Italy in the Age of Renaissance offers a new introduction to the most celebrated period of Italian history in twelve essays by leading and innovative scholars. Recent scholarship has enriched our understanding of Renaissance Italy by adding new themes and perspectives that have challenged the traditional picture of a largely secular and elite world of humanists, merchants, patrons, and princes. These new themes encompass both social and cultural history (the family, women, lay religion, the working classes, marginal social groups) as well as new dimensions of political history that highlight the growth of territorial states, the powers and limits of government, the representation of power in art and architecture, the role of the South, and the dialogue between elite and non-elite classes. This thematically organized volume introduces readers to the fruitful interaction between the more traditional topics in Renaissance studies and the new, broader approach to the period that has developed in the last generation.
John M. Najemy is Professor of History at Cornell University.
Introduction ; 1. Education and the Emergence of a Literate Society ; 2. Humanism and the Lure of Antiquity ; 3. Religion and the Church ; 4. Family and Marriage: a Socio-Legal Perspective ; 5. Bodies, Disease, and Society ; 6. The Economy: Work and Wealth ; 7. The Popolo ; 8. The Power of the Elites: Family, Patronage, and the State ; 9. Governments and Governance ; 10. The South ; 11. Representations of Power ; 12. Rethinking the Renaissance in the Aftermath of Italy's Crisis ; Further Reading ; Chronology