Renaissance And Reformation 2nd Period

2nd period- Key Terms: Renaissance and Reformation



Alberti, Leon Battista

Bocaccio, The Decameron – Bocaccio (1313-1375) wrote The Decameron (1351) after the plague decimated Europe, and although it is a collection of frivolous short stories, it emphasizes discontent with the Church through very obvious anti-clerical themes and characters. Bocaccio and Petrarch were very close and he admired Petrarch’s ideas, which were reflected in his later writing about moral values. Bocaccio also learned Greek because of Petrarch’s influence and reverence of the classics. (Jordan)

Brunelleschi, Filippo (1377-1446) – One of the “three friends” who brought the humanist revolution to the arts, Brunelleschi became a renowned architect. He successfully completed Florence’s new cathedral with one of the largest domes built since the Roman era (the cathedral had been left unfinished for about 75 years). His architecture reflected his deep commitment to the study of Romanesque architecture, and his buildings show the same symmetrical simplicity and aesthetic harmony and balance that typified Roman art. - Chuma

Castiglioni, Baldesar-Baldesar was an Italian Courtier and writer, who lived during the 15th and 16th century. His greatest and most famous work being the Book of the Courtier published in 1528. In this book he outlines the manner and tactics a prince or knight should use to gain prominence. The guidance he gives is drawn from a combination personal experience as a Courtier and from Roman orators like Cicero. (MDog)

doge- The word doge comes from Latin to mean leader. Doge was used to refer to the head of an Italian principality, specifically Venice. This leader was elected to the position by the republic. He was usually the most senior official and was elected for life. (Becca)

Erasmus, Desiderius - Desiderius Erasmus (ca. 1466-1536) was a Dutch Christian humanist, who is best-known for his novel, In Praise of Folly (1509). In his novel, In Praise of Folly, Erasmus suggests that folly is essential to human existence. In addition to this message, Erasmus also satirically addresses Christianity, commenting on various things he found to stray from the true Christian spirit. (Ricky)

Ferdinand and Isabella - The marriage of Queen Isabella of Castile and King Ferdinand II of England united both crowns under the same family, uniting Spain. The monarchs brought stability and centralized government to Spain. They used the religion of Catholicism to unite the kingdom and their marriage created what would become the most powerful nation of the late 15th, early 16th century. (Laura)

Gutenberg, Johann - German Johan Gutenburg’s invention of the printing press in 1453 changed the course of European and world history. Though the printing press did not cause immediate boosts in literacy, it did result in the spread of ideas. The invention occurred in a pivotal moment in European history as the Renaissance was in its prime and the Reformation was quickly approaching. The outbursts of ideas radical for the time were able to spread, not yet to lower classes but to different regions making the movement continent-wide instead of solely Italy. Specifically, the printing press can be credited as a primary catalyst for the Northern Renaissance. (Becca)

humanism - Humanism was a fifteenth century intellectual movement that emphasized the importance of reading, understanding, and appreciating the writings of the ancient world through Classical education. The movement marked a shift in man’s perception of himself. Man was no longer considered to be small and insignificant; rather, man had the potential to be great with God’s assistance. Furthermore, humanists believed that man should live the “vida activa”. In his Oration on the Dignity of Man, Mirandola sums up the essence of humanism by writing that “God has endowed man with the seeds of every possibility.” (Mackenzie)


Inquisition - The Inquisition was a papal court, first instituted by Pope Gregory IX in 1231, that investigated and exposed heresy. It was characterized by unrelenting questioning and a lack of rights afforded to supposed heretics. The Inquisition affiliated the papacy with persecution and violence, and therefore stained the image of the medieval Church for the next several centuries. (Mackenzie)

Machiavelli, Niccolo (1469-1527) – Machiavelli was the son of a Florentine lawyer and a staunch republican who established his reputation as a political analyst. In his crowning literary achievement, The Prince (1513), Machiavelli describes a formula for a “good” prince that meshes with the familiar adage: “the ends justify the means”. Machiavelli is a Renaissance man in that he presents a rational, secular analysis of where power comes from (not from God!). According to Machiavelli, the “good prince” must be practical, pursuing virtue or vice when necessary, and not being afraid to manipulate or outright kill certain subjects in order to maintain power and preserve order. His focus on a ruler’s outward appearance was a departure from medieval inward contemplation, and his willingness to commit vice deviated from the humanist teachings of the day. - Chuma

Medici, Lorenzo de- Lorenzo de Medici (1449-1492) was a Florentine statesman and a patron of the arts. He was the de facto ruler of the province of Florence during its ‘Golden Age’. He is most famous for his contributions to academics and art during peak of the Renaissance. One of the institutions he funded was the Neo Platonic Academy which humanist Pico della Mirandola attended. During this time Florence was the center of culture, giving the de Medici family immense power throughout Italy. The family’s primary vocation was banking. (Becca)

