- What to read, 1401-1600
- \/ 1101-1400 | 1601-1700 /\
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- \/ 16th Century
- Pedro CALDERON de la Barca (1600-1681) The Online Books Page Theatre History
he can be said to lack something of the wilder lyrical fantasy that we enjoy in Lope. He is more serious, didactic, even more doctrinal ... . This disadvantage in a secular drama becomes a positive asset in the autos sacramentales...
- The Doctor of His Own Honor (El medico de su honra 1635)
- Life is a Dream (La Vida es Sueno 1636)
- The Mighty Magician (El Magico prodigioso 1637)
- The Mayor of Zalamea (El Alcalde de Zalamea 1640)
- TANG Xianzu (1550-1616) The Online Books Page China Culture
a Chinese playwright of the Ming Dynasty.
- The Peony Pavilion (1598) Lincoln Center
famous love story.
--A Guide to Oriental Classics
- (Cyril Birch translation, 1980)
- Rene DESCARTES (1596-1650) The Online Books Page post
a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer... He has been dubbed The Father of Modern Philosophy
- Rules for the Direction of the Mind (Regulae ad directionem ingenii, 1626-1628)
- Discourse on the Method (Discours de la methode, 1637)
He did not cry 'Fire!' nor did he make it a duty for everyone to doubt; for Descartes was a quiet and solitary thinker, not a bellowing night-watchman; he modestly admitted that his method had importance for him alone and was justified in part by the bungled knowledge of his earlier years.
In order to conquer skepticism, Descartes proposed that we be skeptical about everything to see if there is anything left we can't be skeptical about.
With Descartes' new stress on self-consciousness as the only immediately certain knowledge, the question of how we know external reality became a knotty and disturbing question for philosophical thought.
Descartes's method was not philosophical but rhetorical. He was a sophist and, perhaps, the most clever one of all.
he saw the universe as a gigantic machine in which everything is measurable; that which cannot be translated into mathematical terms is therefore unreal. According to this premise, the entire universe can be explained by mechanical and mathematical laws.
--Robert B. Downs
- Geometry (La Geometrie, 1637)
- Meditations on First Philosophy (Meditationes de prima philosophia, 1641)
instead of direct confrontation, he chooses to allow the process of doubt to run its course until it arrives at an (allegedly) indubitable truth: 'I think therefore I am.'
--Raphael and McLeish
On the one side stands the mechanical cosmos of extended things (res extensae), whose only attributes are extension and movement, constituting an objective world of pure externality without any interiority. On the other side stands the human soul, the 'thinking thing' (res cogitans), whose only attribute is rational consciousness, that is, knowledge and free will, a world of pure interiority.
- Objections and Replies (1641)
Descartes submitted his manuscript to many philosophers, theologians and a logician before publishing the Meditations. Their objections and his replies (many of which are quite extensive) were included in the first publication of the Meditations.
- Principles of Philosophy (Principia philosophiae, 1644) Aquinas History
- Letter to the Marquis of Newcastle (November 23, 1646)
- Letter to Henry Moore (February 5, 1649)
We cannot prove that animals have minds, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t because we can’t get inside an animal’s head (or heart). Since we can’t know whether animals have minds, Descartes appears to be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
--Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn
- Passions of the Soul (Les passions de l'ame, 1649)
- Parenthetic Doubt (Andrew Besley translation 1991) Philosophy Now (Winter 1991)
- Thomas CAREW (1595-1639) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
an English poet, among the 'Cavalier' group of Caroline poets.
- Poems (1640)
- George HERBERT (1593-1633) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
a Welsh-born English poet, orator and Anglican priest. Herbert's poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets
- The Temple (1633)
Whatever was best in the English temperament and in the Church of England between the times of Elizabeth I and Cromwell is present in these strong and lovable poems.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Izaak WALTON (1593-1685) The Online Books Page Petri Liukkonen biography
an English writer. Best known as the author of The Compleat Angler, he also wrote a number of short biographies that have been collected under the title of Walton's Lives.
- The Compleat Angler (1653) Kenneth Rexroth essay
A catch for any lucky reader.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Johann Amos COMENIUS (1592-1670) The Online Books Page
- The Labyrinth of the World (c. 1622)
- Robert HERRICK (1591-1664) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
a 17th-century English poet and cleric.
- Hesperides (1648, includes His Noble Numbers, 1647)
celebrates the fragility of life and love, and with the lightest of touches. His poems are noted for their rhythmic beauty and their skillfully-worked grace.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Thomas HOBBES (1588-1679) The Online Books Page Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy post
an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.
- Answer to Sir William D'Avenant's Preface before 'Gondibert' (1650)
- Elements of Law (1650)
- Elements of Philosophy (1651)
- Leviathan (1651)
Hobbes does not glorify absolute power. He sees it as a matter of necessity for individual self-preservation.
private persons are bound to obey the supreme civil power in all public matters, and that power is derived directly from God.
