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Renaissance

Term first used by Giorgio Vasari in the 16th century to describe a golden age of artists and writers. From the French word meaning "rebirth." Used to describe the art of "rare men of genius," and later to refer to many aspects of life. Centered in Italian art of the 14th and early 16th century and the English lit of the late 16th century.

Giorgio Vasari

(1511-1574)
An artist and art historian who first used the term Renaissance to describe the Major Arts. He judged that artists of the Renaissance had brought back and surpassed the glory of the classical past.

Major Arts

Painting, sculpture, and architecture. Coined by Giorgio Vasari.

Econ-Venice

This was supported by huge merchant marine thanks to its geographical position. Grew enormously rich through overseas trade. Fueled important strides in shipbuilding.

Econ-Milan, Genoa

enjoyed benefits of large volume trade with the Middle East and northern Europe thanks to the geographical location. The former was ruled by signori

Econ-Florence

Benefitted from the first artistic and literary manifestations of the Italian Renaissance. Merchants and bankers acquired control of papal banking. Profited greatly from international loans, investments and money exchanges. Very stable. Ruled by patrician elitists.

Ciompi

Florentine labor unrest in 1317 shook the political establishment.

Florence vs. King Edward III of England

1344 this man repudiated his huge debts to the city's bankers and forced some of them into bankruptcy.

Communes

Mainly in N. Italy. Sworn associations of free men seeking complete political and economic independence from local nobles. Formed by merchant guilds which built city walls(to protect them from surrounding feudal nobles), regulated trade, raised taxes, and kept civil order. Milan, Florence, Genoa, Siena, and Pisa.

Why the nobles wanted the communes

They were attracted by the opportunities of long-distance and maritime trade, the rising value of urban real estate, the new public offices available, and the chances for marriages into rich commercial families, frequently settled in the cities. Often unstable.

Marriage Vows

often sealed business contracts between rural nobility and wealthy merchants. Included large dowries of brides providing cash for the husbands' businesses.

Oligarchy

A small group that ruled a city and its surrounding country side often produced by the marriage of a noble woman and wealthy man; but was also often divided by hostilities of kinship groups toward one another. Popular in Venice.

Popolo

Common people of the communes who were disenfranchised and heavily taxed by the elite political councils. Through most of the 13th century, these people used force to take over the city governments. Their victories, however, were temporary because they could not establish civil order. Claimed to be democratic, and posted constitutions.

Condottieri

Military leaders brought in by merchant oligarchies to establish order who had their own mercenary armies. In many cities they took over political power as well. These men often claimed a long noble lineage to justify their takeovers, pretending to be descended from a Germanic king or Roman leader.

Signori

Many cities in Italy became one of these. One man ruled and handed down the right to rule to his son. Ruled in Milan.

Courts

Many oligarchy and signori transformed their families into these. Built palazzos in the centre of the cities and required all political business be done there. They hired architects to design them, artists to furnish them, and musicians to fill them with music. Many acted as patrons of the arts. Courtly culture afforded signori and oligarchs the opportunity to display and assert their wealth and power.

Italian City-State Renaissance Nationality

the passionate attachment individuals had to their individual city-states including political loyalty. This greatly hindered the development of one unified state.

Five dominating Italian city states of the 15th century

Venice, Milan, Florence, the Papal States, and the kingdom of Naples.

Politics-Venice

With its enormous trade and colonial empire, it ranked as an international power. Though it had a sophisticated construction and was called "the most serene republic," an oligarchy of merchants actually ran the city.

Politics-Milan

Called a republic, but the condottieri-turned-signori of the Sforza family ruled harshly and dominated smaller cities north.

Politics-Florence

Republican. Authority vested in several councils of state. 1434-1494 power was held by the Medici, Cosimo and Lorenzo.

Cosimo de' Medici

Italian financier and statesman and friend of the papal court (1434-1464)

Lorenzo de' Medici

Italian statesman and scholar who supported many artists and humanists including Michelangelo and Leonardo and Botticelli (1469-1492)

Politics-The Papal States

During the Babylonian Captivity this territory came under the sway of important Roman families.

Pope Alexander VI

(1492-1503) aided militarily and politically be his son, this man reasserted papal authority in the papal lands.

Cesare Borgia

He became the hero of Machiavelli's The Prince because he began the work of uniting the peninsula by conquering.

Politics-Kingdom of Naples

This territory consisted of virally all of southern Italy. Disputed by the Aragonese, (who got it in 1435) and French.

Balance of Power

When a city-state gained power, the other states combined to establish this thing against the major threat. This lead to the development of the machinery of modern diplomacy: embassies.

Girolamo Savonarola

(1452-1498) Religious leader of Florence for a time. Dominican friar who predicted a French invasion of Florence requested by Milan at the news of Florence and Naples' agreement to acquire it. Preached against "paganism and moral vice," undemocratic government of Lorenzo de' Medici, and the corruption of Pope Alexander VI. Excommunicated and executed.
He stands as proof that the common people did not share the worldly outlook of the commercial and intellectual elite. He also illustrates the internal instability of Italian cities.

King Charles VIII

(1483-1498) Invaded Italy in 1494. King of France. His invasion inaugurated a new period in European power politics.

Habsburg-Valois Wars

Named for the German and French dynasties, it was a series of conflicts in Italy when it became the focus of international ambitions.

Sack of Rome 1527

Imperial forces under the emperor, Charles V ransacked rome.

Urban Nobility

The rising merchant class able to gain political power through marriage into nobility, commissioning of Condottieri, or influence

Flickr Creative Commons Images

Some images used in this set are licensed under the Creative Commons through Flickr.com. Click to see the original works with their full license.

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