Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-01-2013, 10:44 AM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723

Recommend a book on European history, c. 1450-1550


The Renaissance and the Age of Exploration were happening simultaneously -- which, when you think about it, is really odd. Why did intellectual ferment go in one direction in Italy and in a completely different direction in Spain and Portugal? I've read a bit on both eras separately, but would be interested in a book that pulled together a big-picture look at what was going on in Europe during that period.

Can anyone recommend something?

TIA.
  #2  
Old 09-01-2013, 12:38 PM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,797
The only survey I have is the late John Hale's, which is okay if a bit older ( my copy is from 1971 ). But it looks like this latest edition is ridiculously expensive for an old survey history. Get a cheaper used copy if you can find one.
  #3  
Old 09-01-2013, 12:53 PM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Whoa, $60 for a paperback? I don't think so -- and my library doesn't seem to have this exact title.

How's this book by the same author?
  #4  
Old 09-01-2013, 01:07 PM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Never mind, Half.com had a copy for $10.

Thanks for the recommendation!
  #5  
Old 09-01-2013, 03:39 PM
Slithy Tove is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Buford, Georgia
Posts: 8,011
As a middlebrow, I'd recommend William Manchester's A World Lit Only By Fire, anchored by Luther and Magellan. "Well, it's good to be back home. Hey, how come the ship's log is a day off?"
  #6  
Old 09-01-2013, 04:52 PM
Sefton is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Stalag 17
Posts: 1,698
I loved Empires of the Sea, which focuses on the Turkish attacks on Europe in the early 1500s. Reads like a suspense novel.
  #7  
Old 09-01-2013, 09:19 PM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slithy Tove View Post
As a middlebrow, I'd recommend William Manchester's A World Lit Only By Fire, anchored by Luther and Magellan. "Well, it's good to be back home. Hey, how come the ship's log is a day off?"
That looks good, too. I'll add it to my wish list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sefton View Post
I loved Empires of the Sea, which focuses on the Turkish attacks on Europe in the early 1500s. Reads like a suspense novel.
That looks interesting, but more specific than what I'm looking for.

Thanks, all.
  #8  
Old 09-02-2013, 07:15 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 26,101
A World Lit Only By Fire is rather notorious in medievalist circles for being just so wrong - it's a crappy text outdated even when it was written, the field has moved so far beyond it it's just not funny...here's a good introductory review that has a nice list of alternatives at the end, and links to this more detailed analysis.

Last edited by MrDibble; 09-02-2013 at 07:16 AM.
  #9  
Old 09-02-2013, 08:36 AM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
A World Lit Only By Fire is rather notorious in medievalist circles for being just so wrong - it's a crappy text outdated even when it was written, the field has moved so far beyond it it's just not funny...here's a good introductory review that has a nice list of alternatives at the end, and links to this more detailed analysis.
Interesting, thanks!
  #10  
Old 09-02-2013, 04:10 PM
SweetiePotato is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Seattle
Posts: 157
I know this is a little earlier than you specifically requested, but _A Distant Mirror_ by Barbara Tuchman is a fantastic read about the century preceding.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Distant_Mirror
  #11  
Old 09-02-2013, 04:51 PM
Slithy Tove is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Buford, Georgia
Posts: 8,011
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
A World Lit Only By Fire is rather notorious in medievalist circles for being just so wrong[/URL].
Well shit, there goes my middlebrow book cred. Next you'll tell me that John Wesley Hardin didn't shoot a man just fer snorin'!

Last edited by Slithy Tove; 09-02-2013 at 04:51 PM.
  #12  
Old 09-02-2013, 07:57 PM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Was that in Reno? I thought it was just to see him die.
  #13  
Old 09-03-2013, 01:30 PM
TV time is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Colorado
Posts: 4,584
I am a big fan of Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century." I found it very readable, informative and downright entertaining.

She has faded in popularity since her death, but I always enjoyed her writings with the possible exception of Stillwell: The American Experience in China. That was a labor of obsession.
  #14  
Old 09-03-2013, 02:35 PM
Malthus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 18,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
The Renaissance and the Age of Exploration were happening simultaneously -- which, when you think about it, is really odd. Why did intellectual ferment go in one direction in Italy and in a completely different direction in Spain and Portugal? I've read a bit on both eras separately, but would be interested in a book that pulled together a big-picture look at what was going on in Europe during that period.

Can anyone recommend something?

TIA.
To answer your specific question, many of the explorers in the age of exploration of course were Italian - like Columbus and Cabot (A/K/A "Columbo" and "Chabotto"), not to mention "Amerigo Vespucci" after which "America" was named!

The difference is that they all tended to have non-Italian state sponsors. The reasons for this were:

- the nations they worked for had an Atlantic focus;
- the money in Italy was based on the trade with the ME and the Black Sea - trade routes the Atlantic powers were trying to 'outflank'; and
- the city-states of Italy were small, while exploration was expensive. The new nation-states like England and Spain had the cash.
  #15  
Old 09-03-2013, 03:01 PM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Gotcha, Malthus -- I'm looking for a book that spells all of that out in more detail.

And I own a copy of A Distant Mirror (or I did at some point ... it's hard keeping track of the books that have gone in and out of my life over the last 30 years), so maybe I'll finally get around to reading it.
  #16  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:22 PM
BrainGlutton is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 78,508
Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster View Post
Why did intellectual ferment go in one direction in Italy and in a completely different direction in Spain and Portugal?
This is why.
  #17  
Old 09-04-2013, 11:11 AM
twickster is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 38,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
This is why.
I don't know how I could have forgotten the water ballet with the nuns.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:37 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017