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Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe, A, CourseSmart eTextbook, 4th Edition

By Jonathan W. Zophy

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Apr 10, 2008

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For courses in Renaissance, Reformation Europe, Early Modern Europe, and first year surveys of Western Civilization.


A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water, 4/e serves as a concise introduction to some of the major personalities, issues, events, and ideas of the Renaissance and Reformation age. The prose-like writing, highly regarded by faculty and students alike, flows without frequent interruption by jargon or foreign terms. This brief introduction of the Renaissance and Reformation age is the perfect text for the instructor who would like to supplement his/her course with additional readers or other material.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction:  The Best and Worst of Times


The Problem of the Renaissance

The Reformation

Dances over Fire and Water?


General Chronology

Further Reading


2. The Peoples of Europe


The Peasantry

       A Culture of Poverty:  Village Life

        The Continuities of Life for Men, Women, and Children


Town Dwellers


      Daily Life

      Urban Women

      Social Tensions

      The Rise of the Capitalists

       Jacob Fugger the Rich


       Slaves from Africa and the Levant



The Nobility

       Mercenary and Robber Nobles

        The Refinement of Manners


The Clergy


Further Reading



3. An Age of Disasters


The Black Death, 1347-1350

 Peasant and Artisan Revolts

 Troubles in the Church

        The Babylonian Captivity, 1305-1350

         The Western Schism of 1378-1417

          The Burning of Jan Hus (c. 1372-1415)

           The Hussite Revolt

  The Hundred Years’ War, 1455-1485



   Further Reading




4. Italy:  Home of the Renaissance


Florence:  “The Most Beautiful of Cities”

                       The Medici in Florence

      The Rise of the Medici Banking Empire

       The Magnificent Lorenzo (1449-1492)

       The Pazzi Plot of 1478

       The Fall of the Medici

The Fiery Domican:  Savonarola

 The Return of the Medici


Rome and the Papal States

      Cola di Rienzo (1313-1354)

       Renaissance Popes

Naples and Sicily

        The Reigns of Joanna II (1414-1435), Alfonso V (1416-1458),

                       and Ferrante I (1458-1494)

The Power of Milan

            The Rise and Fall of the Sforza, 1450-1499

The Mantua of Issabella d’Este

 Duke Federigo’s Urbino

  Venice :  The Queen of the Adriatic

         Venetian Politics and Society

           Venice and the Arts



5. The Culture of Renaissance Humanism in Italy


Setting the Agenda:  Early Renaissance Humanists

      Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374)

      Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375)

Civic Humanists

      Coluccio Salutati (1331-1406)

      Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444)

      The Illustrious Lorenzo Valla (c. 1407-1457)

Women Humanists

      Isotta Nogarola (1418-1466)

      Laura Cereta (1469-1499)

Humanists as Philosophers, Historians, and Social Theorists

      Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494)

      Lions and Foxes:  Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527)

      Machiavelli’s Writings

      Francesco Guicciardini (1483-1540)

      Baldassare Castiglione (1478-1529)

The Flowering of Italian Literature

      The Poet as Blackmailer:  Pietro Aretino (1492-1556)

      The Honest Courtesan:  Veronica Franco (1546-1591)

      Vittoria Colonna



Further Reading



6. Painting in Renaissance Italy


Early Renaissance Painting:  Giotto

      Masacio (1401-1428)

A Distinctive Style:  Sandro Botticelli (c. 1444-1510)

The High Renaissance

      Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

      Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) as a Painter

      Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520)

      The Prolific Titian (c. 1488-1576)

      Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1532-1625)

      Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-c. 1632)



Further Reading



7 . Renaissance Sculpture, Architecture, and Music


The Fatiguing Art:  Sculpture

      Lorenzo Ghiberti (c. 1381-1455)

      Donatello (1386-1466)

      Michelangelo as a Sculptor


      Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446)

      Michelozzo Michelozzi (1396-1472)

      Bramante (1444-1514)

