok then, how much did ...
demented hedgehog's user avatar
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In what respect could Italian Renaissance be considered a phase of romanticism?

In what respect could Italian Renaissance be considered a phase of romanticism? It is stated in this quotation that Italian Renaissance is a phase of romanticism: It is arguable that the Romantics ...
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How did Raphael paint halos?

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of seeing Raphael's cartoon "Christ's Charge to Peter": In it, Christ and the apostles are depicted with halos that appear to be perfect ellipses. I only know ...
Dustin G. Mixon's user avatar
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What type of headgear is shown in this Renaissance portrayal of Hell?

The painting in question is The Last Judgment by Fra Angelico. One can see a full version on Wikimedia Commons but here's a zoomed-in segment which was the first thing I saw before finding the source: ...
readyready15728's user avatar
-1 votes
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What is the association of the 4 playing card suits and the Mamluks?

As I understand it, playing cards made their way to Europe perhaps via China (paper) but most visibly by way of the Mamluks. One legend is the Mamluks and Tibetans defeated the Chinese once in battle ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
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How could a man be made a bishop of a place while not having received major orders?

This article on Franz Wilhelm von Wartenberg, which cites this Catholic Encyclopedia article describes von Wartenberg as having been made a bishop of two different places before even being ordained a ...
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Why did Gödel think the Viennese Academy of Sciences was founded earlier?

Mathematician Karl Menger, a colleague of famous mathematician Kurt Gödel, says this on pages 222-223 of his book “Reminiscences of the Vienna Circle and the Mathematical Colloquium“: Meanwhile, ...
Keshav Srinivasan's user avatar
7 votes
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Who were some of the specific people in the Renaissance who wrote about their period being different from the Middle Ages?

I remember reading about people in the Renaissance who characterized their age as being different from the Middle Ages, but I haven't been able to find who some of the people who made those statements ...
user84614's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
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How did Renaissance bring about a sense of redemption in the Europeans? [closed]

I was doing an essay on the topic and I had this idea. So we always talk about how the Renaissance brought about the Reformation. But never how, in the countries, the people redeemed themselves after ...
Shukraditya Bose's user avatar
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Who are the five figures in the niches in the 'Monument of Marchese Spinetta Malaspina'

I couldn't find online who are the five figures in the niches in the 'Monument of Marchese Spinetta Malaspina'? Does anyone has any idea about their identity?
CCCC's user avatar
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What's a good general history book on Italy, 1400-1600? [closed]

I'm an artist with an interest in artists of the Italian Renaissance. After reading several biographies it's clear that in order to really understand their lives I need to know more about their world....
user316117's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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What is Renaissance Humanism? [closed]

I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the concept of Renaissance humanism. I've been reading about it for some time and I've found definitions, or explanations, varying in focus from it being a ...
Rain Jackson's user avatar
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What is the source of a half remembered art history quote possibly about Bruneleschi's Florence Cathedral?

I'm trying to track down an exact quote which I remember very vaguely, having read it over ten years ago in some art or art history book whose title I no longer recall. I think the quote is attributed ...
pseudosudo's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
414 views

When did the terms, 1-point, 2,-point, 3-point, etc... perspective come into use?

It is generally agreed upon that the architect Brunelleschi was the one that discovered the rules for perspective in the early 15th century. I have perused books like "On Painting" by Leon ...
Audus's user avatar
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How did the bride's family benefit from providing a large dowry in Renaissance Italy? [closed]

[Please note, I do not personally in any way endorse the inequality of women. I seek to understand better the politics of marriage in Renaissance Europe]  UPDATE: Since this question was closed before ...
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What do subjects in Hellenistic and Renaissance art suggest about the average human physique throughout history?

I recently visited the vatican museums and saw Laocoön and His Sons (27 BC to 68 AD), and also have looked up David by Michelangelo and works by Leonardo Da Vinci. In most male subjects during these ...
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How was "patronage" actually transferred in Medici Florence?

The Medicis commissioned art and patronized artists. By what mechanism was this achieved? Did someone literally just hand a bag of florins to an artist? I'm interested in the whole process, from ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
394 views

When and how did classical mythology subjects start to appear in art in medieval/Renaissance Europe?

All early medieval Europe art objects I am aware of are either about the Christian subjects or about the history (chronicles etc.). Classical mythology was obviously known in Europe before, see e.g. ...
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What was Pope Innocent VIII's reaction to the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews in 1492?

What was the reaction of the Pope of the Catholic Church to the Edict of Expulsion of the Jews of Spain on March 31, 1492? Did Pope Innocent VIII (d. July 25, 1492) condemn publicly Spain's decree? ...
Polk's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
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Were medieval and renaissance era jesters commonly disabled?

In Hilary Mantel's famous historical fiction Wolf Hall, she implies more than once that the court fools of figures in the era of Henry VIII often had some form of learning difficulty. Indeed in one ...
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2 votes
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What would a small-scale merchant in Renaissance Italy consider a necessity at home?

Presume we have a small-scale merchant in Renaissance Italy. By "small scale" I mean someone who has a shop and a house but isn't big enough to be a "rich merchant". I believe that something like ...
Michael Stachowsky's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
8k views

In what way were Renaissance battles like chess matches?

I have been reading Ross King's Brunelleschi's Dome: The Story of the Great Cathedral in Florence. Although the book is well documented, it has an astonishing passage for which the author provides no ...
José Carlos Santos's user avatar
1 vote
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179 views

Why did the Renaissance Italians paint (pagan) Greek myths? [duplicate]

The Italians were very religious Catholics but why did they paint/sculpt heroes from Greek mythology? Weren't the Greeks considered pagans? In the examples below, some artists like Michelangelo were ...
Venkat S. Rao's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
354 views

Did people during the Renaissance believe that the heart had two chambers?

Short question (adapted from @Oddthinking at Skeptics.SE): How many chambers did the scientific population of the world (excluding Leonardo da Vinci), think the human heart had during the Renaissance?...
Barry Harrison's user avatar
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What was the place of a catapult in a formation

My question is where would you usually keep a catapult on a battlefield. It feels as if you shouldn't keep it in the rear back of the army since it won't reach the target, and also you want to have as ...
Starseeker's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
116 views

How did public debt financing through annuities work in the States General of the Netherlands?

We're going through some readings regarding how the formation of modern states was structured through the many wars throughout Europe across the centuries, and one of the points that concerns me - ...
Ezequiel Barbosa's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Rose tattoo used to mark convicts condemned to death?

I recall from my university history courses a factoid about rose tattoos being used to mark convicts condemned to death in Europe during the Renaissance period (in case of escape), and was wondering ...
HopelessN00b's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
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What is the source for this Leonardo Da Vinci quote?

"Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world."  Where exactly does this Leonardo Da Vinci quote come from? Was it part of a larger paragraph - if so ...
Johan88's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
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Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
NSNoob's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
454 views

Prior to 1790, before dentist chairs, did dentists put the patient's head between their knees?

I read here (and similarly in a book of facts from the TV series QI), that in the 1700s, the dentist would have held your head between his knees as he operated. I have read that before dentist chairs,...
barlop's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
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Was ambition considered a character flaw in medieval times or Renaissance?

In Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar", ambition is an undesirable trait: "The noble Brutus hath told you Caesar was ambitious. If it were so, it was a grievous fault". Was ambition widely considered ...
ctapus's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
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Hiring professionals to transcribe historical documents

I'm sorry if this question sounds strange but I'm not sure where else in the world to post it. I have an eighteenth-century will that I'd like to be able to read, but I have very little practice in ...
duhaime's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
292 views

Why was Polish king Sigismund II Augustus' coronation held when his father Sigismund I was still alive?

Sigismund II Augustus was born in 1520 and crowned at age 10 in 1530, while his father Sigismund I the Old was still alive. Could someone explain me the reason for this coronation? Sigismund II August ...
Jaroslaw Matlak's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why was William Tyndale burnt at the stake?

I read here that the main reason Tyndale was executed by the church was because he translated the Greek bible into English. Somewhere else I read that this is not true. Tyndale was charged with ...
Bach's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

In a challenge to duel, what happened if a thrown gauntlet (and later, glove) was refused?

What would become of a gauntlet or glove after a denied duel? I'm not finding any hints on Google. Would the challenger abandon it after throwing it to their challengee's feet, as a matter of honor? ...
2540625's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
654 views

Why was the new world named America?

Christopher Columbus is widely credited with discovering the new world in 1492 as the leader of an expedition which included 3 ships financed by the kingdom of Spain. Columbus was a seasoned sailor, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
441 views

Why was Columbus not aware of the existence of America?

Vikings had discovered the American continent centuries before 1492, the year of Columbus' trip. How did the information about the huge discovery got lost? It would not have seemed surprising to me if ...
Zeick's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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What language was spoken between Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian I

As the title states: What language was spoken between Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian I. of Habsburg? I could think of three possibilities: Latin, French and German, but am leaning towards German.
mcocdawc's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

How did the Medici originally get into finance?

I'm trying to find out how the Medici family rose to power. Most sites simply say, "Banking and finance." I'm trying to figure out a bit more specific. How did Cosimo de Medici originally get into ...
Ryan's user avatar
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20 votes
9 answers
7k views

Were there ever any libraries in medieval villages?

I know that in towns and cities there might be libraries built, but is it possible or likely that peasants can have access to it as well? I've heard that every village has an least a monastery or ...
SuperYoshikong's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

What was the contemporary reaction to Dante's Divine Comedy?

Dante's Divine Comedy is one of the great classics of world literature: a poem about Dante's journey through the three afterlives of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. During the course of these adventures ...
kviiri's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
3k views

Were "hitmen" a real historical occupation?

The trained killer-for-hire is a fairly standard trope in all kinds of media about courtly intrigue. That way, the king's life can be in danger basically all the time. But did these people actually ...
SPavel's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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What was the state of the art of salt production before the invention of graduation towers?

According to Wikipedia, A graduation tower (occasionally referred to as a thorn house) is a structure used in the production of salt which removes water from a saline solution by evaporation, ...
mart's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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What language is the inscription in Masaccio's Holy Trinity

Masaccio, the Italian Renaissance master, has a painting called the Holy Trinity. In the bottom part of the painting, is a cadaver tomb, with an inscription. I have been able to find plenty of ...
Tyler Jones's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
165 views

How much of a symbiotic relationship was there between the Renaissance and the Printing Press?

Both the Renaissance and the Printing Press are dated to be around the 14th century. While the first Printing Press was in 1436 (Johannes Gutenberg), the Renaissance is also supposed to start around a ...
shirish's user avatar
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