The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #37: The Italian Renaissance

Season four begins with a bang!

General Introduction
– Welcome to Season 4
– David remains transient
– Michial and his dissertation
– That .01 episode from December
– What’s on the blog?
– The award we won

The Origins of This Episode
– Filling in the holes left by the CWC
– And of New Mexico? And of oversized cups of soda?

Dante ‘n’ Petrarch
– Coming to terms with classical myth
– Dante’s refusal to allegorize or to forgive the pagans
– On Limbo
– Raiding Egypt for gold
– Pardon our lacuna
– Dante’s real grief over Virgil’s departure
– Petrarch as Platonist and emo kid
– Medieval courtly love
– The universalizing tendency and the feminist objection
– Junior-high love

Renaissance Self-Understanding
– De-emphasis of the classical world in the Middle Ages
– Earlier renaissances
Ad fontes and the Reformation
– A new kind of Dark Ages
– David Grubbs deconstructs the Renaissance
– Cultural translation and the Medieval Era
– Was the Renaissance in historical bad faith?
– How to enrage your Medievalist

Italian Renaissance Art
– The Vanishing Point
– The reduction of symbolism
– Community reality
– Michelangelo’s pagan David
– Anatomy vs. iconography
– The camera and the return to pre-Renaissance painting
– Renaissance Moses for the win
– Mona Lisa and moaning Petrarch

The Patronage System
– What does it mean to “sell out”?
– How capitalism killed patronage
– The legacy of the Medici
– The Romantic influence

The Courtier Meets the Knight Errant
– Podcast editing and sprezzatura
– Keeping the veil closed
– Learning from the wise and never letting them see you sweat

Machiavelli and Modern Politics
The Prince’s far-ranging influence
– Underlying democratic Machiavellianism
– Distrust of the masses
– Kissinger and Nixon
– Machiavelli and the business world
– Is The Prince satire? Does it matter?
– The Discourses on Livy examine religion and the State

What Else?
– Effusive praise for the Decameron
– Why the Renaissance came before the Middle Ages
– Taking Pico della Mirandola allegorically
– Pushing the edge of humanism
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Blake, William. “The Chimney Sweeper.” Blake’s Poetry and Designs. Ed. Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant. New York: Norton, 1979. 25-26.

—. “London.” Blake’s Poetry and Designs. Ed. Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant. New York: Norton, 1979. 53.

Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. Trans. G.H. McWilliam. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Bruno, Giordano. The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast. Trans. Arthur D. Imerti. Lincoln, Neb.: Bison, 2004.

Castiglione, Baldassare. The Book of the Courtier. Trans. Charles S. Singleton. New York: Norton, 2002.

Chaucer, Geoffrey. Troilus and Criseyde. East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State UP, 2000.

Dante. The Divine Comedy. Trans. Dorothy L. Sayers. New York: Penguin, 1950. 3 volumes.

—. La Vita Nuova. Trans. Barbara Reynolds. New York: Penguin, 2004.

Machiavelli, Niccolo. Discourses on Livy. Trans. Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1998.

—. The Prince. Trans. George Bull. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Petrarch. The Canzioniere. Trans. Mark Musa and Barbara Manfredi. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana UP, 1999.

Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. On the Dignity of Man. New York: Hackett, 1998.

Plato. Phaedrus. Trans. Christopher Rowe. New York: Penguin, 2005.

Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets. Ed. Katherine Duncan-Jones. London: Arden, 1997.

Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. New York: Penguin, 1979.

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