Palladio, Andrea

Papal States-Papal States are the lands around Rome, which were under the rule of the Pope. The Pope held this territory with the army that the Papacy control and ruled the states with a Theocracy. The states would remain under the Papal rule until the Unification of Italy. (MDog)

Patron of the arts-A Patron of the Arts now as well as then was a person of wealth who made considerable contributions to support artists. The most famous of this time was Pope Julius II who commissioned the School of Athens and the Sistine Chapel. (MDog)

Peace of Lodi (Treaty of Lodi)

perspective-Renaissance artwork focused on detailed qualities in contrast with the symbolic meaning of medieval work. Perspective, the use of eye-tricking techniques designed to give an unprecedented level of depth and 3 dimensional view, was one of these detail-oriented tactics. Artists like Da Vinci were exceptionally talented at these techniques, pulling the viewers into the scene itself and forcing them to admire the sheer artistic talent that went into each detail. (Rich)

Petrarch - (1304-1374) Widely regarded as the “Father of Humanism”, Francesco Petrarca built up an impressive literary resume as a poet and scholar. He inspired future humanists with his love of classical literature and rejection of the medieval scholarship of the Scholastics. It is important to note that Petrarch was still very much devoted to Christianity. Petrarch wanted others to live a vita active (active life) versus the contemplative life of medieval scholars, and he believed that scholars should pursue intelligence and virtue for themselves (not receive them from the Church), while using the classics and Church teachings as moral guides. - Chuma

Pizan, Christine de -Possibly the first female with a career as an author. Was able to do this through the education she received while her father was a physician and astrologer at the French court. Began writing for a living in 1390 after her husband died. In The Book of the City of Ladies: Advice for a Wise Princess, she discusses the women of a princess’s court, holding them to a very high standard in order to maintain the honor of women. (Laura)

Pope Alexander VI

Pope Julius II -Also known as the “Warrior Pope” because he always led his troops into battle. He was the first pope to use future indulgences, buying indulgences for sins you have yet to commit. The spreading of this practice led to Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. He also commissioned Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. (Laura)

quattrocentro Florence

“Renaissance Man” - A “Renaissance Man” is a person who is very skilled in a number of areas, and has received praise or attention for their prowess in a variety of fields. One of the most well-known “Renaissance Men” was Leonardo da Vinci, who was famous for his work as a painter, sculptor, biologist, astronomer, etc. (Ricky)

Savonarola - Girolamo Savonarola, a friar who lived in Florence, Italy, fought to end the materialism and “irreligion” he was surrounded by. He tried to end this materialism and irreligion in 1496, when he arranged a bonfire to burn the frivolities of the time period. Savanarola also strove for “personal renewal.” However, the Church found him more of a threat than anything, and subsequently denounced him. (Ricky)

secularism: Relates to worldly things. That which lacks a religious aspect is considered secular. It is one of the six renaissance values, demonstrating the Renaissance’s shift away from the City of God. Connected with the humanist movement, it encourages reason, which moves the focus away from God and discourages relying on faith alone. (Laura)

Valla, Lorenzo, “On the Donation of Constantine”
Vasari, Giorgio



95 Theses- On October 30, 1517, Martin Luther became so upset with the Catholic Church and their consent of indulgences, that we wrote 95 problems with the indulgences and nailed them to the Church door in Wittenberg, Saxony. Martin Luther was trying to prove his point of the corruption of the Church by making a public declaration, but by no means with his “95 Theses” was he trying to break from the Church and create an entirely new branch of Christianity. With more time, anger, and corruption of the Church though, he will eventually hope to do just that. (Sarah Tomlin)

Act of Supremacy (1534) – Officially created the Church of England and placed the monarch at the head, which, at the time was Henry VIII, and there is little dissent among the people because of the involvement of Parliament in the “decision” of forming the church. Strength of Lollard movement in England had also contributed to pre-existing tension with the Church. Mary I, H8’s daughter, would later repeal the act, but that did little to stop the movement. Elizabeth I reinstated the act when she took the throne. (Jordan)

Anabaptists - Anabaptists rejected the practice of infant baptism because they claimed that it is not mentioned in the Bible, and therefore it should not be done until after the child has become an adult. Because of this belief, both Catholics and Protestants looked down on them. The biggest reason for this condemnation was because they allowed people to become adults first before making the decision of whether they wanted to be baptized or not. This meant that not as many people would become part of the faith because they were allowed that choice. (Kavitha Eechambadi)

