Monday, June 12, 2006

Renaissance timelines

About the Renaissance. One of my favorite periods. I look on it with sadness because I think it represents the height of Western civilization before industrialization ruined everything.

Putting together a timeline is difficult because the Renaissance, like any cultural movement, given its label post facto, doesn't have any clear start or finish. Each discipline, whether in art, architecture, civics, philosophy, or music, has its own timelines.

But generally speaking, if pressed for specificity, I'd trace the Renaissance to the rise of the Medici family in Florentine politics in the late 1300s to the beginning of the rule of King James in 1603.

Here's what wikipedia has to say:

Multiple Renaissances

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, an example of the blend of art and science during the Renaissance.
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Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, an example of the blend of art and science during the Renaissance.

During the last quarter of the 20th century many scholars took the view that the Italian Renaissance was perhaps only one of many such movements. This is in large part due to the work of historians like Charles H. Haskins (18701937), who made a convincing case for a "Renaissance of the 12th century," as well as by historians arguing for a "Carolingian Renaissance." Both of these concepts are now widely accepted by the scholarly community at large; as a result, the present trend among historians is to discuss each so-called renaissance in more particular terms, e.g., the Italian Renaissance, the English Renaissance, etc. This terminology is particularly useful because it eliminates the need for fitting "The Renaissance" into a chronology that previously held that it was preceded by the Middle Ages and followed by the Reformation, which many believe to be inaccurate. The entire period is now often replaced by the term "Early Modern". (See periodisation, Lumpers and splitters)

Other periods of cultural rebirth have also been termed a "renaissance"; such as the Harlem Renaissance or the San Francisco Renaissance. The other renaissances are not considered further in this article, which will concentrate on the Renaissance as the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age.

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