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The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Sources

Kenneth Gouwens (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-23165-3
320 pages
July 2003, ©2003, Wiley-Blackwell
The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Sources (063123165X) cover image
These primary sources open a window onto the ways that women and men in Renaissance Italy sought to communicate their beliefs, desires, fears, and hopes, both about their own lives and about the dynamic culture they helped to shape.

  • An ideal complement to Paula Findlen’s ‘The Italian Renaissance: Essential Readings’ (Blackwell Publishing, 2002).
  • Includes canonical texts alongside newly available ones that give fresh perspectives.
  • Selections address topical issues, such as the family strategies of women, attitudes towards non-Italians, and women as patrons of art.
  • Genres represented include correspondence, poetry, the story, dialogue, oratory, and autobiography.
  • Brings the teaching of the Italian Renaissance to life, showing how citizens communicated about their beliefs, desires, fears, and hopes.
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List of Illustrations.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction.

Part I: Introductory Readings.

1. Dante, Inferno, Cantos I & XXVI.

2. Petrarch.

Letter On ‘Ascent Of Mt. Ventoux’.

Two Letters To Cicero.

Il Canzoniere, Poems 1-5, 30, 189, 272, 365.

3. Leonardo Bruni, Life Of Petrarch.

Part II: Renaissance Statecraft And Its Limitations:.

4. Pius II, Commentaries, Procession & Speech About A Crusade.

5. Machiavelli, The Prince, Dedication + Bks. 7, 15, 17-18, 25-26.

Part III: Urban Life And Values:.

6. Boccaccio, Decameron 2:5 (Story Of Andreuccio).

7. Alessandra Strozzi, Selected Letters.

8. Machiavelli & Vettori, 2 Letters.

Part IV: Gender And Society.

9. Boccaccio, Decameron 10:10 (Story Of Griselda).

10. Barbaro, On Wifely Duties, Bk. 2, Chaps. 1, 3-5, 9.

Part V: The Power Of Knowledge:.

11. Valla, On The Donation Of Constantine.

12. Ficino, Three Books On Life, I:7, II:10–13.

13. Cereta, Two ‘Familiar’ Letters.

14. Alcionio, An Oration On The Sack Of Rome.

Part VI: Patronage, Art, And Culture:.

15. Isabella d’Este, Letters On Collecting.

16. Cellini, Autobiography, 1:24-29.

Part VII: The End Of The Renaissance.

17. Castiglione, Book Of The Courtier, 4:4-26.

18. Valeriano, On The Ill Fortune Of Learned Men, 1:1-14.

Index.

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Kenneth Gouwens is Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. He has published extensively on the culture of Renaissance Rome and is presently writing a biography of the second Medici pope, Clement VII (1523-34). His first book Remembering the Renaissance (1998), was selected by ALA's 'Choice' as Outstanding Academic Book of 1998.
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  • An ideal complement to Paula Findlen’s ‘The Italian Renaissance: Essential Readings’ (Blackwell Publishing, 2002).

  • Includes canonical texts alongside newly available ones that give fresh perspectives.

  • Selections address topical issues, such as the family strategies of women, attitudes towards non-Italians, and women as patrons of art.

  • Genres represented include correspondence, poetry, the story, dialogue, oratory, and autobiography.

  • Brings the teaching of the Italian Renaissance to life, showing how citizens communicated about their beliefs, desires, fears, and hopes.
See More
"This collection offers a diverse and inclusive selection of readings on Renaissance life and culture, from Dante to the later Renaissance, that will be invaluable to all students of the period. The translations are accessible, and the introductory essays frame the primary sources so that the voices of the age speak with vitality and new purpose."
--Meredith Gill, University of Notre Dame

"This collection includes many old favourites from the pens of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and Machiavelli, but these are mixed with important, though less familiar texts, such as several of Alessandra Strozzi's letters, Valweiano's lament on the sad fortunes of learned men, and Ficino's Tre Vite... teachers of Italian Renaissance history and culture will find this volume an attractive additionto the all-too-short list of anthologies suitable for classroom use."
--Melissa Meriam Bullard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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