Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Studies: “The Renaissance”
The European Renaissance, which stretched from approximately 1400 to 1600, was an age of profound political, religious, and cultural upheaval. In the course of these centuries, writers and artists rediscovered the past and reimagined the future. Religious, commercial, and technological change opened new horizons, yet could also unleash terrible violence. An age of colonialism transformed the globe, while nature and the cosmos were reconceived with advent of the new science. This course surveys some of the literary, philosophical and artistic masterpieces of this exciting period. We will consider the political writings of Machiavelli, the fiction of Cervantes, the essays of Montaigne, and the theater of Shakespeare. We will also look at important visual artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Holbein.