This course will provide an in-depth study of four Renaissance urban environments, each with its own distinct political, social and cultural character. To provide a foundation, the class will first investigate the medieval city, using Siena itself as the model. The course will then follow the political and social structures which informed the construction of Renaissance urban space: the republic, the principality and the papacy. Florence and Venice will represent republican institutions. Mantua will serve as the example of a dynastic principality, an urban environment in which the role of the prince is exalted and the city made subject to his authority. Papal Rome will be studied through the complex authority exercised by the bishop of Rome, the pope, as both head of the Church and ruler of a large secular principality with Rome as its capital. Visits to these cities and illustrated lectures in the classroom will introduce students to an appreciation of Renaissance urban, cultural and political history.
Field trips: The course will be highlighted by field trips to Florence and overnight trips to Rome and Mantua/Venice. The cost of these trips is CAD$880, paid to UofT for return bus transportation to all sites, guides, accommodation in Rome and Venice and most entry fees.
Professor Kenneth Bartlett has taught Renaissance Studies and History for over 30 years, winning a 3M Teaching Fellowship, President’s Teaching Award, SAC/APUS award (twice – once for my Siena teaching), Victoria University Teaching Award, the Province of Ontario LIFT Award etc. He wrote the leading textbook on the Italian Renaissance and the leading anthology of primary sources. Professor Bartlett’s own work focuses on the cultural history of Renaissance Italy; and he has recently produced a 36 episode video series on Rome, Florence and Venice: The Smithsonian Essential Italy. Professor Bartlett leads cultural tours to Italy, from Sicily to the Veneto, for museums, like the ROM, the Gardiner Museum and universities. This course will consequently be an introduction to Italian culture as well as urban history.
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