Italian Renaissanc7 - Italian Renaissance (1330-1550) The...

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Italian Renaissance (1330-1550) The Rise of Printing: Literature in the Renaissance (1350- 1550) Summary The spirit of the Renaissance was expressed in literature as well as art. The poetry of Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) powerfully expressed the principles of humanism extremely early in the budding Renaissance. Many scholars, in fact, date the beginning of the Renaissance to Petrarch's anointment as Poet Laureate. Giovanni Bocaccio stood at an almost similar stature as Petrarch. A Florentine, Bocaccio is most noted for writing the Decameron, a series of 100 stories set in Florence during the Black Death that struck the city in 1348. Boccaccio explores, in these stories, the traditions and viewpoints of various social classes, greatly based on actual observation and study. Just as art and architecture flourished in the Renaissance, so too did literature. Ands similarly, just as art and architecture benefited from new techniques, literature experienced a massive boon from technology. In 1454, Johann Gutenberg published the Gutenberg Bible, the first book printed by a machine using moveable type. The moveable-type printing press vastly changed the nature of book publishing, simultaneously increasing printing volume and decreasing prices. The process of printing spread throughout Europe, and was used extensively in Italy, where the humanist writers of the Renaissance had long sought a way to more easily express their ideas to the public. During the Renaissance, writers produced a greater volume of work than ever before, and with the lower prices and increased numbers of texts, these works reached an audience of unprecedented size. Literature became a part of the lives of the larger public, not just the few elite able to afford books, as had been the case before the advent of the printing press.
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2009 for the course CLASS 101 taught by Professor Ruppel, a during the Spring '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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Italian Renaissanc7 - Italian Renaissance (1330-1550) The...

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