Anglican Church - The Anglican Church was created by Henry VIII along with Parliament as part of his quest to annul his marriage with Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn so he could father a male heir to the throne. Thomas Cromwell is H8’s right-hand man through all of this, he comes up with the idea to split with the Church so H8 can get a proper divorce after the Pope rejected H8’s request for an annulment. Reformation Parliament is called in 1529, and the Anglican Church becomes official with the passing of the Act of Supremacy (1534). (Jordan)

Aquinas, Thomas (scholasticism) - St. Thomas Aquinas headed the Scholasticism movement during the Middle Ages, which emphasized using faith and reason to understand theology. Faith always won in the end even if reason failed. He also wrote the Summa Theologica (1274), which used reason to prove God’s existence by posing the question “Does God exist?’ and then proceeding to answer it with rational reasons. He also used biblical evidence to prove God’s existence in terms of faith. The Church tried him anyways, because he reached his conclusions in a way that wasn’t solely through faith. (Jordan)

Babylonian Captivity (Papacy in
- From 1309-1378, Pope Clement V who originally lived in Rome, Italy moved to Avignon, France. He started to lose the trust of the Catholics living in Italy because of this sudden move and a new strong influence of the French Catholics. This eventually led to the Great Schism in 1378 when Pope Gregory XI ended the papacy in Avignon and returned to Rome. However the act of electing a new Pope after his death weakened the strength of the Papacy. (Kavitha Eechambadi)

Brethren of the Common Life
(Thomas a Kempis)

Calvin, John (1509-1564) - John Calvin was born in France but held the most religious influence in Geneva. He is known for providing the structure, discipline, and intellectual foundation for the Reformation. In 1536 he wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion, which contributed greatly to the spread of his ideas. Calvin preached predestination, which meant that God has already determined whether a person is going to heaven or hell before they’re born. He said that free will does not exist and unlike the Catholics he did not believe that good works and faith could change where a person goes after they die. Those who were chosen to go to heaven would be Calvinists or have a lot of wealth (because wealth implied hard and honest work). Although people could not change their fate, Calvin still encouraged a high standard of morality by establishing a theocracy and a Council of Elders, who would maintain this standard. (Kavitha Eechambadi)

Catholic Reformation (Counter

Charles V- Possibly the most powerful man in the world during the Reformation period, Charles V was the king of the Holy Roman Empire. He would take it upon himself to be the defender of the Catholic religion in the face of adversity from reform leaders like Martin Luther, with whom he would hold a showdown of faith at the Diet of Worms in 1521. Charles would also wage war on a large number of people, most notably the French whom he would defeat with the sack of Rome in 1527, and his frenzied belligerence would overextend him and force him to concede later, which would lead to the demise of the empire. (Rich)

consubstantiation v. transubstantiation - Consubstantiation was the belief of the Protestants, that during the sacrament of the eucharist, the bread and wine would only be symbols of the body and blood of Jesus. Transubstantiation was the belief of the Catholics, that during eucharist, the bread and wine would literally turn in to the body and blood of Jesus. Protestants mocked this idea. (Sarah Shea)

Council of Trent - This meeting of Cardinals in the Catholic church was commissioned by Paul III and lasted from 1545-1563. The Council of Trent aimed to define Catholic doctrine more clearly and placed less of an emphasis on reforming the Church. Various national factions fought each other in questions of both ecclesiastical and political significance. Mr. Man Thomas Aquinas reigned supreme at this convention and his ideas were the most important. Trent's decrees affirmed the teachings Protestants had rejected and put forth that the Bible and Church tradition were both important parts of religious authority. Human will is free, good works as well as faith lead to salvation, seven sacraments still important, and elaborate ceremonies were to continue. Latin translation Vulgate affirmed to be holy text even though it had errors. (Shredder)

cuius regio, eius religio - This Latin phrase, meaning “Whose region, his the religion”, became popular after the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. This truce ended the war between the Protestant Nobles and Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor at the time. The phrase means that the Prince who is in charge of a particular principality belonging to the Holy Roman Empire, gets to choose the religion for that specific region. Although this undermined Charles’ V power to keep Catholicism strong in Europe, the Princes could only choose either Catholicism or Lutheranism and the people under his rule had absolutely no say so religious tolerance did not increase by very much. (Kavitha Eechambadi)

Diet of Worms - This meeting was called by Charles V in an attempt to defend the Catholic Church because the pope at the time was unreliable. He summoned Martin Luther and challenged his unconventional beliefs, but Martin Luther said that he would not change his mind about what he believes except by reason or scripture. Charles V said that Luther was wrong because he is only one insignificant person. As soon as Luther left, he was kidnapped by the Duke of Saxony for protection purposes. (Sarah Shea)

