NCERT Textbook - Changing Cultural Traditions Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

History Class 11

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Humanities/Arts : NCERT Textbook - Changing Cultural Traditions Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


152  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
THEME
7
Changing Cultural
Traditions
FROM the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century,
towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct
‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think
of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns –
particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of
art and learning. Artists and writers were patronised by the
rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same
time made books and prints available to many people,
including those living in distant towns or countries. A sense
of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted
their ‘modern’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and
Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each
individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-
centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to
understand the solar system, and new geographical
knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the
Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
(see Theme 8)
There is a vast amount of material on European history from
the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings,
sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been
carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums
in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century, historians used the term
‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural
changes of this period. The historian who emphasised these
most was a Swiss scholar – Jacob Burckhardt (1818–97) of
the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of
the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).
Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the
historian was to write about states and politics using papers
and files of government departments. Burckhardt was
dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had
set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-
all in history writing. History was as much concerned with
culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the
Renaissance in Italy, in which he called his readers’ attention
to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how
a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


152  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
THEME
7
Changing Cultural
Traditions
FROM the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century,
towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct
‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think
of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns –
particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of
art and learning. Artists and writers were patronised by the
rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same
time made books and prints available to many people,
including those living in distant towns or countries. A sense
of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted
their ‘modern’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and
Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each
individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-
centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to
understand the solar system, and new geographical
knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the
Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
(see Theme 8)
There is a vast amount of material on European history from
the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings,
sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been
carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums
in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century, historians used the term
‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural
changes of this period. The historian who emphasised these
most was a Swiss scholar – Jacob Burckhardt (1818–97) of
the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of
the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).
Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the
historian was to write about states and politics using papers
and files of government departments. Burckhardt was
dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had
set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-
all in history writing. History was as much concerned with
culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the
Renaissance in Italy, in which he called his readers’ attention
to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how
a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from
© NCERT
not to be republished
  153
the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. This culture, he
wrote, was characterised by a new belief – that man, as an
individual, was capable of making his own decisions and
developing his skills. He was ‘modern’, in contrast to
‘medieval’ man whose thinking had been controlled by the
church.
The Revival of Italian Cities
After the fall of the western Roman Empire, many of the towns that
had been political and cultural centres in Italy fell into ruin. There was
no unified government, and the Pope in Rome, who was sovereign in
his own state, was not a strong political figure.
While western Europe was being reshaped by feudal bonds and
unified under the Latin Church, and eastern Europe under the
Byzantine Empire, and Islam was creating a common civilisation
further west, Italy was weak and fragmented. However, it was these
very developments that helped in the revival of Italian culture.
With the expansion of trade between the Byzantine Empire and the
Islamic countries, the ports on the Italian coast revived. From the
twelfth century, as the Mongols opened up trade with China via the
Silk Route (see Theme 5) and as trade with western European countries
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
MAP 1: The Italian
States
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


