History 3360 —  Fall 2008
G. Shanafelt



Jonathan W. Zophy, A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe, 3rd ed.
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
Ross King, Brunelleschi’s Dome
James M. Kettelson, Luther the Reformer
Garrett Mattingly, The Armada

Selections from Horizon magazine, available during the semester from the library’s
electronic reserve services:
   Thomas Aquinas, Selection from On the Governance of Rulers.
   James Morris, “The Most Triumphant City.”
   Garrett Mattingly, “Navigator to the Modern Age.”
   H.R. Trevor-Roper, “The King’s Prayer Factory.”
   C.V. Wedgwood, “The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic.”
   Marie Boas Hall, “The Copernican Revolution.”

The Course

The two terms “Renaissance” and “Reformation” togther describe one of the most dynamic periods in European history, perhaps even in world history. In a relatively short span of time, Europe experienced massive changes in all aspects of its life, and went from being a relative backwater in the civilized world to being one of its leading centers of power. Just how much was happening on how many planes becomes obvious from reference to a few dates: in 1512, Michelangelo completed the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; in 1517, Luther issued his 95 Theses in Wittenberg; in 1519, Cortés landed in Mexico and began the conquest of the Aztec Empire. The start of the “modern” history of Western civilization is usually placed in this era. This course seeks to enable students to

1. Explain in what ways the Renaissance was a “rebirth” of culture different from that of the Middle Ages, and in what ways a continuation of it;
2. Explain the nature of humanism and secularism as developed in the Renaissance and displayed in its art and literature;
3. Explain the origins of the Protestant Reformation and the basic differences between the Protestant and Roman Catholic versions of Christianity;
4. Explain the post-Columbian opening of the Atlantic to European penetration and its consequences on the political and economic development of northern and southern Europe;
5. Explain the origins of absolutism and constitutionalism in the political conflicts of the early 17th century.

This course will seek to look at the major trends and figures of Europe during the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation, to determine what these two movements were and how they changed the face of Europe and, ultimately, the world. There will be three non-comprehensive tests and a 6-8 page typed, double-spaced paper comparing the political ideas of Aquinas and Machiavelli. If the professor believes students are not preparing adequately for class, he reserves the right to give unscheduled quizzes (which will be announced one class meeting in advance). The three tests and the paper will be weighted equally in determining the final grade for the course, with discussion participation and any quiz grades deciding borderline cases.

Reading and Discussion Schedule

Aug 26
Aug 28

The Legacy of the Middle Ages
Politics and Society in Italy

Zophy, 1-33, 40-47

Sept 2
Sept 4

Power Centers: Florence
Power Centers: Venice and Rome

Zophy, 48-70
Aquinas selection
Machiavelli, all
Morris article

Sept 9
Sept 11

Art and Culture — I

Zophy, 71-86
Begin King

Sept 16
Sept 18

Art and Culture — II
Outside Italy: The North

Zophy, 87-129
Finish King

Sept 23
Sept 25

Outside Italy: Europe Overseas

Zophy, 129-140
Mattingly article

Sept 30
Oct 2

The Northern Renaissance and the Catholic Church
Luther and Wittenberg

Zophy, 33-39, 141-180
Kittelson, 29-114

Oct 7



Oct 7
Oct 9

Luther’s Church
The Anabaptists

Zophy, 181-213
Kittelson, 115-251

Oct 14
Oct 16

Calvinism and Capitalism
The English Reformation

Zophy, 214-242

Oct 21
Oct 23

The Virgin Queen
The Catholics Regroup

Zophy, 243-268

Oct 28
Oct 30

The World of the Habsburgs

Trevor-Roper article

Nov 4
Nov 6

The Revolt of the Netherlands
France: Catholics vs. Huguenots

Zophy, 269-284
Mattingly, 1-128

Nov 11
Nov 13

The Armada — I
The Armada — II

Zophy, 284-286
Mattingly, 129-341, 397-402

Nov 18
Nov 20

Germany: The Thirty Years’ War
The Decline of Mediterranean Europe

Zophy, 286-294
Mattingly, 342-402

Nov 25
Nov 27

Absolutism and Constitutionalism
[Thanksgiving Vacation]

Zophy, 312-318
Wedgwood article

Dec 2
Dec 4

Witches and Scientists

Zophy, 295-312
Hall article

Dec 9

THIRD TEST (10:30-12:30)