Hobbes denies what Aquinas had affirmed, that as social creatures we have a natural inclination toward the good of others.
--J. Daryl Charles
We owe to Rousseau the insight that if there were no nation-states there would be no wars, and to Hobbes the insight that without nation-states there would be no domestic order.
--Robert Delahunty and John Yoo
Possessing absolute power and incorporating in a single 'Will' the wills of all men, the sovereign is charged with preserving order and protecting life and property. Hobbes' assertion is that peace, the common goal of all men, can never be had unless this supreme power is firmly established and dutifully obeyed.
--Robert B. Downs
- - (Noel Malcolm, editor, 2012) The Economist review
- John FORD (1586-c. 1639) The Online Books Page
an English playwright and poet of the Jacobean and Caroline eras
- 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (1633)
- Cardinal RICHELIEU (1585-1642) The Online Books Page Notable Names Database
a French clergyman, noble and statesman. Consecrated as a bishop in 1608, he later entered politics, becoming a Secretary of State in 1616. ... a Cardinal in 1622, and King Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624.
In the impassioned belief that France was the surrogate for Christendom, Richelieu created the nationalist model, and the Peace of Westphalia imposed it on Europe—which suggests that it was not the Reformation but rather the Francophile mysticism of Richelieu and Joseph du Tremblay that delivered the death blow to Christian universal empire.
- Political Testament (Testament politique, 1687) Hanover Historical Texts Project
survives as an important legacy to posterity, and is made interesting by its revelation of the character of the author.
--J. A. Hammerton
- John SELDEN (1584-1654) The Online Books Page
- Table Talk (1689)
- Francis BEAUMONT(1584-1616) The Online Books Page Wikipedia
and John FLETCHER (1579-1635) The Online Books Page Wikipedia
... English dramatists ... who collaborated in their writing during the reign of James I (he reigned in England 1603-1625).
- Plays (1647; 1679)
- Philip MASSINGER (1583-1640) The Online Books Page
an English dramatist. His finely plotted plays, including A New Way to Pay Old Debts, The City Madam and The Roman Actor, are noted for their satire and realism, and their political and social themes.
- A New Way to Pay Old Debts (c. 1625)
- Hugo GROTIUS (1583-1645) The Online Books Page
- On the Law of War and Peace (1625)
- Edward HERBERT (1581-1648, 1st Baron Herbert of Cherbury) The Online Books Page | Poem Hunter
an Anglo-Welsh soldier, diplomat, historian, poet and religious philosopher of the Kingdom of England
- Autobiography (1764)
- John WEBSTER (c. 1580-c. 1634) The Online Books Page
an English Jacobean dramatist
- The White Devil (1612)
Violent and macabre; all-pervasive evil and darkness relieved by passages of fiercely brilliant poetry.
--Raphael and McLeish
- The Duchess of Malfi (c. 1618)
a duke goes mad and believes himself transformed into a ravenous wolf.
- Francisco de QUEVEDO (1580-1645) The Online Books Page
a Spanish nobleman, politician and writer of the Baroque era. ... His style is characterized by what was called conceptismo. This style existed in stark contrast to Gongora's culteranismo.
- Satirical Letter of Censure (Sermon estoico de censura moral, 1625)
- Paul the Sharper or The Scavenger or The Swindler (El Buscon, (1626)
- Visions (Suenos y discursos, 1627)
- Thomas MIDDLETON (1580-1627) The Online Books Page
and William ROWLEY (1585-1642) The Online Books Page
- The Changeling (1622)
- TIRSO de Molina (1579-1648) The Online Books Page | Association for Hispanic Classical Theater
a Spanish Baroque dramatist, a poet and a Roman Catholic monk.
one of the outstanding dramatists of the Golden Age of Spanish literature.
- The Trickster of Seville (El burlador de Sevilla y convidadode piedra, 1630)
written against the unprincipled young noblemen of his day, in which a young seducer (also guilty of trachery, murder, defilement of the sacrament of marriage, lese-mageste, and violation of the laws of hospitality) is drawn down to Hell by a 'stone guest', the taunted statue of the father of one of Juan's victims.
- Luis VELEZ de Guevara (1579-1644) The Online Books Page | Project Gutenberg
a Spanish dramatist and novelist.
- El diablo cojuelo (1641)
- William HARVEY (1578-1657) The Online Books Page
an English physician. He was the first to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the brain and body by the heart
- On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals (Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus 1628)
Harvey's discovery compelled an entirely new orientation in medicine and set a magnificent example of the correct method to be adopted in attempting further advances. More than anyone else, Harvey introduced the scientific spirit into medicine, and his influence was widely felt.
The momentous discovery, in short, was that the same blood is carried out by arteries and returned by veins, performing a complete circulation.