152  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
THEME
7
Changing Cultural
Traditions
FROM the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century,
towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct
‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think
of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns –
particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of
art and learning. Artists and writers were patronised by the
rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same
time made books and prints available to many people,
including those living in distant towns or countries. A sense
of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted
their ‘modern’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and
Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each
individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-
centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to
understand the solar system, and new geographical
knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the
Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
(see Theme 8)
There is a vast amount of material on European history from
the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings,
sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been
carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums
in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century, historians used the term
‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural
changes of this period. The historian who emphasised these
most was a Swiss scholar – Jacob Burckhardt (1818–97) of
the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of
the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).
Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the
historian was to write about states and politics using papers
and files of government departments. Burckhardt was
dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had
set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-
all in history writing. History was as much concerned with
culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the
Renaissance in Italy, in which he called his readers’ attention
to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how
a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from
© NCERT
not to be republished
  153
the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. This culture, he
wrote, was characterised by a new belief – that man, as an
individual, was capable of making his own decisions and
developing his skills. He was ‘modern’, in contrast to
‘medieval’ man whose thinking had been controlled by the
church.
The Revival of Italian Cities
After the fall of the western Roman Empire, many of the towns that
had been political and cultural centres in Italy fell into ruin. There was
no unified government, and the Pope in Rome, who was sovereign in
his own state, was not a strong political figure.
While western Europe was being reshaped by feudal bonds and
unified under the Latin Church, and eastern Europe under the
Byzantine Empire, and Islam was creating a common civilisation
further west, Italy was weak and fragmented. However, it was these
very developments that helped in the revival of Italian culture.
With the expansion of trade between the Byzantine Empire and the
Islamic countries, the ports on the Italian coast revived. From the
twelfth century, as the Mongols opened up trade with China via the
Silk Route (see Theme 5) and as trade with western European countries
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
MAP 1: The Italian
States
© NCERT
not to be republished
154  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
also increased, Italian towns played a central role. They no longer saw
themselves as part of a powerful empire, but as independent city-
states. Two of these – Florence and Venice – were republics, and many
others were court-cities, ruled by princes.
One of the most vibrant cities was Venice, another was Genoa. They
were different from other parts of Europe – the clergy were not politically
dominant here, nor were there powerful feudal lords. Rich merchants
and bankers actively participated in governing the city, and this helped
the idea of citizenship to strike root. Even when these towns were
ruled by military despots, the pride felt by the townspeople in being
citizens did not weaken.
The City-State
Cardinal Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) writes about the democratic government
of his city-state in The Commonwealth and Government of Venice (1534).
‘…to come to the institution of our V enetian commonwealth, the whole authority
of the city…is in that council, into which all the gentlemen of the City being once
past the age of 25 years are admitted...
Now first I am to yield you a reckoning how and with what wisdom it was
ordained by our ancestors, that the common people should not be admitted into
this company of citizens, in whose
authority [lies] the whole power of
the commonwealth... Because many
troubles and popular tumults arise
in those cities, whose government is
swayed by the common people…
many were of contrary opinion,
deeming that it would do well, if
this manner of governing the
commonwealth should rather be
defined by ability and abundance
of riches. Contrariwise the honest
citizens, and those that are liberally
brought up, oftentimes fall to
poverty...  Therefore our wise and
prudent ancestors... ordered that this
definition of the public rule should
go rather by the nobility of lineage,
than by the estimation of wealth: yet with that temperature [proviso], that men of
chief and supreme nobility should not have this rule alone (for that would rather
have been the power of a few than a commonwealth) but also every other citizen
whosoever not ignobly born: so that all which were noble by birth, or ennobled
by virtue, did...obtain this right of government.’
G. Bellini’s ‘The Recovery of the Relic of the Holy
Cross’ was painted in 1500, to recall an event of
1370, and is set in fifteenth-century Venice.
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


