The Italian Renaissance : The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett Ph.D. University of Toronto
  • Series: The Great Courses: Renaissance & Early Modern History
  • 18 hrs and 19 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The effects of the Italian Renaissance are still with us today, from the incomparable paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the immortal writings of Petrarch and Machiavelli. But why was there such an artistic, cultural, and intellectual explosion in Italy at the start of the 14th century? Why did it occur in Italy? And why in certain Italian city-states such as Florence?
Professor Bartlett probes these questions and more in 36 dynamic lectures. This is your opportunity to appreciate the results of the Italian Renaissance and gain an understanding of the underlying social, political, and economic forces that made such exceptional art and culture possible. At the heart of Renaissance Italy were the city-states, home to the money, intellect, and talent needed for the growth of Renaissance culture. You'll look at the Republic of Florence, as well as other city-states that, thanks to geographical and historical circumstances, had much different political and social structures. This course contains a wealth of details that will give you a feel and appreciation for the Italian Renaissance - its contributions to history, the ways it was similar and dissimilar to our times, and how the people of the time, both famous and ordinary, experienced it. You'll come away surprised by how much of our modern life was made possible by the Renaissance. Our concept of participatory government, our belief in the value of competition, our philosophy of the content and purpose of education, even our notions of love all have roots in the Renaissance period. Its loftiest ideals - the importance of the individual, the value of human dignity and potential, and the promotion of freedom - are ones we embrace as our own.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I feel I need to quote my daughter to accurately describe this book "Fantabuloso".

I was not to keen to listen to it, but knew I should as I was far too ignorant. When we started with Petrach and Dante, I knew i was right.

Then the story changed into a trilling account of the Italian peninsula.

I am staggeringly pleased with this purchase, the author is now a personal hero.
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- mr

Comprehensive but very entertaining

This started a little slowly for me with the philosophical origins of the Renaissance but with the benefit of hindsight it was absolutely the right choice on the author's part as this foundation helped enormously in understanding how a small number of city states in a small anarchic peninsula like Italy became such an extraordinary hotbed of cultural, commercial and scientific development, However; once things get underway the listener is treated to a satisfying gallery of murderous princesses, wiley merchants, scheming bishops and glamorous, battling clans. Prof Bartlett takes us on a tour of the various city states explaining in a clear and entertaining way what lead to their rise, how they differed, what their notable citizens were like and how, eventually it all came to an end. The history is rigorous but he's also a good story teller so we get plenty of plot and character which helps enormously in keeping track of what's going on and where it's happening. Recommended for history fans.
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- Jim

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses