Voices of the Renaissance: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life contains excerpts from 52 different documents relating to the period of European history known as the Renaissance. In the 14th century, the rise of humanism, a philosophy based on the study of the languages, literature, and material culture of ancient Greece and Rome, led to a sense of revitalization and renewal among the city-states of northern Italy. The political development and economic expansion of those cities provided the ideal conditions for humanist scholarship to flourish. This period of literary, artistic, architectural, and cultural flowering is today known as the Renaissance, a term taken from the French and meaning “rebirth.”
The Italian Renaissance reached its height in the 15th and early 16th centuries. In the 1490s, the ideals of the Italian Renaissance spread north of the Alps and gave rise to a series of national cultural rebirths in various states. In many places, this Northern Renaissance extended into the 17th century, when war and religious discord put an end to the Renaissance era.
- Provides a broad selection of document excerpts that engage reader interest
- Includes sidebars with interesting related topics that often connect to modern events or issues
- Suggests possible projects, activities, or topics of study
- Provides current bibliographies of related information resources
- Includes a Chronology of the Renaissance to give an overall sense of history
- Asks specific questions that focus the reader's attention on the section topics