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By Guido Ruggiero

This quantity brings jointly essentially the most interesting renaissance students to indicate new methods of considering the interval and to set a brand new sequence of agendas for Renaissance scholarship.

• Overturns the concept that it used to be a interval of ecu cultural triumph and highlights the unfavorable in addition to the confident.

• seems to be on the Renaissance from an international, instead of simply eu, standpoint.

• perspectives the Renaissance from views except simply the cultural elite.

• Gender, intercourse, violence, and cultural heritage are built-in into the analysis.

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Jones, Philip, Tbe Italian City-state (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997). Kent, F. W. , PatTonaHe, A T t and Society in Renaissance Italy (New Yorlz: Oxford University Press, 1987). Trinlzaus, Charles, In OUTImaHe and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist ThouHht,2 vols. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970). Von Pastor, Ludwig, HistoTy of the Popes, 16 vols. (London and St. Louis: Herder, 1898-1953). A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance Edited by Guido Ruggiero Copyright © 2002, 2007 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd CHAPTER Two The European Renaissance RANDOLPH STARN How is it possible to think about the European Renaissance at the turn of this new century and millennium?

It did contribute to the promotion of secular concerns and values, by making available a large body of classical writing devoted to men living in the world, to their political, social, economic, and moral problems. The Renaissance produced political thinkers such as Machiavelli and historians such as Guicciardini, whose secular orientation was strongly influenced by their reading of classical authors. The discovery of ancient scientific texts, either lost or known only in fragments, by Euclid, Archimedes, Galen, Pliny, and Ptolemy contributed to the investigations and speculations that led ultim- THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE 31 ately to the revolutionary works of Copernicus, Vesalius, and Galileo.

At one time or another it has served as a selfpromoting professional gambit for backward-looking humanists, a shifty marker for the beginning of modern times, a trophy in triumphalist scenarios of Western Civilization. These days the idea of the Renaissance easily falls subject to the criticism that such ideas suppress the diversity of real historical experience and that modernity in any case means breaking with the past, not bringing it back. Meanwhile, “European” has come into terminological troubles of its own with the slippage of boundaries eastward since the end of the Cold War, the surfacing of regional and ethnic differences, and the blurring economic and cultural effects of globalization.

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