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Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Out of the Ashes: The Rise of the Communes and Florence
  • Chapter 2: The Crises of the Fourteenth Century: Climatic, Epidemic, Demographic
  • Chapter 3: Back to the Future: Italian Humanists
  • Chapter 4: Caput Mundi Again? Rome from Cola di Rienzo to Pius II
  • Chapter 5: Hearth and Home: Lay Piety, Women, and the Family
  • Chapter 6: Lords of the Renaissance: The Medici, Visconti, and Sforza Dynasties
  • Chapter 7: The Mezzogiorno: The "Other Renaissance" in Naples and Sicily
  • Chapter 8: La Serenissima:When Venice Ruled the Seas
  • Chapter 9: Magnificent Florence: Life under Lorenzo De' Medici, 1469-1492
  • Chapter 10: 1494: The Beginning of the Calamities of Italy
  • Chapter 11: Paradoxes of the High Renaissance: Art in a time of Turmoil
  • Chapter 12: The 1527 Sack of Rome and its Aftermath: Courtiers and Courtesans in High Renaissance Literature
  • Chapter 13: Reformations: Political, Religious, and Artistic Upheaval
  • Chapter 14: The "Imperial Renaissance": Italy during the Spanish Peace
  • Chapter 15: Celestial Revolutions: Heaven and Earth Collide at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century

About the Author

Lisa Kaborycha has a Ph.D. in Medieval and Early Modern History and an M.A. in Italian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where for years she taught undergraduate courses in Renaissance Italian History and Culture. A former recipient of the Fulbright Award and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the Medici Archive Project, Dr. Kaborycha currently resides in Florence, Italy, where she is a Research Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.


Dr. Kaborycha's A Short History of Renaissance Italy is based on a thorough knowledgeof current literature. She is aware of the controversies among scholars over the interpretationof this epoch. She analyzes the tension between continuity and change inthese centuries, from the ravages of the Black Death in the 1340s, to the revival in thefifteenth century, and the dramatic consequences of the foreign invasions after 1494.A notable quality of this work is the author's integration of every significant feature ofthis era, from climate and geography to politics, the economy, and religion and culture.Her choice of literary and artistic sources, from Homer and Cicero to Dante andMichelangelo, is always pertinent and instructive. She begins each chapter by settingthe scene with apt quotations or illustrations to establish the context of her analysis.Her writing style is lucid and often eloquent, and she takes care to explain unfamiliarconcepts and themes. Her suggestions for further reading are well chosen. This bookis an exemplary narrative and analysis of a major chapter in the history of Westerncivilization. Gene A. BruckerShepard Professor of History, EmeritusUniversity of California, Berkeley

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