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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : History, Classics and Archaeology

Undergraduate Course: The Florentine Renaissance: A Chronological Assessment (LLLE07021)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a for-credit course offered by the Centre for Open Learning (COL); only students registered with COL should be enrolled.

The Renaissance was a period of innovation and change, with contemporaries considering it a Golden Age that resurrected and surpassed the greatness of classical civilisation. This period had a profound impact on the history of Western Europe and its politics, economics, and cultural values are still highly relevant today. Florence is commonly seen as the capital and founding city of this age. This course asks why the Renaissance appears to have taken root in Florence first and examines the characteristics of the Florentine Renaissance.
Course description Content of course
1. Firenze: An Introduction. A study of Florence, its founding by the Etruscans, history up and through the 13th century.
2. Early 14th century. From early signs to becoming a city-state. Economic innovations lead to economic superiority.
3. The Eve of the Black Death. A city ready to burst. Analyse the agriculture and economic structure of both Florence and the contado on the eve of 1347. Consider the birth of humanism.
4. The Black Death. An analysis of the ramifications of the Plague and its aftermath.
5. The Ciompi Revolt and Civic Humanism. Analyse the Ciompi Revolt of 1378 as a predecessor to future rebellions and examine Florentine Civic Humanism.
6. Orsanmichele and the Guilds of Florence. The importance of guilds in society, politics, the Church, and especially their artistic patronage in beautifying the city. Examine the civic/religious centre of Orsanmichele and guild patronage in the Trecento and Quattrocento. Analyse the artistic transition from Gothic to High Renaissance/International Style.
7. The Power of the Medici: a banking family with an autocratic problem. Assessing how the family gained political influence and Florence at the height of its power.
8. War and Peace: An investigation of wars Florence entered into against Volterra, Milan, Lucca, Pisa, and Sienna during the Renaissance. Examination of neo-Platonism and Medici culture.
9. Savonarola and the Papacy. A look at Florence without the Medici, invasion from France, expulsion of Savonarola by Pope Alexander VI and its effects on Florence.
10. The Dawn of the 16th Century. The decline of Medici and Florentine supremacy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand Florentine politics, their context, and comparisons with modern government.
  2. Demonstrate comprehension of Florentine humanism and its influence throughout Europe.
  3. Identify and acknowledge certain works of art in the Trecento and Quattrocento and their original purpose and contextual impact.
  4. Demonstrate the acquired knowledge and skills in their essay and the unseen assessment.
Reading List
Brucker, G.,1969. Renaissance Florence. New York: Wiley
Turner, A.R.,1997. The Renaissance in Florence. London: Orion
Goldthwaite, R.,1980. The Building of Renaissance Florence. Baltimore: John Hopkins.
Mackenney, R.,2005. Renaissances: The Cultures of Italy, c. 1300-1600. New York: Palgrave.
Najemy, J.,2006. A History of Florence 1200-1575. Oxford: Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This is a for-credit course offered by the Centre for Open Learning (COL); only students registered with COL should be enrolled.
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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