--Robert B. Downs
- Disquisition to John Riolan (Exercitatio anatomica de circulations sanguinis 1649)
- On the Generation of Animals (Exercitationes de Generatione Animalium 1651)
- Robert BURTON (1577-1640) The Online Books Page
an English scholar at Oxford University
- Anatomy of Melancholy (1621)
- Samuel PURCHAS (1577?-1626) The Online Books Page
an English cleric, published several volumes of reports by travelers to foreign countries.
- Purchas, His Pilgrimes (1625)
Much of it we now know to be fabulous; inaccuracies are frequent. On the other hand, Purchas has made known to us much matter concerning early exploration that is not only valuable, but unobtainable elsewhere.
--J. A. Hammerton
- John MARSTON (1575-1654) The Online Books Page | Poem Hunter
an English poet, playwright and satirist during the late Elizabethan and Jacobean periods. His career as a writer lasted a decade, and his work is remembered for its energetic and often obscure style, its contributions to the development of a distinctively Jacobean style in poetry, and its idiosyncratic vocabulary.
- The Malcontent (1603-04)
- Cyril TOURNEUR (1575-1626) The Online Books Page | Poetry Archive
- The Revenger's Tragedy (1607)
- John DONNE (1572-1631) The Online Books Page | Poetry Foundation | Academy of American Poets Luminarium Carol Iannone essay | Jeremy Bernstein essay | Izaak Walton biography | Thomas Carew elegy
an English poet, satirist, lawyer and a cleric in the Church of England. He is considered the pre-eminent representative of the metaphysical poets.
Pure distillation of early-17th-century intelligence--troubled, multiple, leaping and swooping, raising self-love to the height of compassion.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Holy Sonnets (1607-1631)
- A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning (1611)
- First and Second Anniversary (1611, 1612)
- Songs and Sonnets (to 1615)
- Elegies (to 1615)
We are seldom reminded as forcefully as by these poems that in the Latin poetry which underlies them the idea of rhetorical figuration is itself imaged as the application of cosmetics.
- Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions (1624)
- Sermons (1625, 1626)
- The Canonization (1633)
- Lecture upon the Shadow (1635)
- Thomas DEKKER (1572-1632) The Online Books Page
- The Shoemaker's Holiday (1600)
- Ben JONSON (1572-1637) The Online Books Page
a playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours.
- Volpone, or The Fox (1606)
- The Alchemist (1610)
- Masques (1614-1634) Wikipedia
- Come, My Celia (The Forest, 1616)
- Epicene (1609)
- On My First Son (The Works of Benjamin Jonson, 1616)
- Epitaph on Elizabeth (The Works of Benjamin Jonson, 1616)
- To the Memory of My Beloved Master William Shakespeare (1623)
- Discoveries, or Timber; a commonplace book (1641)
- Johannes KEPLER (1571-1630) The Online Books Page The MacTutor History of Mathematics archive post
a German mathematician, astronomer and astrologer. A key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, he is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion
After tremendous search, the conjecture that the orbit [of a planet] was an ellipse with the sun at one of its foci was found to fit the facts. Kepler also discovered the law governing the variation in speed during one revolution, which was that the line sun-planet sweeps out equal areas in equal periods of time. Finally he also discovered that the squares of the periods of revolution round the sun vary as the cubes of the major axes of the ellipses.
- The New Astronomy (Astronomia nova, 1609)
- Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae, 1618-21)
Whereas astronomers for hundreds of years had seen nothing but circles in the heavens, Kepler could see that the planets moved in ellipses.
- Harmony of the Worlds (Harmonice Mundi, 1619)
- Tommaso CAMPANELLA (1568-1634) The Online Books Page
- The City of the Sun (1602)
- Sonnets (2010)
- Thomas NASHE (1567-1601) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
an English Elizabethan pamphleteer, playwright, poet and satirist.
- The Unfortunate Traveller (1594)
- Thomas CAMPION (1567-1620) The Online Books Page
- A Booke of Ayres (1601)
- Two Bookes of Ayres (c. 1613)
The best Elizabethan words are given a seductive, syncopated overtone by the best Elizabethan music.
--Raphael and McLeish
- The Third and Fourth Booke of Ayres (1617)
- GALILEO Galilei (1564-1642) The Online Books Page | Great Books and Classics The Galileoscope Alec MacAndrew on Geocentrism | Paul Newell on the trial post
an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism.
- The Starry Messenger (Siderius Nuncius, 1610)
(Albert Van Helden translation, 1989)
- Authority of the Scripture (letter to Grand Duchess Christina, Duchess of Tuscany, 1614) Robert Bellarmine letter to Paolo Foscarini
Galileo stated that the Copernican theory was not just a mathematical calculating tool, but a physical reality.
- Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World, the Ptolemaic and the Copernican (Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, 1632)
In the beginning of the discussion the old concept of a perfect and unchangeable heaven is challenged on the basis of evidence furnished by new stars and sunspots, and similarities are pointed out between the earth, moon, and planets. There follow propositions relating to the earth's rotation and to the revolution of the earth about the sun. In each argument the Copernican doctrine emerges triumphant as constituting the simplest and most logical explanation of astronomical phenomena.
--Robert B. Downs
It is cast in the form of a dialogue between three men who, though well educated, are not themselves scientists. The pace of the work is leisurely, and very little of it is highly technical. It is puncutated with examples drawn from everyday life, and the wishes of the company for additional discussion are almost always heeded.
- Discourses and Mathematical Demonstrations Relating to Two New Sciences (Discorsi e Dimostrazioni Matematiche, intorno a due nuove scienze, 1638)
- Christopher MARLOWE (1564-1593) The Online Books Page post
an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. Marlowe was the foremost Elizabethan tragedian of his day.
With him the technique of English verse begins to have a continuous history; his influence in immense, even on Shakespeare.
--Raphael and McLeish
our great master of the material imagination; he writes best about flesh, gold, gems, stone, fire, clothes, water, snow, and air.
--C. S. Lewis
- Tamburlaine (part 1, c.1587; part 2, c.1587–1588)
This vast two-part historical extravaganza established blank verse--what Ben Jonson called 'Marlowe's mighty line'--as a medium for drama, and related its hero's whirlwind career with subtlety and feeling.
- The Jew of Malta (c.1589)
might well be regarded as Marlowe's meditation on espionage, since Barabas practices all the skills of the spy and the double agent.
- Edward II (c.1592)
Some have held that Edward II--about that king's passion for his minion Gaveston--is a better-made play than Dr. Faustus; certainly its scene of Edward's murder, hinting of violation with a red-hot poker, makes for horrifying and powerful theater.
- Doctor Faustus (1604)
the story of the scholar who sells his soul to the devil and then doesn't quite know what to do with the power and knowldege he acquires.
- Complete Poems (2003)
- William SHAKESPEARE (1564-1616) The Online Books Page George Santayana essay | Samuel Johnson preface | see Samuel Taylor Coleridge Writings | see Ben Jonson Memorial | post
an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.
He lived in the period just before the era of economic liberalism--with the market as its master model of society--split off 'liberty' and 'individuality' from community and finally from the social self. His direct and publicly cognizable transformations of the irrational into art were therefore still possible.
Coming at the hinge point of European history, Shakespeare internalises the crisis: his mind is where the old sacred powers of nature and the new enlightened forces of sterility and destruction collide, and the complete cycle of his works articulates what [Ted] Hughes calls 'the prevailing psychic conflict of his times in England'– which is to say our times too, the battle between life and the Reformation, 'together with its accompanying materialist and democratising outlook and rational philosophy'.
we see how Shakespeare remains politically relevant to a wide variety of situations around the world; he seems to be taken most seriously by people who find themselves in the middle of a crisis and, in particular, who feel their liberties threatened.
--Paul A. Cantor
It is, of course, the protean nature of Shakespeare's personality, as manifested in his plays, which has lead critics and writers to conscript him for various positions, from crypto-Catholic to conservative to agnostic humanist to nihilist.
Dates of plays are of first performance rather than first publication.
- King Henry VI, Parts I, II, and III (1590)
- Romeo and Juliet (1591-1596)
- King Richard III (1592)
- The Taming of the Shrew (1593)
- Titus Andronicus (1593)
- Love's Labour's Lost (1594)
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1594) Adam Bertocci parody
- The Winter's Tale (1594-1610)
- King Richard II (1595)
- A Midsummer Night's Dream (1595)
- The Merchant of Venice (1596)
This is a 'controversial' play--so much so that some people contend it should never be read or presented on the stage, while others consider it perfectly harmless and ascribe the former view to the anxieties of our age.
- King John (1596)
- King Henry IV, Parts I and II (1597, 1598) see Maurice Morgann Essay
great treatises on politics, maturity and responsibility.
- The Merry Wives of Windsor (1597-1600)
- As You Like It (1599)
- Julius Caesar (1599)
Fearful that Caesar will become Emperor of Rome, fellow senators Cassius and Brutus conspire against him. Caesar ignores warnings to lie low, heads to the Senate and is brutally stabbed. Caesar's right-hand man, Mark Antony, rallies the public against the conspirators, who flee Rome--with Antony's army hot on their heels.
they are inspired first to hate Caesar by Brutus’ speech and then to love him by Antony’s, in the space of minutes. This scene is terrifying because it reveals that even though Caesar has just been assassinated to preserve the Republic, the Republic is already dead. Its people are unfit for it.
