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The Italian Renaissance | [The Great Courses]

The Italian Renaissance

The effects of the Italian Renaissance are still with us today, from the incomparable paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the immortal writings of Petrarch and Machiavelli. But why was there such an artistic, cultural, and intellectual explosion in Italy at the start of the 14th century? Why did it occur in Italy? And why in certain Italian city-states such as Florence? Professor Bartlett probes these questions and more in 36 dynamic lectures.
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Publisher's Summary

The effects of the Italian Renaissance are still with us today, from the incomparable paintings of Leonardo da Vinci to the immortal writings of Petrarch and Machiavelli. But why was there such an artistic, cultural, and intellectual explosion in Italy at the start of the 14th century? Why did it occur in Italy? And why in certain Italian city-states such as Florence?

Professor Bartlett probes these questions and more in 36 dynamic lectures. This is your opportunity to appreciate the results of the Italian Renaissance and gain an understanding of the underlying social, political, and economic forces that made such exceptional art and culture possible. At the heart of Renaissance Italy were the city-states, home to the money, intellect, and talent needed for the growth of Renaissance culture. You'll look at the Republic of Florence, as well as other city-states that, thanks to geographical and historical circumstances, had much different political and social structures. This course contains a wealth of details that will give you a feel and appreciation for the Italian Renaissance - its contributions to history, the ways it was similar and dissimilar to our times, and how the people of the time, both famous and ordinary, experienced it. You'll come away surprised by how much of our modern life was made possible by the Renaissance. Our concept of participatory government, our belief in the value of competition, our philosophy of the content and purpose of education, even our notions of love all have roots in the Renaissance period. Its loftiest ideals - the importance of the individual, the value of human dignity and potential, and the promotion of freedom - are ones we embrace as our own.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2005 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2005 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Listen VICTORIA, BC, Canada 07-04-14
    Listen VICTORIA, BC, Canada 07-04-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    "Great Course but need written text"
    Any additional comments?

    I am a big fan of Professor Bartlett. History could be full of wars, names and dates which tend to be pretty boring, but Bartlett has managed to keep audience interested by personalizing the historical figures, their background, character, journey in the way that you and I can related. He also provided various aspects of the Italian culture that we still can see today when we visit the country. In so doing, ancient history becomes highly relevant to today’s Italy and Italians, and how we appreciate them.

    The major annoyance is the fact that the written material (course outlines) is not included in the Great Course lectures. Yes, Audible made a disclaimer, but still, with so much information contained in these lectures, how can Audible expect listeners to properly gain enough knowledge without some written material? Simple things like how the names are spelled and which dates related to what events/figures are all part of the reason why written text is necessary for learning. I will have to buy his written text separately to compensate.

    That said, I still highly recommend it because the lectures are just too good to miss.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah FEDERAL WAY, WA, United States 03-26-14
    Sarah FEDERAL WAY, WA, United States 03-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    41
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    Story
    "A little too academic for me...."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Italian Renaissance to be better than the print version?

    Don't know


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its overall approach is very interesting


    Which character – as performed by Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett – was your favorite?

    Not relevant


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The very beginning


    Any additional comments?

    It just reads to much like a very dry academic text book. I have not felt this way about a number of other great course that I have listened to.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Block Alexandria, VA United States 07-17-15
    Larry Block Alexandria, VA United States 07-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A thing of beauty"

    Professor Bartlett teaches these lectures with enthusiasm and imparts knowledge as a kind of gift. To be sure, it is his obvious love of the Italian Renaissance that makes the entirety of the lectures a sparkling jewell to be cherished.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Henry Davis 07-06-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    Well organized. Delivered intelligently with enthusiasm. Argued his subjective interpretations well. Strangely sparse on discussing art and artists.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 06-08-15
    Wallen Danderyd, Sweden 06-08-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    219
    ratings
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    "Renaissance come alive"

    This course is extremely informative and well presented, it gives a vivid picture of the Renaissance. Listening to these lectures you get a good understanding of the Renaissance period and of the people that lived in it. It has changed the way I used to think of this period. Well worth listening to!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Acker 05-11-15
    David Acker 05-11-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Superb lecturer, detailed educational experience"

    It has been half a century since I graduated from college. The course took me back to the educational pleasure of listening to a superb teacher explain a complicated topic, actually many complicated topics, and thoroughly enjoy learning new ideas, learning of new historical figures and placing a historical era into my life. Thank you

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • J. Martin
    London
    7/21/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant!"

    A brilliant history passionately delivered, from the Renaissance beginnings with Petrarch through to the misunderstood Machiavelli and closing with inspiring and poetic remorse at how it all ended.
    A fantastic lecture, highly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr
    west sussex, United Kingdom
    12/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    I feel I need to quote my daughter to accurately describe this book "Fantabuloso".

    I was not to keen to listen to it, but knew I should as I was far too ignorant. When we started with Petrach and Dante, I knew i was right.

    Then the story changed into a trilling account of the Italian peninsula.

    I am staggeringly pleased with this purchase, the author is now a personal hero.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    London
    11/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive but very entertaining"

    This started a little slowly for me with the philosophical origins of the Renaissance but with the benefit of hindsight it was absolutely the right choice on the author's part as this foundation helped enormously in understanding how a small number of city states in a small anarchic peninsula like Italy became such an extraordinary hotbed of cultural, commercial and scientific development, However; once things get underway the listener is treated to a satisfying gallery of murderous princesses, wiley merchants, scheming bishops and glamorous, battling clans. Prof Bartlett takes us on a tour of the various city states explaining in a clear and entertaining way what lead to their rise, how they differed, what their notable citizens were like and how, eventually it all came to an end. The history is rigorous but he's also a good story teller so we get plenty of plot and character which helps enormously in keeping track of what's going on and where it's happening. Recommended for history fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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