This book brings together a bold revision of the traditional view of the Renaissance with a new comparative synthesis of global empires in early modern Europe. It examines the rise of a virulent form of Renaissance scholarship, art, and architecture that had as its aim the revival of the cultural and political grandeur of the Roman Empire in Western Europe. Imperial humanism, a distinct form of humanism, emerged in the earliest stages of the Italian Renaissance as figures such as Petrarch, Guarino, and Biondo sought to revive and advance the example of the Caesars and their empire. Originating in the courts of Ferrara, Mantua, and Rome, this movement also revived ancient imperial iconography in painting and sculpture, as well as Vitruvian architecture. While the Italian princes never realized their dream of political power equal to the ancient emperors, the Imperial Renaissance they set in motion reached its full realization in the global empires of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain, France, and Great Britain.Read more
- Points to future of Renaissance studies in the next generation
- Establishes early modern foundations of modern empire for the first time
- Rare geographical and thematic range in an original and path-breaking historical essay
Reviews & endorsements
'The author draws on a wide range of both visual and written sources to create an accessible, compelling synthesis of political culture across early modern Europe. The chapters on the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and France are the book's strongest, while the inclusion throughout the book of overseas empires and architecture into a European political narrative is particularly noteworthy. Summing up: recommended.' B. J. Maxson, ChoiceSee more reviews
'Ultimately, the book should be obligatory reading for anyone interested in imperial history, early modern art and architectural history, and the history of the Renaissance.' The American Historical Review
'He offers valuable insights into how Renaissance writers, ranging from Petrarch to Thomas Hobbes, confronted the legacy of the Roman Empire and turned ancient history into a usable past.' Michael J. Levin, The Journal of Modern History
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- Date Published: June 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9780521747325
- length: 311 pages
- dimensions: 228 x 151 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- contains: 17 b/w illus. 5 maps
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. The rebirth of the Caesars
2. The hybrid empire of Charles V, 1517–56
3. The Spanish empire, apex of the Imperial Renaissance
4. The Renaissance of empire in France
5. Britain as Late Renaissance empire.
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