- King Henry V (1599) Judith Shulevitz essay
Shakespeare's dramatization of Henry's supreme leadership and martial valor (particularly in the battlefield speeches) can hardly fail to stir even the most churlish and disapproving, which is perhaps why the play is often treated in our less patriotic times with caution or even suspicion.
- Much Ado about Nothing (1599)
- The Passionate Pilgrim (1599)
an unauthorized anthology of poems by various authors... and attributed on the title page to William Shakespeare.
- Hamlet (1599-1600) Carol Zaleski review | Stephen Greenblatt essay Stephan Pastis comic strip
For the puzzle of the play is the character of Hamlet. Almost anything that we might be tempted to say concerning him can as easily be denied as affirmed.
Some of what Hamlet does presupposes the sacred order assumed by medieval and even Reformation Christianity, and the action of the play makes little sense outside that context, and to that extent the play is unmodern; but there are within Hamlet's personality and character feelings and thoughts which put the old order in question, and it is these aspects of 'Hamlet' which have fascinated readers and commentators ever since, particularly since the Romantic era.
His mother wed his / dead murdered father's brother! / Next Jerry Springer.
--David M. Bader
- Troilus and Cressida (1602)
- Twelfth Night, or, What You Will (1602)
- Othello (1603)
Othello is one of the most accessible of his greatest plays: poetry, form and spectacle are kept in perfect balance.
--Raphael and McLeish
He is lead to this tragic end by the machinations of Iago, perhaps to most masterful of Shakespeare's creations of human villainy. But his downfall is also caused by his own passion, impetuousity, and pride.
- All's Well That Ends Well (1603)
- Measure for Measure (1603)
- King Lear (1603-1606)
The power of speech to evoke man's most subtle and contradictory insights, the interplay of good and evil in the world, the terror of the irrational and the unknown and the healing power of hope and love are all woven into a single dream.
- Macbeth (1603-1606) Harry V. Jaffa essay | Tom Strini review | Damien Jaques review
It derives much of its impact from its deep insights into human character and motivations, akin to the interpretations of modern depth psychology, and also from the sense it conveys of the tremendous change that follows from the commitment of an single act, the catastrophic weight of the present moment.
It is an introduction to the richness of genius, and the richness of something at the disposal of persons who are not geniuses--the English language.
--George F. Will
secretly, I confess, I rooted for MacBeth, and hated to have him die, even if I did see the justice of it.
- Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
- Coriolanus (1607) Roger Sandall essay
- Timon of Athens (1607)
- Pericles (1608)
- Cymbeline (1609) Aisha Motlani review
- The Sonnets (1609)
the homosexual Sonnets (rearranged and altered in the edition entitled Poems of 1646 to imply they were addressed to a woman) are the best-known of Shakespeare's lyrics.
- The Tempest (1611)
Shakespeare, however had clearly read Montaigne and disagreed with him. Some critics think that The Tempest was a challenge to On the Cannibals.
Following Coleridge, it is now more often seen as a "romance," along with other late plays ('The Winter's Tale', 'Pericles', 'Cymeline'), in which we also find scenes of the reconciliation of age-old disputes, with the disputants fortuitously brought together and lost children found.
- King Henry VIII (1612)
- Michael DRAYTON (1563-1631) The Online Books Page
- The Battle of Agincourt (Odes 1619)
- To the Virginian Voyage (Odes 1619)
- Guru ARJAN (1563-1606)
the fifth of the eleven Sikh Gurus
- Adi Granth (1604) The Online Books Page | Kawaldeep Singh fan site
Guru Gobind Singh (1666–1708), the tenth guru, after adding Guru Tegh Bahadur's bani to the Adi Granth affirmed the sacred text as his successor, elevating it to Guru Granth Sahib.
- Sri Guru Granth Sahib (1704-1706) Sikhism
- Samuel DANIEL (1562-1619) The Online Books Page
- A Defence of Ryme (1603)
- Poems (in Selected Poetry and A Defence of Rhyme 1998)
- LOPE de Vega (1562-1635) The Online Books Page | Golden Age Spanish Sonnets
a Spanish playwright and poet. He was one of the key figures in the Spanish Golden Century Baroque literature.
The phrase 'Es de Lope' ('it is by Lope') is still used to commend a prodigy of perfection ... Lope de Vega is considered the Spanish Shakespeare.
- Peribanez and the Comendador of Ocana (Peribanez y El Comendador de Ocana, 1610?)
- All Citizens Are Soldiers (Fuentovejuna, 1612-1614)
- The Dog in the Manger (El Perro del Hortelano 1613-1615)
- The Knight of Olmedo (El Caballero de Olmedo, 1620-1625?)
- Lost in a Mirror (El Castigo sin Venganza, 1631)
- La Dorotea (1632)
- Francis BACON (1561-1626) The Online Books Page Theodore K Rabb review | post
an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, orator, essayist, and author.
For the first time, we hear the modern pragmatic notion of truth forcefully announced.
Also modern is Bacon's cry to make everything new--a new system of the sciences, a new method of inquiry, discoveries of new things.
- Letter to Lord Burghley (1592)
- Essays; Or, Counsels Civil and Moral (1597)
Pungent observations on his own changing world, on man and society, on politics, ambition, marriage, youth and age, education: all the major issues which concern Bacon as much as they do us.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning, Divine and Human (1605)
Bacon ranks as the earliest prominent methodologist of scientific inquiry. He represents an effort to proceed beyond the crude and slovenly inductive procedure of a simple enumeration of affirmative observations.
--Robert B. Downs
For Bacon, it is not contemplation but productive activity which is the highest aim of philosophical inquiry.
- Wisdom of the Ancients (1619)
- Novum Organum (1620)
The novelty—according to Bacon's vision—lies in a new correlation between science and praxis. This is also given a theological application: the new correlation between science and praxis would mean that the dominion over creation —given to man by God and lost through original sin—would be reestablished.
- Apophthegms (1625)
- New Atlantis (1626)
Where Leviticus ritually separates pure from impure with an eye to what is divine in man, Bacon's New Atlantis vivisects and recombines everything for the sake of healing man's animal body.
- Sylva Sylvarum (1627)
- Luis de GONGORA (1561-1627) The Online Books Page | Poetry Archive
a Spanish Baroque lyric poet. Góngora and his lifelong rival, Francisco de Quevedo, are widely considered the most prominent Spanish poets of all time.
- Sonnets A. S. Kline fan site
- Solitudes (Soledades, 1613)
- George CHAPMAN (1559-1634) The Online Books Page | Poetry Foundation
an English dramatist, translator, and poet. He was a classical scholar whose work shows the influence of Stoicism. ... best remembered for his translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and the Homeric Batrachomyomachia.
- The Poems (1941)
- The Comedies (1970)
- The Tragedies (1987)
- Thomas KYD (1558-1594) The Online Books Page
- The Spanish Tragedy (1592)
- Philip SIDNEY (1554-1586) The Online Books Page
an English poet, courtier and soldier, and is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age.
I shall not want Honour in Heaven / For I shall meet Sir Philip Sidney / And have talk with Coriolanus / And other heroes of that kidney.
--T. S. Eliot
- The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia (1590)
It has to be skimmed, and the original version is far more readable than the revision. Still, it is a remarkable fusion of political philosophy, picaresque adventure, chivalric romance, and tragicomedy...
- Astrophel and Stella (1591)
- An Apology for Poetry (1595)
unites prodigious learning to a style at once sinewy and supple, airy and weighty.
- Walter RALEIGH (1554-1618) The Online Books Page
an English aristocrat, writer, poet, soldier, courtier, spy, and explorer.
- The Discovery Of Guiana (1595)
- History of the World (1614)
- Poems (Collected Poems, 1813)
- Fulke GREVILLE (1554-1628, 1st Baron Brooke) The Online Books Page | Poetry Foundation
an Elizabethan poet, dramatist, and statesman
- Selectd Poems (1968)
- Lazarillo de Tormes (anonymous, 1554) The Online Books Page | Fan site
a Spanish novella, published anonymously because of its heretical content.
- Agrippa d'AUBIGNE (1552-1630) The Online Books Page
a French poet, soldier, propagandist and chronicler.
- Les Tragiques (1616)
- Edward COKE (1552-1634) The Online Books Page
an English barrister, judge and politician, considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras.
- Commentary Upon Littleton (1628, Institutes of the Lawes of England, vol. 1)
- Edmund SPENSER (1552 or 1553-1599) The Online Books Page
an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I.
- Shepheardes Calendar (1579)
- Complaints (1591)
- Amoretti and Epithalamion (1595)
- An Hymne of Heavenly Beautie (Fowre Hymnes, 1596)
- The Faerie Queen (1590, )
- Richard HAKLUYT (c. 1552-1616) The Online Books Page
- The Principal Navigations of the English Nation (1589)
- JUANA Ines de la Cruz (1551-1595) The Online Books Page | Sor Juana Project
a self-taught scholar and poet of the Baroque school, and Hieronymite nun of New Spain.
- Poems (1985)
- Book of DEDE KORKUT (Kitab-i Dede Korkut, 16th Century) The Online Books Page | Wikisource | Ohio State
Various dates have been proposed for the first written copies. ... two 16th-century scribes ... authored the oldest extant manuscripts.
Twelve epic tales in prose and verse as presented in sixteenth-century manuscripts. An Islamic coloring is superimposed on a setting tht reflects the pre-Islamic heroic age of the Oghuz Turks.
--A Guide to Oriental Classics
- Book of COMMON PRAYER (1549) The Online Books Page
the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches.
The simple beauty of the Prayer Book's prose, especially in its collects (generally thought to have been composed by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer), displays perfect pitch for sound and rhymed balance... .