Dissolution of the Monastaries (Henry VIII) - After Henry VIII created the Church of England or Anglican Church by breaking away from the Catholic Church, he proceeded to confiscate all monastaries, wealth, and other assets that the Catholic Church had in England. This continued from 1536-1540 during which much of these assets were sold off to nobles, merchants and other english elite, guaranteeing their support and loyalty to Henry VIII. (Hannah)

Elizabeth I

Frederick the Wise, Duke of Saxony-The Duke of Saxony, Fredrick “The Wise” was a noblemen who at the end of the Diet of Worms meeting in 1521 captured Martin Luther in order to protect him from the wrath of the Catholic Church. He then took him to his castle, the Warburg Castle, where Luther translated the New Testament into German and Outlined the Augsburg Confession, stating his essential teachings. Fredrick’s move to protect Luther was extremely symbolic because of his high status as a noble as well as his position as one of the seven electors. (Sarah Tomlin)

Great Schism – The Schism, one of the most damaging ecclesiastical episodes of the Middle Ages, occurred at the termination of the Avignon exile in 1377. Pope Gregory XI returned to Rome and died shortly after. The Romans, fearing that another Avignon pope might be elected, depriving Rome of much needed revenues, demanded a Roman pope. The College of Cardinals attempted to pacify both Romans and French with new pope Urban VI (1378-89), who unfortunately would not play nice with the French cardinals. Seven months later, the Cardinals nullified Urban’s election and elected a separate Avignon pope, forcing the European nations to take sides. The Council of Pisa (1409) nominally deposed both popes and elected a new one, but nobody was willing to back down. Finally, the Council of Constance (1414-1418) persuaded all three to step down and elected Martin V, a Roman Cardinal, thereby giving life to the growing conciliar movement. - Chuma

Huguenots - The term 'Huguenots' describes the French Calvinists. In this country, there would be a small cell in each town, a governing council in each area, a provincial level synod, or council, and a national level synod at the top. This hierarchy was established to secure Calvinist control and to ensure that members of the elects would live in suitable communities. Calvin, a native Frenchman himself, was especially successful in spreading his philosophy in his home country and emphasized education. He also benefitted from the adoption of Calvinism by the many of the nobility. (Shredder)

Ignatius Loyola - Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556), unlike Martin Luther and John Calvin, sought to reform the Catholic Church, acknowledging the corruption from within and wanting to change it. He then wrote the book Spiritual Exercises, which dealt with the training and discipline needed to live a good Christian lifestyle. In order to attain grace Loyola claimed the emphasis on individual effort and not on faith alone. Therefore Loyola makes heavy demand of his followers, known as Jesuits who are part of the religious order, the Society of Jesus, because of free will and the power of good works. (Hannah)

Indulgences- In the Catholic Church, the selling of indulgences became a common act. A member of the church would pay a fee in order to clear a certain sin. By reducing the amount of sins an individual would commit would consequently reduce their time in purgatory, the period of cleansing. This completely changed a fundamental ideal of the Catholic Church that one must suffer for their sins. Johann Tetzel then decided to sell future indulgences so that members could pay a penance for a sin that has yet to be committed. Now one could consciously defy and disobey not only the Church but also God and pay their way out of the sin they committed. Pope Julius II, “The Warrior Pope”, was the first do this, and it began to spread all over the Holy Roman Empire. (Sarah Tomlin)

Knox, John - John Knox, not to be confused with Johnny Knoxville, was a fiery disciple of Calvin the won over Scotland. There is literally one sentence about him in the book. And it's not even completely about him. (Shredder)

Lollards - John Wycliffe, a professor at Oxford and theologian, proclaimed his belief in only looking to the Bible and scripture as the sole truth. But something so obscure and foreign to a time dominated by the Catholic Church, should have been immediately suppressed or rejected by society. But due to the unrest in the Catholic Church he gained many followers, called the Lollards. These followers were some of the first to publically break from tradition and Wycliffe was able to leave his legacy long after his death. Because of the Lollards, Wycliffe’s ideas could spread to more areas than he would have been able to do on his own. (Sarah Tomlin)

Luther, Martin - Martin Luther was a German who trained to become a lawyer, but after getting out of a lightning storm unscathed changed his career path and entered the monastery. Preoccupied by his own sinfulness, Luther came to a realization during his "experience in the tower" that humans could not gain admission to heaven by their own accord and the emphasis in religion needed to singularly focus on God's grace as opposed to good works. Luther was disgusted by the abuses he saw in the sale of indulgences and wrote up his Ninety-Five Theses(1517). Eventually he became more bold and attacked the papacy itself. In 1521, Charles V had the Diet of Worms, but Luther would not renege. Luther would continue to refine his ideas but his most important guiding principles were his emphasis on salvation by faith alone, and the Bible as the only source of religious authority. (Shredder)

