associations of men in Italian cities such as Milan, Florence, Genoa, and Pisa who sought political and economic independence from local nobles; members of communes wanted self-government.
court of Star Chamber
a division of the English royal council, a court that used Roman legal procedures to curb real or potential threats from the nobility, the court so called because there were stars painted on the ceiling of the chamber in which the court sat.
French tax on salt; taille-French tax on land.
popular groups in Spanish towns given royal authority to serve as local police forces and as judicial tribunals with the goal of reducing aristocratic violence.
term first used by Florentine rhetorician Leonard Bruni as a general word for the new learning the critical study of Latin and Greek literature, with the goal of realized human potential.
another basic feature of the Italian renaissance stressing personality, uniqueness, genius, self-consciousness.
justices of the peace
English local officials in the shires appointed by the crown and given wide authority in local government.
term applied to Jews who accepted Christianity but since many had become Christian centuries earlier, the word new is not accurate; Spanish nationalism stressed purity of blood.
governments by the merchant aristocracy in Italian cities, such as Venice and Florence.
disenfranchised people in Italian communes who resented their exclusion from power.
Pragmatic Sanction of the Bourges (1438)
statement of French king Charles VII asserting royal control over church appointments and the superiority of a general council over the papacy.
The Prince (1512)
treatise by Machiavelli on ways to gain, keep and expand power, because of its subsequent impact probably the most important literary work of the Renaissance.
the place or space where despots or oligarchs lived, conducted business, and displayed their wealth and patronage of the arts.
French word, translated from Italian rinascita first used by art historian and critic Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) - meaning rebirth of the culture of classical antiquity; English-speaking students adopted the French term.
non-monarchical government in which political power theoretically resides in the people and is exercised by its chosen representatives.
the body of men who happened to be with the king at a given time and usually including his chief officials; renaissance princes tended to prefer middle class councilors to noble ones.
attitude that tends to find the ultimate explanation of everything and the final end of human beings in what reason and the senses can discover, rather than in any spiritual or transcendental belief.
government by despot, one man rule in Italian cities such as Milan.