Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
The Age of the European Renaissance
History 326, Fall 2010







Prof. Maryanne Horowitz
Class Meets: Tues, Thurs 10:00 -11:25 a.m.   Location: Johnson 205
Office: N. Swan C2 (trailer) 323-259-2583 (likely to answer phone before 8:30 class T, Th. For messages, best to leave message on email)

Fall 2010 Office phone rings at  N. Swan C 2 (trailer). From Nov. office hours will be there.
 Tues and Thurs 12:00-1:25 and by appointment other times. On following dates of dept. or faculty meetings, office hours will take place instead  at 1:30-3:00 p.m.: Thurs. Sept. 23, Tues. Oct. 5, Tues. Nov. 9, Thurs. Nov. 11, Dec. 7.  In place of office hour Thur. Nov.18, office hour on Nov. 16 will go from 11:30-2:30 pm.  For advising, office hours also 7:30-8:15 a.m. Nov. 2, 4, 9, 11. Please let me know you're there even if I'm talking with someone.

Horowitz Homepage    Use updated syllabus on-line: From homepage, go to courses, then hist. 326.

Campus mail to Horowitz mailbox, 
Hist. Dept., S. Swan 



To gain in-depth knowledge of the European Renaissance and its influence

To understand the methodologies underlying the transformation of historical interpretation.

To improve critical thinking, writing, and oral skills.

To write a research paper which analyzes primary sources and considers rival historical interpretations.


Books in Bookstore:

Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance, Norton pb. (Jardine)

Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Early Modern Europe, 1450-1789, Cambridge (Early Modern)

Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly and other Writings, Norton pb. (Erasmus)

Frederic White, ed., Famous Utopias, Hendricks House pb. (Famous Utopias)

Machiavelli,  The Prince with Related Document, ed. Connell, Bedford pb. (Machiavelli)

M. Westermann, A Worldly Art: The Dutch Republic 1585-1718, Yale pb. (Westermann)

Go directly to Moodle of course for Reserve List. Books one retrieve at reserve  at Circulation desk front of   library.  Electronic Reserves class members may print anytime.  Some items required on syllabus, others recommended.


Grade 20% each, Attendance and Participation including short written assignments and presentation  ( Essay Exam 1, Essay Exam 2, Research Paper, Final Take-home Exam).  Important Dates in Bold in syllabus.

Textbooks:  Jardine's is a popular book as well as textbook from which we are to seek the main point of each chapter with some of her evidence. Merry-Wiesner’s called “Early Modern” in syllabus is the newest textbook with excellent surveying of recent interpretations: find chapter that interests you the most and follow her leads to books to explore for research paper.

Best Sellers of the Renaissance (primary sources), particularly satires, utopias, and political advice. Authors are Erasmus, Machiavelli, Rabelais, Montaigne, Shakespeare, Campanella, and Bacon. In class discussion, we'll have opportunities to consider multiple ways of interpreting the works, and in examination we'll have a chance to compare utopian visions and to compare satiric techniques of ridiculing one's own society.

Paper Assignment: 10-page research paper plus endnotes & bibliography on a Renaissance topic of student's choice. Topic may draw directly on class books, or may connect student interests to phenomena in the Age of the Renaissance defined broadly. There will be individual guidance from faculty member at office hours. 10 pages of 12 point typed text plus endnotes and bibliography in University of Chicago style. Divide bibliography into Primary Sources and Secondary Sources (including some scholarly articles). Two copies of paper are to be passed in on due date. See Bold intermediate Due Dates as well.   or

Participation: Bring appropriate book and your reading notes on day indicating discussion.

Document Analysis Form

 If you have specific physical or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met.  “Students with documented disabilities who are registered with Disability Services are required to present their accommodation verification card to the instructor at the beginning of each semester or as soon as possible thereafter. Students who experience significant physical or mental impairments can contact Disability Services at (323) 259-2969 to learn about available services and support.”


In papers, include citations to student comments in class (name, date), documents and interpretations within class readings, library books, footnoted articles in journals or in on-line journals as in Wilson Select under First Search at the  Occidental College Library Homepage.

For example, use resources in my Renaissance Sites.
Students are encouraged to share information on sources by URL or by giving author, article title, journal title, volume (year), pages (indicate if in library or how available on-line by a specific search engine)

  #Top of page 


READINGS BY WEEK for Tuesday unless listed under Thurs.    I. EUROPEAN RENAISSANCE  starting from 1450

1) Thurs. Sept. 2  Discussion of Student Interests (some adjustment of syllabus possible to accomodate interests)  Lecture Topic: 1450 as Turning Point. The Turks Conquering Constantinople, the Invention of the  Printing Press, & The Spread of the Renaissance Northward.

