The Routledge History of the Renaissance: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge History of the Renaissance

1st Edition

Edited by William Caferro


414 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-03-30
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Drawing together the latest research in the field, The Routledge History of the Renaissance treats the Renaissance not as a static concept, but as one of ongoing change within an international framework. It takes as its unifying theme the idea of exchange and interchange through the movement of goods, ideas, disease and people, across social, religious, political and physical boundaries.

Covering a broad range of temporal periods and geographic regions, the chapters discuss topics such as the material cultures of Renaissance societies; the increased popularity of shopping as a pastime in fourteenth-century Italy; military entrepreneurs and their networks across Europe; the emergence and development of the Ottoman empire from the early fourteenth to the late sixteenth century; and women and humanism in Renaissance Europe. The volume is interdisciplinary in nature, combining historical methodology with techniques from the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology and literary criticism. It allows for juxtapositions of approaches that are usually segregated into traditional subfields, such as intellectual, political, gender, military and economic history.

Capturing dynamic new approaches to the study of this fascinating period and illustrated throughout with images, figures and tables, this comprehensive volume is a valuable resource for all students and scholars of the Renaissance.


"William Caferro has assembled an excellent field of scholars representing a wide variety of disciplines and perspectives in the The Routledge History of the Renaissance. Focusing on the disciplinary origins of Renaissance practices, encounters and transformations, social histories of various stripes, and the articulation of power, the volume is at once a summing up of some of the best recent work in the field and a stimulus to further thinking and scholarship. It should be an essential tool for anyone working or teaching in the field of Renaissance and early modern culture broadly conceived."

Christopher S. Celenza, Johns Hopkins University, USA

"This imaginatively structured book is a work of outstanding originality. Scholars of all generations have contributed to a compendium which ranges across disciplines and approaches – an exemplary kaleidoscope of current scholarship. From novices to veterans, all students of the Renaissance who read this marvellous work will emerge with their horizons broadened and their understanding deepened."

Peter Denley, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

"This mosaic of essays uncovers the diversity of issues, cultures, polities, and economies that continue to make the study of the Renaissance a fascinating and contentious category in early modern studies. Scholars and newcomers to the field will discover excursions that guide them to new vantage points on the Renaissance in a global context."

Caroline Castiglione, Brown University, USA

Table of Contents

List of illustrations

List of figures

List of tables

List of contributors

Introduction: The Renaissance Question

William Caferro

Part I: Disciplines and Boundaries

1 - The ‘Economic’ Thought of the Renaissance

Germano Maifredi

2 - A Makeshift Renaissance: North India in the "Long" Fifteenth Century

Samira Sheikh (Vanderbilt University)

3 - By Imitating Our Nurses:’ Latin and Vernacular in the Renaissance

Eugenio Refini

4 - Individualism and the Separation of Fields of Study

William Caferro

5 - Riddles of Renaissance Philosophy and Humanism

Timothy Kircher

Part II: Encounters and Transformations

6 - Raw Materials and Object Lessons

Timothy McCall and Sean Roberts

7 - Imagination and the Remains of Roman Antiquity

Will Stenhouse

8 - Sporus in the Renaissance, or The Eunuch as Straight Man

Katherine Crawford

9 - Heritable Identity Markers, Nations and Physiognomy

Carina Johnson

10 - Biondo Flavio on Ethiopia: Processes of Knowledge Production in the Renaissance

Samantha Kelly

11 - Traditions of Byzantine Astrolabes in Renaissance Europe

Darin Hayton

12 - Reading Machiavelli in Sixteenth Century Florence

Ann Moyer

Part III: Society and Environment

13 - Why Visit the Shops: Taking up Shopping as a Pastime

Susan Stuard

14 - Throwing Aristotle from the Train: Women and Humanism

Sarah Ross

15 - Mechanisms for Unity: Plagues and Saints

Samuel K. Cohn

16 - Dead(ly) Uncertainties: Plague and Ottoman Society

Nükhet Varlik

17 - Mapping Florence and Tuscany

Nicholas Eckstein

18 - Exercise and Leisure: Sport, and Games

Alessandro Arcangeli

19 - War, Entrepreneurship, and Politics

Suzanne Sutherland

Section IV: Power and Representation

20 - From Frontier Principality to Early Modern Empire: Capabilities and Limits of Ottoman Governance

Kaya Sahin

21 - Commerce and Credit in Renaissance Florence

Paul D. McLean and John F. Padgett

22 - Against the Fisc and Justice: State Formation, Market Development and Customs Fraud

Corey Tazzara

23 - Representations of the Florentine Republic at the Royal Court in the Kingdom of Hungary

Katalin Prajda

24 - From the Palazzo to the Streets: Women’s Agency and Networks of Exchange

Megan Moran

Further reading


About the Editor

William Caferro is Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. His research has focused primarily on economy and violence in medieval and Renaissance Italy, and most recently on Dante and Empire. His latest book, Contesting The Renaissance (2011), traces the meaning and use of the term "Renaissance" in the major debates of the historiography. He is recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2010) and is foreign fellow of the Deputazione di Storia Patria di Toscana and l'Associazione di Studi Storici Elio Conti.

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Europe / Italy
HISTORY / Medieval
HISTORY / Modern / 16th Century