152  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
THEME
7
Changing Cultural
Traditions
FROM the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century,
towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct
‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think
of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns –
particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of
art and learning. Artists and writers were patronised by the
rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same
time made books and prints available to many people,
including those living in distant towns or countries. A sense
of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted
their ‘modern’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and
Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each
individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-
centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to
understand the solar system, and new geographical
knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the
Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
(see Theme 8)
There is a vast amount of material on European history from
the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings,
sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been
carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums
in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century, historians used the term
‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural
changes of this period. The historian who emphasised these
most was a Swiss scholar – Jacob Burckhardt (1818–97) of
the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of
the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).
Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the
historian was to write about states and politics using papers
and files of government departments. Burckhardt was
dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had
set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-
all in history writing. History was as much concerned with
culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the
Renaissance in Italy, in which he called his readers’ attention
to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how
a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from
© NCERT
not to be republished
  153
the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. This culture, he
wrote, was characterised by a new belief – that man, as an
individual, was capable of making his own decisions and
developing his skills. He was ‘modern’, in contrast to
‘medieval’ man whose thinking had been controlled by the
church.
The Revival of Italian Cities
After the fall of the western Roman Empire, many of the towns that
had been political and cultural centres in Italy fell into ruin. There was
no unified government, and the Pope in Rome, who was sovereign in
his own state, was not a strong political figure.
While western Europe was being reshaped by feudal bonds and
unified under the Latin Church, and eastern Europe under the
Byzantine Empire, and Islam was creating a common civilisation
further west, Italy was weak and fragmented. However, it was these
very developments that helped in the revival of Italian culture.
With the expansion of trade between the Byzantine Empire and the
Islamic countries, the ports on the Italian coast revived. From the
twelfth century, as the Mongols opened up trade with China via the
Silk Route (see Theme 5) and as trade with western European countries
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
MAP 1: The Italian
States
© NCERT
not to be republished
154  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
also increased, Italian towns played a central role. They no longer saw
themselves as part of a powerful empire, but as independent city-
states. Two of these – Florence and Venice – were republics, and many
others were court-cities, ruled by princes.
One of the most vibrant cities was Venice, another was Genoa. They
were different from other parts of Europe – the clergy were not politically
dominant here, nor were there powerful feudal lords. Rich merchants
and bankers actively participated in governing the city, and this helped
the idea of citizenship to strike root. Even when these towns were
ruled by military despots, the pride felt by the townspeople in being
citizens did not weaken.
The City-State
Cardinal Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) writes about the democratic government
of his city-state in The Commonwealth and Government of Venice (1534).
‘…to come to the institution of our V enetian commonwealth, the whole authority
of the city…is in that council, into which all the gentlemen of the City being once
past the age of 25 years are admitted...
Now first I am to yield you a reckoning how and with what wisdom it was
ordained by our ancestors, that the common people should not be admitted into
this company of citizens, in whose
authority [lies] the whole power of
the commonwealth... Because many
troubles and popular tumults arise
in those cities, whose government is
swayed by the common people…
many were of contrary opinion,
deeming that it would do well, if
this manner of governing the
commonwealth should rather be
defined by ability and abundance
of riches. Contrariwise the honest
citizens, and those that are liberally
brought up, oftentimes fall to
poverty...  Therefore our wise and
prudent ancestors... ordered that this
definition of the public rule should
go rather by the nobility of lineage,
than by the estimation of wealth: yet with that temperature [proviso], that men of
chief and supreme nobility should not have this rule alone (for that would rather
have been the power of a few than a commonwealth) but also every other citizen
whosoever not ignobly born: so that all which were noble by birth, or ennobled
by virtue, did...obtain this right of government.’
G. Bellini’s ‘The Recovery of the Relic of the Holy
Cross’ was painted in 1500, to recall an event of
1370, and is set in fifteenth-century Venice.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  155
The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
1300 Humanism taught at Padua University in Italy
1341 Petrarch given title of ‘Poet Laureate’ in Rome
1349 University established in Florence
1390 Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales published
1436 Brunelleschi designs the Duomo in Florence
1453 Ottoman Turks defeat the Byzantine ruler of Constantinople
1454 Gutenberg prints the Bible with movable type
1484 Portuguese mathematicians calculate latitude by observing
the sun
1492 Columbus reaches America
1495 Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last Supper
1512 Michelangelo paints the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Universities and Humanism
The earliest universities in Europe had been set up in Italian towns. The
universities of Padua and Bologna had been centres of legal studies
from the eleventh century. Commerce being the chief activity in the city,
there was an increasing demand for lawyers and notaries (a combination
of solicitor and record-keeper) to write and interpret rules and written
agreements without which trade on a large scale was not possible. Law
was therefore a popular subject of study, but there was now a shift in
emphasis. It was studied in the context of earlier Roman culture.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-78) represented this change. To Petrarch,
antiquity was a distinctive civilisation which could be best understood
through the actual words of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He
therefore stressed the importance of a close reading of ancient authors.
This educational programme implied that there was much to be
learnt which religious teaching alone could not give. This was the
culture which historians in the nineteenth century were to label
‘humanism’. By the early fifteenth century, the term ‘humanist’
was used for masters who taught grammar, rhetoric, poetry,
history and moral philosophy. The Latin word humanitas,
from which ‘humanities’ was derived, had been used many
centuries ago by the Roman lawyer and essayist Cicero
(106-43 BCE), a contemporary of Julius Caesar, to mean culture.
These subjects were not drawn from or connected with religion,
and emphasised skills developed by individuals through discussion
and debate.
ACTIVITY 1
Locate Venice
on the map of
Italy, and look
carefully at the
painting on
p. 154. How
would you
describe the
city, and in what
ways was it
different from a
cathedral-town?
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