2) Tues. Sept. 7 Jardine, Prologue and ch. 1 “Conditions for Change: Goods in Profusion.”  Read Early Modern, Preface, Introduction, starting at p. 5-13, and Ch. 1 “Europe in the World of 1450, omitting p. 19, reading pp. 14-43.  Bring both books to discuss main points and visuals as primary sources.

Lecture: Changing Interpretations of The Renaissance as a Historical Period   (read now Early Modern, pp. 1-5)         No class Sept. 9.

3) Tues. Sept. 14 Read Jardine, chs. 2  “The Price of Magnificence” & 3 “The Triumph of the Book”. Early Modern, ch. 2 “Individuals in Society,” pp. 44-77. In Famous Utopias, read Rabelais, “Abbey of Theleme” Plantin Press Museum, Antwerp   Sixteenth Century Books at Occidental College, Special Collections:,1,0,47/mode=0   Lecture:  The Impact of the Printing Press and Growth of Libraries. (review Early Modern, pp. 6-11, 13)

Thurs., Sept. 16 Start Early Modern, ch. 3, “Politics and Power” Classroom analysis of Peter Bruegel the Elder, The Netherlandish Proverbs, 1559  Bring Early Modern to discuss stages of life for diverse ranks of people in the Renaissance.  Lecture: Introduction to Machiavelli as a Florentine (Machiavelli in Early Modern pp. 79-80, 125-6,134)

4) Tues. Sept. 21.Read in Machiavelli, Introduction by William Connell, Chronology pp. 191-93 and The Prince, pp.  39-86.  Complete reading of Early Modern, ch. 3 “Politics and Power” and read in ch. 4, pp. 124-132 on political theory.  

MEET IN SPECIAL COLLECTIONS, top floor of library, for hands-on workshop with 16th and 17th century books, including map collections. Meet Special Collections Librarian Dale Stieber.

Thurs. Sept. 23 At class, pass in a sheet with one to three paper topics which interest you.  For each, list at least 1 primary source and at least 2 secondary sources. Plan an office appointment before or after to discuss research strategy and development of your interpretation.

Lecture: Machiavelli and Machiavellianism.  Bring Machiavelli for discussion.

 Handout for analyzing Praise of Folly

5)Tues. Sept. 28  Read Machiavelli, pp. 87-124 and individual assignment for analysis in class from Related Documents.  Bring Machiavelli for discussion.

Thurs. Sept. 30 Jardine ch. 4, "Learning to be Civilized." Complete reading of Early Modern, ch. 4 “Cultural and Intellectual Life” In Erasmus, read Preface dedicated to More, on pp.3-5 of Praise of Folly.    Bring Erasmus Praise of Folly and Other Writings (abbreviation Erasmus) Student Presentations from Erasmus "Abbot and the Learned Lady,"  pp. 222-227 and "The Alchemy Scam", pp. 175-180. Discuss "Julius Excluded from Heaven," on Pope Julius II, pp. 142-173. 

 Recommended on reserve Kathleen Williams, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretation of The Praise of Folly, but excerpts of viewpoints of Trevor-Roper, Allen, Huizinga, Bakhtin, Kristeller and Adams in our Erasmus, pp. 265-338.   Lecture: Renaissance Humanism and Erasmus as Greatest Northern Humanist

Handout for review for exam specifying some documents in Connell to include in your reading (earliest readers and Riccardi, Pole, Gentillet, Marlowe, Frederich the Great, Mussolini), and emphasizing in Machiavelli, chs. 15-19, and pp.61-62, 66-68,143-145.168-169.

6) Tues. Oct. 5  Read Jardine, ch. 5, "New Expertise for Sale," read Erasmus pp. 6-40, writing up and emailing analysis of your assigned section by Mon. Oct. 4 noon.    Bring Erasmus to class for close reading and analysis. Review of Wiesner-Hanks and Jardine.

Thurs. Oct. 7 Essay Exam 1 through week 5.

 7) Tues. Oct. 12 Read Jardine, ch. 6, "A Culture of Commodities"  Read Erasmus pp. 41-88, writing up and emailing your analysis of your assigned section by Mon. Oct. 11 noon.

Oct. 12 Pass in Full Bibliography of Paper (a few primary sources and many books and scholarly articles) and a Paragraph Abstract of your Thesis. FILM on artist Vermeer:  Girl with a Pearl Earring

Thurs. Oct. 14 End of Girl with a Pearl Earring; discussion. Student presentations of analysis of Erasmus, Praise of Folly. Consideration of alternative interpretations. Time of office hours today: Thurs. Oct. 14, 2:15-3:45 pm. Hoping each student in this class will have met with me this week for 20 minutes.


Read Early Modern, ch. 5 “Religious Reform and Consolidation, 1450-1600” Electronic Reserve from Sharing the Stage: "Martin Luther and Katharina von Bora" on The Protestant Reformation in Germany; focus on primary sources. 

