Civilization of Renaissance in Italy

Civilization of Renaissance in Italy


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Civilization of Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt





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Civilization of Renaissance in Italy


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Book Excerpt

r culture. But, wherever this vicious tendency is overcome or in any way compensated, a new fact appears in history--the State as the outcome of reflection and calculation, the State as a work of art. This new life displays itself in a hundred forms, both in the republican and in the despotic States, and determines their inward constitution, no less than their foreign policy. We shall limit ourselves to the consideration of the completer and more clearly defined type, which is offered by the despotic States.

The internal condition of the despotically governed States had a memorable counterpart in the Norman Empire of Lower Italy and Sicily, after its transformation by the Emperor Frederick Il. Bred amid treason and peril in the neighbourhood of the Saracens, Frederick, the first ruler of the modern type who sat upon a throne, had early accustomed himself to a thoroughly objective treatment of affairs. His acquaintance with the internal condition and administration of the Saracenic States wa

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This book by one of the leading art-historians of all time -Jacob Burckhardt (1818-1897)- is an absolute masterpiece. This free e-book is the translation of 'Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien' by S.G.C. Middlemore in 1878, it is in the public domain.

This book is about the Renaissance in Italy, which experienced its pinnacle around 1500. Burckhardt did extensive research in archives before writing this book, he used sources from the times itself. Even though Burckhardt was an art-historian, this book is a book about history, there is little about art in this book. Burckhardt not only writes about states, but also about people, language, clothes, religion and every day life, universities and schools, immorality, poetry and much more. This is a great book, in spite of its age it is still very readable, Burckhardt had a lively way of writing. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history, this is not only one of the most important history-books ever written, it is still a nice read.

The only negative thing I can say about it is that Burckhardt's idea of a complete break between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is now obsolete; today it is genarally believed that it was not a complete and sudden break but a slow process, in which some people moved faster towards the modern times than other people.

If you liked this book, then you'll probably will also like the works by Johan Huizinga (1872-1945).

The contents of this book are 6 'books', each of those has several chapters. The 'books' are:
Part One: The State as a Work of Art
Part Two: The Development of the Individual
Part Three: The Revival of Antiquity
Part Four: The Discovery of the World and of Man
Part Five: Society and Festivals
Part Six: Morality and Religion