Questions tagged [renaissance]

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

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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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
87 views

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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
126 views

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?
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1 answer
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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....
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1 vote
1 answer
99 views

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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
134 views

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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
174 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 ...
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1 answer
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To what extent was Niccolo Machiavelli's views representative of the views in Italy's renaissance?

In The Prince (c. 1513), Niccolo Machiavelli states: Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is ...
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5 votes
1 answer
274 views

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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1 answer
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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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3 votes
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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 ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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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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5 votes
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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? ...
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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 ...
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33 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
177 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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
302 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?...
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5 votes
2 answers
453 views

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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
104 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 - ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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,...
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2 votes
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272 views

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 ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
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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 ...
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5 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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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? ...
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1 vote
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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
390 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 ...
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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.
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10 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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20 votes
9 answers
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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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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4 votes
0 answers
161 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 ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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Why didn't the Roman maniple make a comeback in the Renaissance?

In the late Medieval/Renaissance period, the concept of the Greek phalanx reappeared in the shape of the pike square. But, while the maniple system was by no means a straight counter of the phalanx, ...
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16 votes
1 answer
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Please help find these paintings

I've read in a book written about 80 years ago descriptions of 3 paintings, the paintings were seen about 130 years ago. These are the descriptions (translated to English): Painting #1 Painting of ...
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6 votes
1 answer
473 views

Was the term 'renaissance' used during said period?

Just as the title suggests, was the term for the renaissance years coined and used during those years, or is it a modern word used retrospectively?
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9 votes
1 answer
585 views

Why did Galileo decide to flame Fr. Grassi over the latter's theory of comets, making sure to lose the Jesuits’ support?

Grassi's Disputatio was a rather tame work, which presented his theory of circularly orbiting comets in a non-definitive fashion. It should have pleased Galileo, given his prejudice in strictly ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Why didn't early modern Christians object to pagan symbolism in art?

I've been to a couple European museums recently, and a question that has been nagging at me is how a society composed of devout Christians could have been so okay with the introduction of pagan gods ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What happened to all the scholars and scientists of Western Rome during the barbarian invasions?

We know that the dawn of the age of Renaissance and the dusk of the Middle Ages were accelerated by the fall of Byzantine Empire and the transfer of a big chunk of "Ancient Knowledge" from Greece to ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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Did Magellan's log show a lost day?

My question embraces history, cosmology and astronomy, I hope this is an appropriate forum to ask it, if not I apologise and hope to be re-directed. I have read, but lost the reference, that when the ...
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6 votes
1 answer
7k views

Did any of these artists ever meet?

Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (Raphael) and Donato Bardi (Donatello) are some of the most prominent and influential artists of the Renaissance period. Three of the four (...
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3 votes
1 answer
915 views

What made Cicero so fascinating to Petrarch?

Petrarch was apparently fascinated throughout his whole life by Cicero, in a way that his contemporaries apparently weren't. He even wrote letters to Cicero. But these letters don't mean much to me, ...
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7 votes
2 answers
540 views

Why did classical works re-emerge during the Renaissance?

I recently read the Annals by Tacitus. Although I am definitely pleased with it, I feel like the best parts are missing. It got me thinking about the history of books in general. I read on another ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What were the traveling practices of merchants, roughly between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance?

How did salespersons of the aforementioned period(s), whether affluent merchants or peddlers, tend to travel? I'm familiar with caravansaries/caravanserais, but how did this concept translate to ...
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