Florence and Rome
Rinascimento or Instauratio: where to focus? Disunited Italy. Borders shifted occasionally, but for the most part this was the way the Italian peninsula existed during the middle centuries of the second millennium AD.

Before there was a rinascimento (Renaissance) there was an instauratio (restoration) -- or at least a sentiment toward instauratio. Rinascimento was a Florentine invention -- Giorgio Vasari coined the usage. Instauratio was first of all a Roman concept that originally referred to the desire to return the popes, who were resident in Avignon, to their chair in Rome. A corollary of that return was the reaffirmation of their authority, power, and perquisites. The papal party and its allies, of course, would define it all, and it, naturally, included the dignities of the Roman emperors as well as those of the early popes.  Just as importantly, it was necessary to restore the grandeur of Rome -- arts, architecture, literature, sciences -- which would make the popes' restoration both possible and comfortable.

Topics for Unit 2

Rome at the beginning of the Instauratio / Renaissance as described by Gibbon

Rulers of Rome -- succession of actual authority

Renaissance in Florence -- circumstances that led to an early start

The Medici as a unifying force

Vasari as an artist and, more importantly, as a biographer

Forces limit an early start in Rome

Avignon and the "Petrarchian" impetus

Rival Roman families -- Orsini and Colonna -- Guelphs and Ghibellines

Great Western Schism

Rinascimento v. instauratio

Unifications: Orsini and Colonna (Julius II in 1511 and Sixtus V in the 1580s patch things up in the city) -- Medici popes (Florence in Rome)


Internet Links for Unit 2:


Gibbon, Decline and Fall

Giorgio Vasari

Twisted History -- Golden Legend Voragine -- Infessura

Guelf and Ghibelline

Medici -- Medici arms -- Medici family -- Villa Medici -- French Academy in Rome

Notable Colonna and Orsini and and

Great or Western Schism a Catholic version -- a Protestant assessment