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the_renaissance_child - Adam Hosey The Renaissance child of...

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Adam Hosey 1 The Renaissance: child of the Medieval ages Historical fact is often an illusion. What we are taught is sometimes a variation of the actual truth. In elementary school I learned that Christopher Columbus was a great man and the discoverer of America. Later in my schooling I found out that not everyone thinks that Columbus was such a great man, citing the point that he raped and pillaged the new world. Varying viewpoints in history is commonplace, and is a significant part of Renaissance history. In The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy , Burckhardt paints the definitive picture of the Renaissance. But do his words and images capture the true essence of the period? Scholars who are “New Historians” such as Stephen Greenblatt might pose a different theory. Richard Brown discusses these two authors in his essay From Burckhardt to Greenblatt: New Historicisms and Old . He states: “We have different images—different pictures—of the Renaissance and the individuals who lived at that time” (2000, p. 4). Brown discusses how New Historicism is a reaction to the “Old” historicism, and that both have their own positive and negative criticisms. One of the major themes of both the new and old historicism is the concept and development of the individual during the Renaissance. Burckhardt argues that the central characteristic of the time was the liberation from the medieval orientation towards life after death, and the rise of a secular and naturalistic perception of the world. This statement has truth to it, but it also has its problems. The central theme of Renaissance society was the development of
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