- Giordano BRUNO (1548-1600) The Online Books Page | Esoteric Archives | Radical Adademy post
- The Expulsion of the Triumphant Beast (Spaccio de la Bestia Trionfante, 1584)
- Miguel de CERVANTES (1547-1616) The Online Books Page Walter Alexander Raleigh essay | post
a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered to be the first modern European novel
- Don Quixote (1604, 1615)
Don Quixote, a gaunt country gentleman crazed by reading books of knight-errantry, sets out to redress the evils of the 17th-century world.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Exemplary Stories (Novelas ejemplares, 1613)
- Francis DRAKE (c. 1545-1595) The Online Books Page
an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and politician of the Elizabethan era.
- Sir Francis Drake Revived (1653)
- Francis PRETTY The Online Books Page
- Sir Francis Drake’s Famous Voyage Round the World (1580)
- Walter BIGGES (d. 1586) The Online Books Page
- Sir Francis Drake's West Indian Voyage or Drake's Great Armada (1589) Father Theo's Blog
- William GILBERT (1544-1603) The Online Books Page Institute and Museum of the History of Science | David P. Stern fan site
an English physician, physicist and natural philosopher. ... is credited as one of the originators of the term "electricity".
- On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies, and on That Great Magnet the Earth (De Magnete, Magneticisque Corporibus, et de Magno Magnete Tellure, 1600)
- Torquato TASSO (1544-1595) The Online Books Page
an Italian poet of the 16th century... died a few days before he was due to be crowned as the king of poets by the Pope.
Why is it that the Renaissance Italian poet Tasso, who fired imaginations from Milton and Dryden to Shelley, Byron, and Goethe, should now subsist as a decoration in scholarly footnotes instead of as a living presence?
- Jerusalem Delivered (1580)
A certain kind and degree of artificility, a certain very skilful balance of unity and variety, a certain tone of disciplined ardour--these prevail from the first line to those wholly satisfactory last words e scioglie il voto which Tasso had in mind before he first put pen to paper.
--C. S. Lewis,
- Robert GARNIER (1544-1590) The Online Books Page
a French tragic poet. ... In 1582 and 1583 he produced his two masterpieces Bradamante and Les Juives.
- Mark Antony (Marc-Antoine, 1578)
- The Jewesses (Les Juives, 1583)
- JOHN of the Cross (1542-1591) The Online Books Page
a major figure of the Counter-Reformation, a Spanish mystic, a Roman Catholic saint, a Carmelite friar and a priest ... Both his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul are considered the summit of mystical Spanish literature and one of the peaks of all Spanish literature.
- Poems (1993)
They are concerned with the path to perfect union with God, and Juan saw that he was forunate in his suffering, which made solitude and contemplation necessary. Frequent references to carnal love make the poems immediately attractive to secular readers.
Good translation: Campbell.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Garcilaso de la VEGA (1539-1616) The Online Books Page
a chronicler and writer from the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. ... he is recognized primarily for his contributions to Inca history, culture, and society
not to be confused with the poet Garcilaso de la Vega [(c. 1501–1536)]
- The Incas (Comentarios Reales de los Incas, 1609)
abridged in English by Maria Jolas (Avon, 1961).
- Edward HAIES (c. 1539-[?]) The Online Books Page
- Sir Humphrey Gilbert's Voyage To Newfoundland (1583)
- Michel de MONTAIGNE (1533-1592) The Online Books Page Petri Liukkonen biography | Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Kenneth Rexroth review | post
one of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance, known for popularizing the essay as a literary genre, and commonly thought of as the father of modern skepticism.
- Essays (Essais, 1580)
The question of how a skeptic can live his life as a social and political agent is often asked, and here it is examined in 'attempts', or thought experiments. Nothing is asserted and everything can be doubted without despair or destructiveness.
- Jean BODIN (1530-1596) The Online Books Page
a French jurist and political philosopher ... He is best known for his theory of sovereignty
- The Six Books on the State (1576)
[O]ne religious denomination could not be imposed by force. Religion, he saw, was greater than the symbolization used to contain it.
--Jene M. Porter
- Raphael HOLINSHED (1529-1580) The Online Books Page
an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays.
- The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (1577)
- Antonio FERREIRA (c. 1528-1569) The Online Books Page | Projecto Vercial
- Joachim DU BELLAY (1525-1560) The Online Books Page | Every Poet | Sonnet Central | Poetry in Translation
a French poet, critic
leader with Pierre de Ronsard of the literary group known as La Pleiade. Du Bellay is the author of the Pleiade’s manifesto, La Defense et illustration de la langue francaise (The Defence & Illustration of the French Language).
- Regrets (Les Regrets, 1558)
- Pierre de RONSARD (1524-1585) The Online Books Page | Poem Hunter
a French poet and "prince of poets" (as his own generation in France called him).
