Northern Rennaissance

September 1, 2009 | | 7 Comments

The years between 1254 and 1274 marked a period of independence for German nobles. This period is referred to as the Northern Renaissance and is often included in the complete Renaissance period. After the death of Frederick II, political entities of Germany enjoyed independence. The formation of the Hanseatic League, which is simply a league of trading partners emphasizing free enterprise, lead to economic boom in the German region.


7 Comments so far

  1.    k-money on September 4, 2009 2:34 pm

    Germany and the Politics of the Holy Roman Empire

    This portion of what is called the “Northern Renaissance” roughly describes Germany’s growth as an economic superpower in the context of the 14th century. The Hanseatic League is formed and Germany eventually elects a long lasting line of rulers, the Habsburgs, whose rule does not diminish the independence enjoyed by Germany.

    Interestingly enough, Pope Gregory X greatly influences the German barons into electing a king. The German barons elect Rudolf of Hasburg shortly after. This move reiterates the influence of the Holy Roman Empire.

  2.    k-money on September 4, 2009 3:16 pm

    Art of the Northern Renaissance

    The book’s section of “The Arts” does not seem to reveal that there was any independent art during the Renaissance which took place outside of Italy. The section briefly mentions the Netherlandish oil painter Jan van Eyck, but argues that his stlye was not typical Renaissance. The book reaveals this when it says, “(Jan van Eyck) owed more to the tradition of medieval manuscript illumination that to Renaissance classicism.” (339) The section continues to downplay Northern artists with Albrecht Durer.

    Albrecht Durer has painted many famous works, but seems downplayed in the book. The book begins by stating that, “Albrecht Durer…was the first major northern artist to intensively study Italy’s Renaissance.” (340) The rest of the section goes on to describe his studies and trips to Italy. One could easily assume that Durer was an Italian taught painter who was born somewhere in the North.

    Durer was influenced by Italian art, but I find it hard to believe that Italy’s Renaissance made him who he is.

    The last paragragh of the “The Arts” section discusses all of the “Northerners” who studied in Italy. This last paragraph could easily have been cut and pasted into a section discussing the Italian Renassiance’s influence on the North. Instead, it is classified as “The Arts” easily found in the “The Norhtern Renaissance” section.

  3.    k-money on September 4, 2009 3:29 pm

    Northern Humanism

    The final section of “The Northern Renaissance” takes a look at the changing environment in Northern Europe. A religious revival took place called the Modern Devotion and Erasmus’ translations changed how Europe learned Christianity.

    The Modern Devotion originated in the Netherlands in the 14th century. It sparked an uprising of charitable work and education. The education focussed mostly on Christian themes, but also taught ancient Greek and Roman history.

    Erasmus is percieved to be the most prominent of the Northern Humanists. He was a well educated man whose critical analysis of ancient manuscripts helped improve the accuracy of Latin and vernacular translations. He was also seen as a loyal critic to the Catholic Church. In his later years, he remained loyal to the Catholic Church during the Reformation.

  4.    k-money on September 7, 2009 8:45 am

    Middle East: The Ottoman Empire

    The Ottomans were named after Osman, a cheif who settled them in Asia Minor. The book seems to refer to the Ottomans as a Middle Eastern empire rather than a European power. The section titled “Expansion of Ottoman Empire” goes into more depth in regards to the Ottomans’ expansion and religious tension.

  5.    k-money on September 7, 2009 9:02 am

    Middle East: The Ottoman Empire

    Expansion of Ottoman Power

    The book begins the section with somewhat of a wierd suggestion. It first mentions that Timur the Lame, “…routed an Ottoman army and killed sultan Bayezid I.” (342) The book later explains that, “…the Mongols soon turned their attention elsewhere and left the Ottomans to fight among themselves. A decade of confusion ensued until Mehmed I.” (342)

    I do not deny that this “decade of confusion took place,” but it sounds almost as if the Ottomans were so weak that the Mongols could have easily taken them over. This somewhat downplays the arument of the Ottomans being this huge powerful empire. This is the begginnnig of the Ottoman empire, but it still changes my perception of the Ottoman empire as a whole.

    The book makes an interesting statement when it says, “The loss of the last great Christian outpost in the Middle East was a shock to Europe, but it had little practical significance.” (342) The book is reffering to the Ottomans turning Istanbul’s great Christian church into a mosque. I find it interesting that the book says that it had little practical significance to Europe, even though many argue that the Ottoman empire was a European empire.

    The end of this section reiterates the diversity of the empire and other major conquests. The book refers to the Ottomans as Muslims when it states, “…the Ottomans were Muslims,” (343). Even though the Ottomans were mainly Muslims, they were still tolerant of Jews and Christians. The Ottoman empire stretched its boundries into areas of all religons. The empire even managed to take control of holy cities such as “Mecca and Medina.” (344)

  6.    k-money on September 7, 2009 9:33 am

    Ottoman Civilization

    This section deals with the Ottomans Muslim orthodoxy and its impact on Ottoman law as well as the successful naval conquests of the Ottoman empire.

    America today follows laws laid down in the constitution. Elected officials are then allowed to interpret the laws in order to evaluate how situations may fall under each law. The Ottomans however base their legal system on the interpretation of divine law. The book even states that, “The Ottoman ruler’s function was not to make law but to enfore the divine law with the help of muftis (religious jurists).” (344) Their whole empire was founded on laws based on a Muslim perspective.

    The Ottoman empire emphasized Muslim orthadoxy and remained tolerant to Jews, Christians, and Shi’ite Muslims. The Shi’ite Safavids and Catholic Europeans were enemies, but these two groups remained stable and coexisted in the Ottoman empire. Various instances like this give hope to a peaceful coexistance between European powers and the Middle East. The civilization of the Ottoman Empire really seems to be a nice blend of Europe and the Middle East. The Ottomans reached as far as Northern Iraq and Vienna.

    The later part of the section discusses the military aspect of the Ottoman civilization. It begins by mentioning the battle off Lepanto in the Gulf. The Ottoman navy lost this battle and the book suggests that this marked a turning point in Ottoman superiority in the gulf. The book also suggests that the Ottomans’ navy was almost left in the dust behind new “European” ships. The book states, “…European states shifted their attention to the Atlantic and global exploration…Ottoman merchants faced problems of a different kind in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean where Portuguese traders were beggining to compete.” (3346)

    I think this reference reveals a European bias towards Ottoman exploration. They competed against the Portuguese, but the Ottomans were great explorers as well. The Ottomans began in a central region in relation to the Middle East and Europe, but later controlled most of the Mediterranean and parts of Northern Africa. The book only mentions the Ottomans exploration in comparison to Europe. The Ottomans probably did not explore the Atlantic as much as other European countries, but they are also on the other side of Europe. The book does not mention and any other explorations except for the Ottomans “struggling” in the Indian Ocean.

    It is definately hard to see the true impact or spread of the Ottoman empire from the book’s four pages. I do buy our professors arguement that the Ottoman empire is often glanced over. I also think that the understanding the Ottoman empire helps understand the roots of countries such as Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, Azerbajan, Hungry, Bulgaria, and other countries not usually mention in Western Civ.

  7.    k-money on September 7, 2009 9:36 am

    I found this website about the Ottomans which seemed informative and interesting. Its worth taking a look at.

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