Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620: A Biographical Dictionary

Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

Covering the period comprising the Renaissance and Reformation, this volume introduces a unique set of interdisciplinary biographical dictionaries providing basic information on the people who have contributed significantly to the culture of Western civilization. Unlike general dictionaries which focus on political and military figures, this book covers such figures as the religious leaders who contributed to the Reformation, scientists who paved the way for a new view of the universe, and Renaissance painters, sculptors, and architects, as well as writers, musicians, and scholars. While the great personalities are included--Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Galileo--the volume covers lesser known figures as well--the Muslim scholar Leo Africanus, the Flemish geographer-astronomer Gemma Frisius, the English travel writer Thomas Coryate. Although many of the subjects also had political influence, the entries are written to highlight their individual cultural achievement.

An exciting, tumultuous, and chaotic age, the years from 1500 to 1620 saw increasing discontent with Catholicism and the beginning of Protestantism with Luther's 95 theses, great strides in the development of the printing press and a resulting increase in literacy, the humanist movement with its emphasis on the arts of antiquity, a proliferation of literature and art inspired by but moving beyond classical forms, and conflict between the triumph of Renaissance culture and the theologians of the Protestant Reformation. The resulting cultural production was astounding. This volume covers those who contributed to the fields of art and architecture, music, philosophy, religion, political and social thought, science, mathematics, literature, history, and education. With over 350 entries written by 72 scholars, the book provides a good basic resource on an exciting age.

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About the author

JO ELDRIDGE CARNEY is Associate Professor of English at the College of New Jersey and the author of several articles./e

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2001
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Pages
417
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ISBN
9780313305740
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
History / Europe / Renaissance
History / Europe / Western
Reference / Dictionaries
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The startling truth behind one of the most notorious dynasties in history is revealed in a remarkable new account by the acclaimed author of The Tudors and A World Undone. Sweeping aside the gossip, slander, and distortion that have shrouded the Borgias for centuries, G. J. Meyer offers an unprecedented portrait of the infamous Renaissance family and their storied milieu.
 
They burst out of obscurity in Spain not only to capture the great prize of the papacy, but to do so twice. Throughout a tumultuous half-century—as popes, statesmen, warriors, lovers, and breathtakingly ambitious political adventurers—they held center stage in the glorious and blood-drenched pageant known to us as the Italian Renaissance, standing at the epicenter of the power games in which Europe’s kings and Italy’s warlords gambled for life-and-death stakes.
 
Five centuries after their fall—a fall even more sudden than their rise to the heights of power—they remain immutable symbols of the depths to which humanity can descend: Rodrigo Borgia, who bought the papal crown and prostituted the Roman Church; Cesare Borgia, who became first a teenage cardinal and then the most treacherous cutthroat of a violent time; Lucrezia Borgia, who was as shockingly immoral as she was beautiful. These have long been stock figures in the dark chronicle of European villainy, their name synonymous with unspeakable evil.
 
But did these Borgias of legend actually exist? Grounding his narrative in exhaustive research and drawing from rarely examined key sources, Meyer brings fascinating new insight to the real people within the age-encrusted myth. Equally illuminating is the light he shines on the brilliant circles in which the Borgias moved and the thrilling era they helped to shape, a time of wars and political convulsions that reverberate to the present day, when Western civilization simultaneously wallowed in appalling brutality and soared to extraordinary heights.
 
Stunning in scope, rich in telling detail, G. J. Meyer’s The Borgias is an indelible work sure to become the new standard on a family and a world that continue to enthrall.

Praise for The Borgias
 
“A vivid and at times startling reappraisal of one of the most notorious dynasties in history . . . If you thought you knew the Borgias, this book will surprise you.”—Tracy Borman, author of Queen of the Conqueror and Elizabeth’s Women
 
“The mention of the Borgia family often conjures up images of a ruthless drive for power via assassination, serpentine plots, and sexual debauchery. . . . [G. J. Meyer] convincingly looks past the mythology to present a more nuanced portrait.”—Booklist
 
“Meyer brings his considerable skills to another infamous Renaissance family, the Borgias [and] a fresh look into the machinations of power in Renaissance Italy. . . . [He] makes a convincing case that the Borgias have been given a raw deal.”—Historical Novels Review
 
“Fascinating . . . a gripping history of a tempestuous time and an infamous family.”—Shelf Awareness
Barbara W. Tuchman—the acclaimed author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning classic The Guns of August—once again marshals her gift for character, history, and sparkling prose to compose an astonishing portrait of medieval Europe.
 
The fourteenth century reflects two contradictory images: on the one hand, a glittering age of crusades, cathedrals, and chivalry; on the other, a world plunged into chaos and spiritual agony. In this revelatory work, Barbara W. Tuchman examines not only the great rhythms of history but the grain and texture of domestic life: what childhood was like; what marriage meant; how money, taxes, and war dominated the lives of serf, noble, and clergy alike. Granting her subjects their loyalties, treacheries, and guilty passions, Tuchman re-creates the lives of proud cardinals, university scholars, grocers and clerks, saints and mystics, lawyers and mercenaries, and, dominating all, the knight—in all his valor and “furious follies,” a “terrible worm in an iron cocoon.”
 
Praise for A Distant Mirror
 
“Beautifully written, careful and thorough in its scholarship . . . What Ms. Tuchman does superbly is to tell how it was. . . . No one has ever done this better.”—The New York Review of Books
 
“A beautiful, extraordinary book . . . Tuchman at the top of her powers . . . She has done nothing finer.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Wise, witty, and wonderful . . . a great book, in a great historical tradition.”—Commentary

NOTE: This edition does not include color images.
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