      Women in Sculpture and Architecture

The Sounds of the Universe:  Music

      Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)



Further Reading



8. The Northern Monarchies and Their Overseas Expansion


The Political World

      The Disappearance of Burgundy

      France under François I (r. 1515-1547)

      England under the Early Tudors

      Spain under Isabella and Ferdinand

      The Holy Roman Empire

      Scandinavia and Margaret of Denmark

      Eastern Europe


The Overseas Expansion of Europe

      Henry the Navigator and Portuguese Exploration

      Christopher Columbus (1451-1506)

      Other European Explorers

The Spanish Conquest of the Americas

      Hernan Cortés (1485-1547)

      Francesco Pizarro (c. 1475-1541)



Further Reading




9. The Renaissance in the North


The Literary Culture of the North

      Christine de Pizan (1365-c. 1429)

Later French Writers

      François Villon (1431-c. 1464)

      Louise Labé (c. 1520-1566)

      Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549)

      François Rabelais (1483-1553)

The Emergence of the Vernacular in England

      William Shakespeare:  The Bard of Avon

      Other Writers of the Elizabethan Renaissance

The Golden Age of Spanish Literature

The Fine Arts in the North

      Jan van Eyck

      Later Flemish Painting

Renaissance Art in Germany

      Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

      Lucas Cranach (1472-1553) and Hans Holbein (1497-1543)

      The Sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider (c. 1460-1531)

Northern Renaissance Humanism

      The Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life

German Humanism

      Conrad Celtis (1459-1508)

      Caritas and Willibald Pirckheimer

       Johann Reuchlin (1455-1522)

English Humanism

      The Man for all Seasons:  Thomas More (1478-1535)

       Eramsus (c. 1466-1536), The Prince of the Humanists

The Printing Press and Its Impact



Further Reading




10. Martin Luther’s Revolt


The Man with Seven Heads

      Martin Luther’s Background

      The Indulgence Controversy

       The Rebel

        Choosing a New Caesar

Luther’s Rebellion Intensifies

       Luther versus Charles V:  The 1521 Diet of Worms


        Luther at the Wartburg Castle, May 1521 to March 1522

The Knights’ Revolt of 1522 to 1524

      Franz von Sickingen (1481-1523)



                        Further Reading



11. The Spread of Lutheranism


A New Pope and New Hope, 1522-1524

      The Diets of Nuremberg, 1522-1524

       The Spread of Lutheranism:  The Case of Nuremberg

The German Peasants’ War, 1524-1526

      The Outbreak of the Revolt, May 1524

      Thomas Müntzer (c. 1490-1525)

       The End of the 1524-1526 Peasants’ War

        Martin Luther and the Peasants’ War

Katherine von Bora (1499-1550)

The Emergence of Evangelical Politics

      The Diets of Speyer, 1526 and 1529

The Augsburg Confession of 1530

      Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560)

      The Formation of the Schmalkaldic League

Luther’s Declining Years, 1530-1546

      The Bigamy of Philip of Hesse

      Luther and the Jews

Lutheranism in Scandinavia



Further Reading




12. Zwingli, Swiss Reform, and Anabaptism


Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531)

      Early Years

      Not a Frivolous Musician:  Zwingli in Zurich

      The Adoption of the Reform by Zurich

      The Marburg Colloquy

      Zwingli’s Last Years

Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575)

Big Names in the Reform of Basel

The Rise of Anabaptism

      Conrad Grebel (1498-1526)

      Michael Sattler (c. 1490-1527) and the Schleitheim


Balthasar Hubmaier (c. 1480-1528)

                   Charisma and Fanaticism at Münster

                    The Fall of “King” Jan

                     Menno Simons (1496-1561)

                     The Hutterites and the Community of Goods



                        Further Reading




13. John Calvin and Calvinism


Calvin’s Early Years

      The Flight from Paris

Calvin’s Theology

      The Call to Geneva

       The Reform in Strasbourg

        Martin Bucer ((1491-1551)

