Renaissance in Italian City-States

Subject: History
Pages: 2
Words: 559
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: Bachelor

The term renaissance means “rebirth” or rather revival of an activity that has not been done for quite a long period. In this case, one should refer to the Italians recalling their ancient activities, such as artwork, and political and economic progress to satisfy their needs (Burckhardt & Middlemore, 2019). The renaissance of those activities has been known to be one of the most significant times in the history of the Italian people that the world noted with concern. It was mainly characterized by compelling literature that was designed magnificently and efficiently in some philosophical concepts. The onset of the ancient culture in Italy started when the Italian citizens started moving to city-states causing more interaction among people from different parts of the country.

In ancient times, people did not know much about religion, but it later spread through the Roman empire. The Italians preferred spending huge amounts of finances on things that could bring them amusements. They could spend money to paint buildings and hold beautiful celebrations, which made people begin to move to cities. The renaissance period made traces to the ancient world in that people recalled the period to be more exciting to them than their state by then.

For example, Niccolo Machiavelli was a diplomatic historian from Florence (Burckhardt & Middlemore, 2019). He authored many political articles and books for those political leaders of that time. Machiavelli urged leaders to cheat, lie, and steal to acquire what they wanted. He believed that people needed to fear someone rather than trust and respect the individual. According to him, it was better to lie to get what one wanted and be a leader, and one had to tell lies. These were the characteristics of ancient societies before the onset of religion.

Patronage is underrating the work of an artist or a musician and other people creating content related to socialization in society. Three types of patronage characterized the Italian cities. First are the individual wealthy families that could not find it difficult to spend money on leisure, the civic cities, and lastly, the Roman Catholic Church (Judge & Langdon, 2015). All these organizations engaged themselves in Renaissance. The catholic church changed its type of art from religious to secular. For example, the portrait of a gentleman known as Bartolomeo Veneto, a religious man placed on the church’s walls, was replaced by Venus and Adonis. This was a Titian picture of the ancient Roman goddess that the ancient people used to worship.

Moreover, the de Medici was a family in Lorenzo that patronized the arts in Florence, Italy, for a long period. The family hired expensive artists to get their pictures painted as they wished. Lorenzo, a poet, and a successful businessman, also sponsored artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci (Burckhardt & Middlemore, 2019). Humanism was also a Renaissance philosophy that emphasized humankind’s achievements through history. Humanists did not focus on learning to reinforce religious faith but rather sought knowledge for knowledge’s sake by revisiting different works of ancient Greek artists. Petrarch, who was a scholar and a poet, was referred to as the father of humanism. He used his skills and knowledge to spread Renaissance by writing vernacular Italian poetry and translating Latin texts of Cicero. In his work, Petrarch urged people to preserve their past since it reflected what was going to happen in the future.


Burckhardt, J., & Middlemore, S. G. C. (2019). The civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Routledge.

Judge, E., & Langdon, J. (2015). Connections: A world history (3rd ed.). Pearson.