The Renaissance

8 Jun, 2000 940 History of Europe

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the Renaissance, which was first given its role as the birth place of modern man by the nineteenth century historian Jacob Burckhardt. At the start of his immensely influential Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy, he wrote “In the Middle Ages both sides of human consciousness - that which was turned within as that which was turned without - lay dreaming or half awake beneath a common veil. The veil was woven of faith, illusion, childish prepossession, through which the world and history were seen clad in strange hues…In Italy this veil first melted into air” But is the Renaissance really a cultural miracle, and is it fair to think of medieval thought as being ‘obscured by a veil’? Should we even call the period around the fifteenth century the Renaissance when the very word implies that culture, for a thousand years, has been dead? What if our idea of the Renaissance is completely wrong?

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  • Francis Ames-Lewis No other episodes
    Professor of History of Art
  • Peter Burke No other episodes
    Professor of Cultural History and Fellow of Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge
  • Dr Evelyn Welch 6 episodes
    Reader in the History of Art, University of Sussex

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. The Renaissance was first given its role as a birthplace of modern man by the 19th century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt.