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Kingdom of Naples

in the south, ruled by a series of kings

Papal States

in the center, ruled by Roman Catholic Church

Florence, Milan, Venice

largest and wealthiest city states, in the north, controlled by different families

Medici family

dominated Florence, great wealth enabled them to become patrons of the arts


philosophy that characterized the Renaissance

classical humanism

an outlook inspired by Greek and Roman models that stressed the importance of individualism and the almost unlimited potential of all individuals

civic humanism

valued a sense of civic responsibility and active engagement with the world

Renaissance Man

the well rounded, multi-talented individual, inspired by a Renaissance education

orators and poets

first humanists

Francesco Petrarch

the father of Italian humanism, wrote Letters to the Ancient Dead and Sonnets to Laura

Letters to the Ancient Dead

imaginary letters to Cicero, Virgil, and Horace written by Petrarch

Sonnets to Laura

most famous contemporary work by Petrach, collection of highly introspective love poems to a married woman whom he romantically admired from a safe distance

Johann Gutenberg

developed printing in Mainz, Germany in around 1450

metal movable type, press mechanism, and cheap paper manufacturing

new innovations added to "block printing" which originated in China

Niccolo Machiavelli

Florentine diplomat, political scientist, watched armies invade Italy, convinced that political unity and independence justified any means, impressed by ancient Romans and how they defended their fatherland, wanted to end feuding among Italian city-states

civic vritue

the ability to act decisively and heroically for the good of their country, Machiavelli believed that ancient Romans possessed this

The Prince

Machiavelli advised rulers to discover the advantages of ruthlessness, at least as temporary means to the higher end of a unified Italy


ruthlessness and deceitfulness in pursuit of power

The Discourses

Machiavelli turned from the world of hard-headed realistic politics to the world as he felt it should be, argued that power should not be in the hands of a single prince, but in the hands of the people

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