152  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
THEME
7
Changing Cultural
Traditions
FROM the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century,
towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct
‘urban culture’ also developed. Townspeople began to think
of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. Towns –
particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of
art and learning. Artists and writers were patronised by the
rich and the aristocratic. The invention of printing at the same
time made books and prints available to many people,
including those living in distant towns or countries. A sense
of history also developed in Europe, and people contrasted
their ‘modern’ world with the ‘ancient’ one of the Greeks and
Romans.
Religion came to be seen as something which each
individual should choose for himself. The church’s earth-
centric belief was overturned by scientists who began to
understand the solar system, and new geographical
knowledge overturned the Europe-centric view that the
Mediterranean Sea was the centre of the world.
(see Theme 8)
There is a vast amount of material on European history from
the fourteenth century – documents, printed books, paintings,
sculptures, buildings, textiles. Much of this has been
carefully preserved in archives, art galleries and museums
in Europe and America.
From the nineteenth century, historians used the term
‘Renaissance’ (literally, rebirth) to describe the cultural
changes of this period. The historian who emphasised these
most was a Swiss scholar – Jacob Burckhardt (1818–97) of
the University of Basle in Switzerland. He was a student of
the German historian Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886).
Ranke had taught him that the primary concern of the
historian was to write about states and politics using papers
and files of government departments. Burckhardt was
dissatisfied with these very limited goals that his master had
set out for him. To him politics was not the be-all and end-
all in history writing. History was as much concerned with
culture as with politics.
In 1860, he wrote a book called The Civilisation of the
Renaissance in Italy, in which he called his readers’ attention
to literature, architecture and painting to tell the story of how
a new ‘humanist’ culture had flowered in Italian towns from
© NCERT
not to be republished
  153
the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. This culture, he
wrote, was characterised by a new belief – that man, as an
individual, was capable of making his own decisions and
developing his skills. He was ‘modern’, in contrast to
‘medieval’ man whose thinking had been controlled by the
church.
The Revival of Italian Cities
After the fall of the western Roman Empire, many of the towns that
had been political and cultural centres in Italy fell into ruin. There was
no unified government, and the Pope in Rome, who was sovereign in
his own state, was not a strong political figure.
While western Europe was being reshaped by feudal bonds and
unified under the Latin Church, and eastern Europe under the
Byzantine Empire, and Islam was creating a common civilisation
further west, Italy was weak and fragmented. However, it was these
very developments that helped in the revival of Italian culture.
With the expansion of trade between the Byzantine Empire and the
Islamic countries, the ports on the Italian coast revived. From the
twelfth century, as the Mongols opened up trade with China via the
Silk Route (see Theme 5) and as trade with western European countries
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
MAP 1: The Italian
States
© NCERT
not to be republished
154  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
also increased, Italian towns played a central role. They no longer saw
themselves as part of a powerful empire, but as independent city-
states. Two of these – Florence and Venice – were republics, and many
others were court-cities, ruled by princes.
One of the most vibrant cities was Venice, another was Genoa. They
were different from other parts of Europe – the clergy were not politically
dominant here, nor were there powerful feudal lords. Rich merchants
and bankers actively participated in governing the city, and this helped
the idea of citizenship to strike root. Even when these towns were
ruled by military despots, the pride felt by the townspeople in being
citizens did not weaken.
The City-State
Cardinal Gasparo Contarini (1483-1542) writes about the democratic government
of his city-state in The Commonwealth and Government of Venice (1534).
‘…to come to the institution of our V enetian commonwealth, the whole authority
of the city…is in that council, into which all the gentlemen of the City being once
past the age of 25 years are admitted...
Now first I am to yield you a reckoning how and with what wisdom it was
ordained by our ancestors, that the common people should not be admitted into
this company of citizens, in whose
authority [lies] the whole power of
the commonwealth... Because many
troubles and popular tumults arise
in those cities, whose government is
swayed by the common people…
many were of contrary opinion,
deeming that it would do well, if
this manner of governing the
commonwealth should rather be
defined by ability and abundance
of riches. Contrariwise the honest
citizens, and those that are liberally
brought up, oftentimes fall to
poverty...  Therefore our wise and
prudent ancestors... ordered that this
definition of the public rule should
