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any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate


an emphasis on the dignity and worth of the individual person

Studias Humanitatis

humane studies (Greek, Latin, history and philosophy)


short poems; means "little songs"


a single powerful political leader


hired soldiers


cosmetics, pagan books, fancy clothes, musical instruments


of or relating to Machiavelli or the principles of conduct he recommended


elected leader of Venice's republican government

Golden Book

listed names of most influential families

Great Council

appointed all officials and enacted all laws

Council of Ten

wealthiest merchants who had the real power; they passed laws, elected the doge, and even had to be consulted when the doge's son wanted to marry


a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface


paintings on wet plaster


"light and dark" use of light and shade to portray human form - (as well as emotion)


"up in smoke" delicate gradations of light and shade used in modeling figure



Personal Essay

a short prose composition written to express clearly the personal view of a writer on a subject

"The Courtier"

manual that was written by Baldassare Castiglione that gave advice to men and women on the Renaissance ideal of good behavior

"The Prince"

a book that realistically analyzed the politics of Renaissance Italy; written by Niccolo Machiavelli


Sonnet written by Giovanni Boccaccio that described young people who tell stores to divert their attention from the plague's horrors

"Pantagruel and Gargantua"

Francois Rabelais's most famous work; adventures of two giants (father and son) who revel in all known pleasures of the world

"Praise of Folly"

written by Erasmus; used biting humor to make people take a more critical view of society; attacked the wealth of Renaissance popes; described these popes, claiming that they were so corrupt they no longer practiced Christianity

"Of the Disadvantages of Greatness"

personal essay that analyzed the authority of royalty


book by Thomas More written in Latin that criticized the society by comparing it with an ideal society in which all citizens are equal and prosperous

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