The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
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The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is a work by Jacob Burckhardt now brought to you in this new edition of the timeless classic.
merit. The keenest shafts of his ridicule are directed against much of what vulgar prejudice thinks indispensable to an aristocratic life. A man is all the farther removed from true nobility, the longer his forefathers have plied the trade of brigands. The taste for hawking and hunting savours no more of nobility than the nests and lairs of the hunted creatures of spikenard. The cultivation of the soil, as practised by the ancients, would be much nobler than this senseless wandering through the
which all the talami of Bernardino da Siena and others were certainly of small account. All this could not, however, be effected without the agency of a tyrannical police. He did not shrink from the most vexatious interferences with the much-prized freedom of Italian private life, using the espionage of servants on their masters as a means of carrying out his moral reforms. That transformation of public and private life which the iron Calvin was but just able to effect at Geneva, with the aid of
331 Polenta, Guido da 174 Polifilo (i.e. Franciscus Columna) 129 Politics (Aristotle) 150, 163, 232 Poliziano, Angelo (Politan) 52, 109, 153, 166, 226, 228–9, 245, 330 Polo, Marco 185 Polybius 130 Pomponazzo 347 Pontano 144 Pontanus, Jovianus (Gioviano Pontano) 52, 100, 113, 178, 184, 221, 227, 286, 321, 322, 328–9, 330, 333–4, 348 Ponte alla Carraia, Florence 257 Ponte Vecchio, Florence 340 Porcari, Stefano 82, 83, 110 Porcellius (i.e. Giovanni Pandoni) 156 Pordenone academy 184
acquainted with the ideas of Hegel and Schopenhauer as well as with those of the young Nietzsche, with whom he used to go for walks discussing ideas. Although he was sceptical of the claims made for grand philosophical systems, his vision of the past was not completely free of philosophical presuppositions, as we shall see. In any case, Burckhardt’s position was as far from positivism as it was from Hegel. Where the positivists saw history as a science, and historians as collecting ‘facts’ from
all Italy against the victorious city seemed to be concentrated in the mind of the pope, and to have blinded him to the evils of foreign intervention; and as to the policy of Cardinal d’Amboise and his king, Venice ought long before to have recognized it as a piece of malicious imbecility, and to have been thoroughly on its guard. The other members of the League took part in it from that envy which may be a salutary corrective to great wealth and power, but which in itself is a beggarly