go rather by the nobility of lineage,
than by the estimation of wealth: yet with that temperature [proviso], that men of
chief and supreme nobility should not have this rule alone (for that would rather
have been the power of a few than a commonwealth) but also every other citizen
whosoever not ignobly born: so that all which were noble by birth, or ennobled
by virtue, did...obtain this right of government.’
G. Bellini’s ‘The Recovery of the Relic of the Holy
Cross’ was painted in 1500, to recall an event of
1370, and is set in fifteenth-century Venice.
© NCERT
not to be republished
  155
The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
1300 Humanism taught at Padua University in Italy
1341 Petrarch given title of ‘Poet Laureate’ in Rome
1349 University established in Florence
1390 Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales published
1436 Brunelleschi designs the Duomo in Florence
1453 Ottoman Turks defeat the Byzantine ruler of Constantinople
1454 Gutenberg prints the Bible with movable type
1484 Portuguese mathematicians calculate latitude by observing
the sun
1492 Columbus reaches America
1495 Leonardo da Vinci paints The Last Supper
1512 Michelangelo paints the Sistine Chapel ceiling
Universities and Humanism
The earliest universities in Europe had been set up in Italian towns. The
universities of Padua and Bologna had been centres of legal studies
from the eleventh century. Commerce being the chief activity in the city,
there was an increasing demand for lawyers and notaries (a combination
of solicitor and record-keeper) to write and interpret rules and written
agreements without which trade on a large scale was not possible. Law
was therefore a popular subject of study, but there was now a shift in
emphasis. It was studied in the context of earlier Roman culture.
Francesco Petrarch (1304-78) represented this change. To Petrarch,
antiquity was a distinctive civilisation which could be best understood
through the actual words of the ancient Greeks and Romans. He
therefore stressed the importance of a close reading of ancient authors.
This educational programme implied that there was much to be
learnt which religious teaching alone could not give. This was the
culture which historians in the nineteenth century were to label
‘humanism’. By the early fifteenth century, the term ‘humanist’
was used for masters who taught grammar, rhetoric, poetry,
history and moral philosophy. The Latin word humanitas,
from which ‘humanities’ was derived, had been used many
centuries ago by the Roman lawyer and essayist Cicero
(106-43 BCE), a contemporary of Julius Caesar, to mean culture.
These subjects were not drawn from or connected with religion,
and emphasised skills developed by individuals through discussion
and debate.
ACTIVITY 1
Locate Venice
on the map of
Italy, and look
carefully at the
painting on
p. 154. How
would you
describe the
city, and in what
ways was it
different from a
cathedral-town?
 CHANGING CULTURAL TRADITIONS
© NCERT
not to be republished
156  THEMES IN WORLD HISTORY
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), a humanist of Florence, wrote
on the importance of debate in On the Dignity of Man (1486).
‘For [Plato and Aristotle] it was certain that, for the attainment of
the knowledge of truth they were always seeking for themselves,
nothing is better than to attend as often as possible the exercise of
debate. For just as bodily energy is strengthened by gymnastic
exercise, so beyond doubt in this wrestling-place of letters, as it were,
energy of mind becomes far stronger and more vigorous.’
These revolutionary ideas attracted attention in many other
universities, particularly in the newly established university in Petrarch’s
own home-town of Florence. Till the end of the thirteenth century,
this city had not made a mark as a centre of trade or of learning, but
things changed dramatically in the fifteenth century. A city is known
by its great citizens as much as by its wealth, and Florence had come
to be known because of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), a layman who
wrote on religious themes, and Giotto (1267-1337), an artist who
painted lifelike portraits, very different from the stiff figures done by
earlier artists. From then it developed as the most exciting intellectual
city in Italy and as a centre of artistic creativity. The term ‘Renaissance
Man’ is often used to describe a person with many interests and skills,
because many of the individuals who became well known at this time
were people of many parts. They were scholar-diplomat-theologian-
artist combined in one.
The Humanist View of History
Humanists thought that they were restoring ‘true civilisation’ after
centuries of darkness, for they believed that a ‘dark age’ had set in
after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Following them, later scholars
unquestioningly assumed that a ‘new age’ had begun in Europe from
the fourteenth century. The term ‘Middle Ages’/‘medieval period’ was
Florence, a sketch
made in 1470.
Giotto’s painting of the
child Jesus, Assissi,
Italy.
© NCERT
not to be republished
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NCERT Textbook - Changing Cultural Traditions Humanities/Arts Notes | EduRev

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Objective type Questions

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ppt

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Viva Questions

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