Intellectual and Daily Life in the Renaissance

I know you probably think about art and architecture when you think of the Renaissance– if you think of the Renaissance at all– but there’s far more to it than that.

1. Money, Money, Money.

Listen to the story, “In Italy, Art As A Window Into Modern Banking.”  (Listen to it.  Don’t just read the associated story; it’s a little different.)  Then, examine the slideshow of images on the same page.  Use the audio and visual to answer the associated questions in your packet.


2.  The Renaissance and Humanist Philosophy.

Using the article found on the Library of Congress’ site on “The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture,” define the Renaissance philosophy of humanism, and describe its influence in the Italian and Northern Renaissances.


3.  How to Take Over the World in Three Easy Steps.

Watch the following biography of Machiavelli. (If you’re using a computer at school, the county filter may make it difficult for you to watch this.  If so, circle the questions and watch this video at home.  It’s about three minutes long, so it won’t take much time.)

Read the following excerpt from Machiavelli’s seminal work, The Prince:

Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to be Loved than Feared

Upon this a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you successed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by nobility or greatness of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserved you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women.

Answer the associated questions regarding this passage in your packet.


4. Extra, Extra, Read All About It.

Read the following short article, and answer the associated questions about Johannes Gutenberg and the invention of movable type in the West:

And just for fun, have a short video about how Gutenberg’s press actually worked!

Now, proceed to Task Four: Renaissance Art.

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