West Home Page

History Websites

Table of Contents


Theme (1): Intellectual and Political Foundations for the Renaissance
What is the Renaissance? Where did it begin? What conditions made it possible? Why was Florence the city in which artistic and literary works first flowered? Renaissance foundations: Read Overview
Florence:Site (1): Click on 15th and 16th Centuries   
What kind of political system had emerged in Italy by the 12th century? Who held political power by the early 15th century? Who were the five most powerful states on the Italian peninsula? How were political relations conducted among the Italian states? What does this portend for the future? city-states : Scroll to "City States"
diplomacy and intrigue: same site as above
How did political relations in Italy draw in non-Italian states (France to begin with)? What major European powers fought on the Italian peninsula in the early 16th century? with what result?  French invasion: Scroll to "the Treaty of Lodi"
What was the role of Savonarola in Florence and what is the significance in regard to the role of the common people? Savonarola

Theme (2): Intellectual hallmarks of the Renaissance
 What did renaissance scholars  think of medieval civilization? of ancient Rome and Greece? Why did Renaissance scholars study the Classics? What was their attitude towards Christianity? Pre-occupation with the Classics
What was the Renaissance attitude towards individuals and individual genius? What is meant by the Renaissance attitude of humanism? Humanism

What was Lorenzo Valla's study "On the False Donation of Constantine" about? What impressions about life does Boccacio's "Decameron" convey? Lorenzo Valla 

Theme (3): Art and the Artist in the Italian Renaissance
Who commissioned and financed the architects, painters, sculptors, and writers of the Renaissance? What was the general subject of most art work? What motivated the patrons of the artists? What was the status of Renaissance artists? How did Renaissance art differ from medieval art? Medici family  Site (2)
Montefeltro at Urbino: Scroll to 
Renaissance Popes           Pope Julius II
architecture, art, and music
What innovations in architecture were introduced, and who was the most famous architect? Brunelleschi: Short bio       
What innovations in painting were introduced, and who were the principal painters? Masaccio          Raphael 
Leonardo da Vinci        Paintings: Click on Mona Lisa
Titian: Biography           Paintings
What innovations in sculpture were introduced, and who were the principal sculptors? Donatello
Michelangelo           Pieta
What were the principal concerns of Italian Renaissance writers? Castiglione:Site (1): Scroll to "Castiglione"   


Theme (4): Influence and spread of Renaissance culture
What occurred in regard to printing and paper manufacture in 15th century Europe? What was the impact? Gutenberg
impact of printing        
How did the noblewoman's status change from medieval times? What kind of education did wealthy women usually have? What was the viewpoint of Laura Cereta about women and men? What role did Renaissance men assign to women? to themselves? in regard to the family and sensual indulgence?  Status of women:          Site (1)
Laura Cereta: 
Especially see Paragraph 11

Theme (5): The Renaissance in northern Europe
How did the cultural traditions of northern Europe change the way in which the Renaissance was expressed there? How did northern art and architecture compare with Italian art and architecture? Introduction
Art in northern Europe: 
Site (1): click on Durer
What did Thomas More, the English humanist, believe was the primary source of vice and civil disorder? More
What were among the achievements of the Christian humanist, Erasmus? What were his greatest writings? What two fundamental themes run through his work?

Praise of Folly 
Declamations of Erasmus 
See Declamations 11 and 17 

Erasmus: Pope Julius

Theme (6): The growth of feudal monarchies in western Europe
What does the career of King Charles VII of France at the end of the Hundred Years War tell us about the role of the family in politics? What was the Pragmatic Sanction of 1438? How did King Louis XI contribute to the strengthening of the French monarchy? What were the terms and significance of the Concordat of Bologna? King Charles VII of France       Pragmatic Sanction of 1438        Concordat of Bologna: Scroll to "The Gallican Tradition"
What political developments occurred in England following the Hundred Years War? How did the policy King Henry VII strengthen the monarchy in relation to the nobility? How did he and his successors gain the support of the gentry (upper middle class)?  
Henry VII
What was the Reconquista? How far had it progressed by the mid 15th century? What was the political map of Spain by the end of the 15th century? What was the make-up of the Royal Council established by Ferdinand and Isabella? How did it extend royal authority? 
Reconquista: Timeline   Site (2)
What was the role of Ferdinand and Isabella in establishing a powerful European dynasty? How did they finance the conquest of Granada?What happened to the Jews in Spain during the medieval era? in the late 14th century? during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella? What ideology became the foundation of the Spanish monarchy? How did royal marriage with the offspring of Ferdinand and Isabella affect the map of Europe and Spain in the 16th century?

Jews in Spain and Portugal
King Charles V of Habsburg dynasty:

See map below

European Maps of the Middle Ages                     Maps of Europe AD1000:2000

Art Megasite


West Home Page
Go Previous
Return to Top of  Page
Go Next