Jacob Burckhardt was born in 1818 in Basel, Switzerland. He studied history at the University of Berlin and taught art history and the Italian Renaissance in Berlin and Basel. His essay, as he called The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, was first published in 1860. Rich in its detailed account of the arts, fashions, manners, and thought of one of the most innovative eras in human history, this brilliant panorama of Renaissance life is also a thorough examination of the nature of civilization and of our place within it. Burckhardt's encyclopedic knowledge, his mastery of style, and his genius for synthesis make this one of the few classics of history and the prototype for cultural history. Burckhardt's The Age of Constantine the Great and Cicerone were published in his lifetime, and The History of Greek Civilization and Reflections on World History after his death in 1897.
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|Title of eBook: The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy|
|Release Date: 11-01-2000|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
This work bears the title of an essay in the strictest sense of the word. No one is more conscious than the writer with what limited means and strength he has addressed himself to a task so arduous. And even if he could look with greater confidence upon his own researches, he would hardly thereby feel more assured of the approval of competent judges. To each eye, perhaps, the outlines of a given civilization present a different picture; and in treating of a civilization which is the mother of our own, and whose influence is still at work among us, it is unavoidable that individual judgement and feeling should tell every moment both on the writer and on the reader. In the wide ocean upon which we venture, the possible ways and directions are many; and the same studies which have served for this work might easily, in other hands, not only receive a wholly different treatment and application, but lead also to essentially different conclusions. Such indeed is the importance of the subject that it still calls for fresh investigation, and may be studied with advantage from the most varied points of view. Meanwhile we are content if a patient hearing is granted us, and if this book be taken and judged as a whole. It is the most serious difficulty of the history of civilization that a great intellectual process must be broken up into single, and often into what seem arbitrary categories, in order to be in any way intelligible. It was formerly our intention to fill up the gaps in this book by a special work on the “Art of the Renaissance”—an intention, however, which we have been able to fulfill only in part.1
*1. Burckhardt’s History of Architecture and Decoration of the Italian ...