Renaissance Italy

A class devoted to the 'heart' of the Renaissance, the city of Florence, in the 15th and 16th centuries, with virtual excursions to Siena, Venice, and Rome. We will focus on studying the interface between historical and religious movements, on the one hand, and cultural manifestations on the other. Translation will be a key term for us as we not only read the first modern treatise on translation, by the Florentine chancellor Leonardo Bruni, but consider translation in ways related to Florence's, and Tuscany's, growing cultural and political mastery over the peninsula. How, that is, does the local dialect of the Florentines become 'translated' into the language of cultured Italians by the end of the Renaissance, and how in turn do other languages of Renaissance Florence -- especially artistic and political ones -- also come to dominate early modern Italy, and hence to define the meaning of 'renaissance' itself? Key texts to include: Bruni, On Correct Translation Poliziano, Le Stanze; Orfeo Lorenzo de'Medici, Comento; selected letters; Sacra rappresentazione Lucrezia Tornabuoni de' Medici, Sacred Narratives (lives of Judith, Esther, Tobias, John the Baptist) Antonia Pulci, plays Leon Battista Alberti, On the Family, Della pittura Machiavelli, The Prince; La Mandragola; excerpts from the Discorsi, selected letters Savonarola, selected sermons Amerigo Vespucci, selected letters from the voyages to the New World Laura Battiferri, selected poems and translations Benvenuto Cellini, Vita Vasari, "The Life of Michelangelo" Michelangelo, poems selected artworks at the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick readings in Renaissance historiography (Burckhardt, Weber, Baron, Grafton, Struever, Celenza)

Course Information



4 Points

Term Section Instructor Schedule Location

Fall 2017

Jane Tylus
T: 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM CASA 203