Thurs. Oct. 21 Lecture Renaissance and Reformation in 16th Century Northern European Art ## (For reference to images, see on Reserve Janson's History of Art, ch. 18)

9)Tues. Read Early Modern, ch. 6 “Economics and Technology” Read Westermann, Introduction and ch. 1 “Making and Marketing Pictures in the Dutch Republic”.Oct. 26 Lecture:  Luther vs. Montaigne: Two Sixteenth Century Mentalities

Bring Westermann on  Thursdays.

Thurs. Oct. 28 Lecture:  The Baroque in Netherlands ## (For reference to images, see Janson's, ch.  20).

10) Tues. Nov. 2 Read Early Modern, ch. 7 “Europe in the World” Read Westermann, ch. 2 “Texts and Images” Read Montaigne "On Cannibals" and Shakespeare “Gonzalo’s Speech” in Famous Utopias. Read Jardine, ch. 7, "Mapping the Heavens" Background to Campanella. Again Pass in Full Bibliography of Paper (a few primary sources and many books and scholarly articles) and a Paragraph Abstract of your Thesis. Fine to make improvements. Right time to actually have the link plus, ILL, and other sources as your oral presentation is in 2 weeks.

Thurs. Nov. 4  Discuss Westermann, ch. 2 Lecture: Simon Schama’s Interpretation of the Dutch in The Embarrassment of Riches 

11) Tues. Nov. 9 Read Early Modern ch. 8 “Individuals in Society” and in ch. 11, “Religious Consolidation” only pp. 366-374 and 386-401.Read Jardine, ch. 7 “Mapping the Heavens.” Read Westermann, ch. 3”Virtual Realities” Read Campanella, City of The Sun in Famous Utopias, pp. 155-206.   Bring Campanella to class and analyze theme assigned to you on Nov. 4. Themes include: methods such as mode of  Dialogue form as well as astrology and astrological predictions at end of treatise; empiricism based on sense perception, as well as views on government (monarchy) and warfare and social structure; influence of Plato (community of goods and wives from Republic) and other influences of ancient philosophers; educational practices, especially use of visual aids, as well as geography of the city.

Thurs. Nov. 11 Discuss Westermann, ch. 3.  Read electronic reserve Sharing the Stage: on Ferdinand and Isabella "Catholic Monarchs in the Old and New Worlds"; focus on primary sources, especially your assigned sources. Bring printout to class to discuss Spanish politics. Bring Wiesner-Hanks to review for exam.

12) Tues. Nov. 16  Read Early Modern, ch. 9 pp. 284- only to p. 312. Read Westermann, ch. 4 “Dutch Ideologies and Nascent National Identity All Students give Oral Presentations on Research Papers  (with printed or projected outline)

Thurs. Nov. 18  Hour Exam 2, through week 11.  Praise of Folly and Northern Renaissance Art among important items.

1 45-minute essay question,  choice for 5 9-minute questions

13) Tues. Nov. 23   Read  Early Modern, ch. 10 “Cultural and Intellectual Life.” Read Westermann, ch. 5 “Portraiture and Identity of Self and Community” Read Jardine, ch. 8, "Conspicuous Consumption" and Bacon, New Atlantis in Famous Utopias, pp. 207-250.  Student abstracts emailed  on an interpretation of  Francis Bacon  Discussion of student abstracts and of New Atlantis. Compare to City of the Sun. The scientific revolution refined knowledge from the senses. What is the importance of sense perception in each work?

Lecture: Role of Imagination in Montaigne and Bacon.

Thanksgiving holiday

14) Tues Nov. 30 Read Westermann, ch. 6.   Read Early Modern, ch. 12 “Economics and Technology,” only pp. 403-405, 431-435 and begin Early Modern, ch. 13 “Europe in the World.”  This week, trip to Norton Simon Museum to see Renaissance art.   Lecture: Map-making in the Renaissance

Thurs. Dec. 2 Research Paper Due in 2 copies.   Bring Westermann to class to discuss Westermann’s and Schama’s interpretation of the Dutch Golden Age.

Fri. Dec. 3   Class trip to Norton Simon Museum.....Meet at fountain at 4:30 p.m.

15 ) Tues. Dec. 7   Last class and office hours.  Bring Jardine and Wiesner-Hanks today. Read Early Modern, ch. 13 “Europe in the World,” focusing on topic “Colonies, Difference, Race.” Read Jardine's Epilogue and review her main chapter points. Discussion of Jardine's interpretation of the Renaissance. Discuss the positive as well as negative impacts of the Renaissance as presented by Wiesner-Hanks.  Questions given out for Take-home Final: especially concerned with varieties of historical methods for gaining knowledge about the European Renaissance. Due via email Tuesday Dec. 14 in 8:30-11:30 DURING that exam time.   I'll acknowledge receipt in note to class.