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The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

By , (Contributor), Hajo Holborn (Contributor)

Paperback published by Modern Library (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
Published in 1860, Burckhardt’s great work redefined our sense of the European past, wholly reinterpreting what has since been known simply as the Italian Renaissance. With unsurpassed erudition, Burckhardt illuminates a world of artistic and cultural ferment, innovation, and discovery; of revived humanism; of fierce tensions between church and empire; and of the birth of both the modern state and the modern individual. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy remains the single most important and influential account of this crucial moment in the history of the West.
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Published in 1860, Burckhardt’s great work redefined our sense of the European past, wholly reinterpreting what has since been known simply as the Italian Renaissance. With unsurpassed erudition, Burckhardt illuminates a world of artistic and cultural ferment, innovation, and discovery; of revived humanism; of fierce tensions between church and empire; and of the birth of both the modern state and the modern individual. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy remains the single most important and influential account of this crucial moment in the history of the West.
Product Details
Paperback (432 pages)
Published: April 9, 2002
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Modern Library
ISBN: 9780375759260
Other books byJacob Burckhardt
  • The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy

    The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy
    This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

    Judgments on History and Historians

    Judgments on History and Historians
    Western Civilisation was in its pomp when Jacob Burckhardt delivered his Judgements on History and Historians;European Empires spanned the globe, while the modern age was being forged in the nationalist revolutions of 1848. As a tutor to the young Friedrich Nietzsche as well as one of the first historians to take 'culture' as his subject rather than the triumphs and travails of kings and generals, Burckhardt was at the vanguard of this modern sensibility. Ambitious in its scope, ranging from the days of Ancient Egypt, through the Reformation to the time of Napoleon, this is indeed a history of 'Western Civilization', written before two monstrous world wars threw such a concept into disrepute.

    The Letters of Jacob Burckhardt

    The Letters of Jacob Burckhardt
    As a rule, an author’s correspondence possesses only a secondary interest, but Jacob Burckhardt’s letters are of primary interest to students of history because of the nature of the man and of his major writings.Judgments on History and Historians,for example, consists not of Burckhardt’s own lectures, but of notes on his lectures by one of his greatest students. It is because Burckhardt was a remarkably private man who believed that contemplation was the key to insight into the nature of man and history, and because his approach to the study of history was reflective rather than systematic or dogmatic, that his letters possess a singular significance. For it is in his letters that Burckhardt provides additional and even personal observations on his learned explorations of antiquity, the Renaissance, and modern Europe, and it is in his letters that Burckhardt muses on the consequences that he believed—and feared—awaited a Europe that had given itself almost wholly to a rationalistic and materialistic understanding of history and destiny. For example, Burckhardt is widely known to have been the most renowned of the historians of the nineteenth century to predict, with astonishing accuracy, what we in our notice of hisReflections on Historydescribe as “the totalitarian direction that history could take”—and which history in fact did take in the twentieth century. It was in his letters, rather than in his lectures or longer works, that Burckhardt most directly addressed the currents of intellectual thought and social and political order—or disorder—of Europe in the nineteenth century. It was in his letters, for instance, that he warned that these currents portended the rise of a new kind of demagogue unique to the modern era. Such demagogues would, Burckhardt feared, respond to the complexities and confusions of modern life by becoming “terrible simplifiers,” marshaling masses of people into totalitarian regimes for simple solutions to complex challenges that would wreak havoc upon numerous countries and millions of lives.Thus, the letters constitute a text that complements Burckhardt’s larger works, including his most notable work,The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Not only are the letters addressed to some of the most important thinkers of the time (Nietzsche, Burckhardt’s younger colleague at the University of Basel, among them), but also they address the most pressing issues and the most important personages of the era. As the translator notes, the “letters, written from 1838 to 1897, have a lightness of touch, an informality and humor, and a breadth of vision that make one realize why he was the most civilized historian of his century. Their contents range across a vast field of interests. Art, architecture, history, poetry, music, religion—all stirred him to contagious enthusiasm. His travels led him to Italy, Germany, France, and England, and to his letters we owe delightful and penetrating insights into the character of each country.” Jacob Burckhardt(1818–1897) has been called “the most civilized historian of the nineteenth century,” and he was certainly one of the greatest historians of art and culture of his time. A professor at the University of Basel, Burckhardt was especially knowledgeable about the Renaissance, and his best-known work isThe Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Alberto R. Collis Professor of Law and Director of the European Legal Studies Program at DePaul University.

    The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

    The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
    This 19th-century survey of the Renaissance propounds the view that it was at this time that man became aware of himself as a spiritual individual. This concept of the Renaissance has been much discussed, as has Burckhardt's cultural pessimism.

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