         Katherine Schütz Zell (c. 1497-1562)

Calvin’s Return to Geneva

          The Michael Servetus Case

           The Threat of the Libertines

            Discipline in Calvin’s Geneva

             Calvin and Women

              Calvin and Man

Theodore Beza (1516-1605) and the Genevan Academy

The Spread of Calvinism

      A Failed Calvinist Reformation in Brandenburg

      Calvinism Triumphant



Further Reading




14. The Reformation in England to 1558


King Harry’s Trouble with Women

      “Breaking Up is Hard to Do”:  The Problem

of the Divorce

                 Replacements for Wolsey

                        Thomas Cromwell (1485-1540)

                         Exploiting Anticlericalism


                 The Legal Reformation

                         Unlucky in Love:  Henry’s Matrimonial Difficulties

                  The Reformation under Edward VI (1537-1553)

                          The Tyndale Bible

                           The Fall of Edward Seymour

                            The Rise and Fall of John Dudley (c. 1502-1553)

                            and Lady Jane Grey (1537-1554)

                   The Reign of Mary Tudor, 1553-1558


                         Further Reading




15. A Tale of Two Queens:  Elizabeth I of England

And Mary of Scotland


The Young Queen Elizabeth

      The Elizabethan Religious Settlement

       Glorianna:  The Successful Queen

Mary Stuart and the Reformation in Scotland

      The Spread of Protestant Ideas

      The Rise of Knox, the “Thundering Scot”

       Mary, queen of Scots

       Mary’s Life and Death in England, 1568-1587


Further Reading





16 . The Roman Catholic Reformation


Reform in Spain

Efforts at Reform in Italy

      New Reform Orders:  Capuchins, Theatines, Ursulines

Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) and the Society of Jesus

The Founding of the Society of Jesus

The Organization of the Jesuits

 The Jesuit Legacy

                  Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

                   Pope Paul III and Reform

                        An Irenic Reformer:  Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542)

                   The Council of Trent, 1545-1563

                        The Conclusion of the Council of Trent and Its Impact


                    Further Reading




17. An Age of Religious Warfare, 1546-1660


The Empire Strikes Back:  The Schmalkaldic War, 1546-1548

      The Defection of Nuremberg and Brandenburg-Ansbach

       A Truce with the Ottomans

       Imperial Initiatives

       The Battle of Mühlberg, 1547

        The Augsburg and Leipzig Interims

         Splits in Lutheranism

         The Religious Peace of Augsburg of 1555

The Religious Wars in France

      The Reign of Henri II (r. 1547-1559)

       The Power of Catherine de’ Medici (1519-1589)

        The Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre

         The Reign of Henri III (r. 1574-1589)

          The War of the Three Henries, 1587-1589

          Henri of Navarre as King of France, 1589-1610

Philip II’s Crusades

      The Character of the King

       War against Islam

       The Revolt of the Low Countries

The Spanish Armada of 1588

The Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648

      Danish Intervention, 1623-1630

      Swedish Intervention, 1630-1635

      The Franco-Swedish Phase (1635-1648) and Aftermath


Further Reading





18. The Legacy


Religious Life

      Theological Divisions and Social Discipline

      Marriage in Protestant Europe

      Margaret Fell (1614-1702) and Women as Preachers

      Roman Catholicism Revived


Witchcraft and Its Suppression

      Critics of the Witch Craze

The Rise of Western Science

      Astrology, Alchemy, and Magic

      Nicholas Copernicus (14731543)

      Brahe and Kepler

      Galileo  Galilei (1564-1642)

      Medicine and Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

      The Scientific Method and Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

       Women Scientists

        Rene Descartes (1595-1650)

Political Changes

        The Constitutional Struggle in England, 1642-1688

         The Rise of Absolutism

          French-Style Absolutism



Further Reading




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Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe, A, CourseSmart eTextbook, 4th Edition
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