More, Thomas - Sir Thomas More (1478-1535) became a lawyer after extensive education, but is most well-known for his place as the advocate of English Humanism. He is also very well-known for his novel, Utopia (1516), which depicts an ideal society free of the evils that were present during his life. He is also known for the stand he took against Henry VIII, when Henry VIII wished to be recognized as the head of the Church of England. He was beheaded for siding with the pope, and received sainthood because of becoming a martyr for Catholicism. (Ricky)

Peace of Augsburg - In 1555, the Peace of Augsburg ended the war between the Protestant Noble's League of Schmalkald, the Turks, the French against Charles V. Charles V was catholic and won many of the battles, but lost the war. The Peace of Augsburg declared "cuius regio, eius religio," which meant "your region, pick your religion." (Sarah Shea)

Peasant’s Revolt (German) - In 1525, German peasants, inspired in part by Luther’s religious teachings, published twelve grievances. Out of twelve articles, ten advocated for social change (the peasants wanted to end restrictions on hunting and eliminate unfair punishment and oppression). However, two of the articles referenced the teachings and ideals of Luther: one declared that the peasants had the right to elect their own pastors, while the other defined the Scripture as the ultimate authority. Luther commiserated with these last two demands, but when he realized that the peasants were challenging all authority, he was quick to cut down their efforts. In response he published a retaliatory pamphlet, in which he declared that the peasants were attempting to “overthrow all order and authority and throw the world into wild chaos.” (Mackenzie)

predestination - While the Catholic church believed that salvation could be achieved through good works, Calvinism emphasized predestination, the belief that God alone could decide a person’s fate. Furthermore, Calvin and his followers believed that nothing could be done to change an individual’s fate, but every effort should be made to lead a life of the elect in order to please God. Those who were chosen to go to heaven were considered to be the “elect”. While Calvin believed that a person could be predestined for either hell or heaven, Luther believed that God could predestine a person only to be saved. (Mackenzie)

“priesthood of all believers” - This was one of the essential teachings of Martin Luther that came out of his Augsburg Confession. It related to his belief in the primacy of the bible, which undermined the authority of tradition, the pope, and the priests. He declared that there should be no pope and rather than saying no priests, he said that all believers were to be priests. (Sarah Shea)

Society of Jesus (Jesuits)- An organization of Catholics also known as Jesuits that revolved around Ignatius Loyola’s book, Spiritual Exercises. The group had four main functions: preaching, hearing confessions, teaching, and missionary work, all of which helped them convert protestants and convince newcomers of the importance of Catholicism. They were responsible for the creation of schools after Loyola’s humanistic belief in the importance of education and in this way gained a large support base. Additionally their mission work was particularly effective in spreading the religion to areas that other that were less developed and educated, also expanding their support base. (Rich)

theocracy - The form of government in which laws are guided based on religious believes. Normally these laws are formed and enforced by a group of officials who are responsible for the morality of those whom they rule over. In John Calvin’s theocracy in Geneva there was a council of elders who guaranteed that people lived strictly moral lives pursuant to their blue laws. (Hannah)

Weber, Max (1864-1920) - German Max Weber was the author of “The Protestant Ethic and the Sprit of Capitalism published in 1904. This book integrates the ideals of Protestantism and capitalism, claiming that the qualities of a good Christian are also the qualities of a good merchant. Thus Weber makes the point that the ideas and traits valued by Calvin in his new branch of Christianity celebrated the merchant as opposed to the disdain for merchants by the Catholic church. Western civilization is unique in the respect it pays to those who work hard and get rich because of their work ethic. While other civilizations in the East and Africa thought of wealth as a sign of corruption, the spread of Calvinism in Europe and the west brought with it an appreciation for capitalism. Weber asserts that the emergence of the unprecedented drive for personal gain evolved at the same time as Protestantism because the religion encouraged people to exert themselves in secular enterprises.(Becca)

Zwingli, Ulrich- A swiss priest, humanist, and Erasmus follower who led religious reform in Zurich. His doctrine shared many of Luther’s main points though Zwingli sought to simplify religion, including the elimination of many of the rituals and instead a focus on strictly moral behavior. His teachings spread quickly and caught on in the Swiss confederation such that two camps of Zwinglianism sprouted up and broke into full fledged war in 1531, during which Zwingli died. (Rich)