- Odes (Les Odes, 1550, 1552)
- Elegies (Elegies, mascarades et bergeries, 1565)
- Sonnets pour Helene (1578; Humbert Wolfe trans. 1934)
- Luis Vaz de CAMOES [or CAMOENS] (1524-1580) The Online Books Page
- The Lusiads (William C. Atkison translation 1952; Os Lusiadas 1572)
tells the story of the Portuguese overseas empire to its apogee in 1548...
- Gaspara STAMPA (1523-1554) The Online Books Page | Poetry Foundation | Poem Hunter
an Italian poet. She is considered to have been the greatest woman poet of the Italian Renaissance, and she is regarded by many as the greatest Italian woman poet of any age.
- Selected Poems (1994)
- LUIS de Leon (1520-1591) The Online Books Page
a Spanish lyric poet, Augustinian friar, theologian and academic, active during the Spanish Golden Age.
- The Unknown Light (Willis Barnstone translation, 1979)
- Pedro CIEZA DE LEON (c. 1520-1554) The Online Books Page | Then Again... | Modern History Sourcebook Juan J. Zaro essay
a Spanish conquistador and chronicler of Peru. He is known primarily for his history and description of Peru, Cronicas del Peru.
- Chronicle of Peru (Cronicas del Peru, First Part 1553, Second Part 1871, Third Part 1979, Fourth Part 1909)
- Henry HOWARD (1517-1547, Earl of Surrey) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
an English aristocrat, and one of the founders of English Renaissance poetry.
- Selected Poems (1985)
- TERESA of Avila (1515-1582) The Online Books Page Charlotte Allen review
a prominent Spanish mystic, Roman Catholic saint, Carmelite nun, an author of the Counter Reformation, and theologian of contemplative life through mental prayer.
- Autobiography (Vida, 1588)
It was in 1562 that she founded her first convent (in Avila) and during the next three years she set down the story of her life at the request of her spiritual director, Francisco de Soto y Salazar. She writes pungently and frankly, as she speaks, with no idea of punctuation and little of grammar.
- Agustin de ZARATE (1514-1560) The Online Books Page University of Virginia
- The Discovery and Conquest of Peru (Historia del descubrimiento y conquista del Peru, 1555)
- (J. M. Cohen, translation, 1968)
- Andreas VESALIUS (1514-1564) The Online Books Page | Northwestern University
a Brabantian (in modern-day Belgium) anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy
- On the Fabric of the Human Body (De humani corporis fabrica, 1543)
Here is depicted the birth of scientific anatomy, man's first clear and accurate knowledge of the foundation stone of medical science and of the whole science of the human body.
--Robert B. Downs
- Giorgio VASARI (1511-1574) The Online Books Page
an Italian painter, architect, writer and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.
- Lives of the Painters (Le Vite de' piu Eccellenti Pitttori, Scultori e Architettori, 1550) Illustrated
traveled throughtout the length and breadth of Italy to collect oral testimony, written documents and manuscripts, and to see the paintings which he then described at first hand.
- John CALVIN (1509-1564) The Online Books Page Christian Classics Ethereal Library post
an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism.
He denied God's will to save all mankind, taught that God created some to be saved--to the glory of His mercy--others to be eternally lost--to the glory of His justice, or rather of His vengeance; for Calvin denied the freedom of man's will and held that men were damned for sins which they were utterly unable to avoid committing. Like Luther, he taught that faith, in the new sense of man's confidence in hsi own election to eternal life, was the only means of salvation. Moreover, this faith was caused in a sinner's soul by God alone without any co-operation on his own part, the sinner being entirely passive.
--M. L. Cozens
- Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536)
Theologians ground their systems in some specific aspect of divine revelation. Thomas Aquinas centered the Summa on the perfection of nature by grace; Calvin based his Institutes on the doctrine of the absolute sovereignty of God.
- Ambroise PARE (1509-1590) The Online Books Page post
a French barber surgeon who served in that role for kings Henry II, Francis II, Charles IX and Henry III. He is considered one of the fathers of surgery and modern forensic pathology and a pioneer in surgical techniques and battlefield medicine
- Journeys in Diverse Places (1537-1569) Bartleby
- WU Ch'eng-en (c. 1506-1581)
a Chinese novelist and poet of the Ming Dynasty
- The Journey to the West or Monkey (Hsi-yu chi, c. 1570s) Haiwang Yuan essay
A highly imaginative fictional account of the epic pligrimages to India of the Buddhist monk Hsuan-tsang ...
--A Guide to Oriental Classics
- Thomas WYATT (1503-1542) The Online Books Page | Luminarium
a 16th-century English ambassador and lyrical poet. He is credited with introducing the sonnet into English.
- Selected Poems (Harriman Scott, ed. 2003; Michael Smith, ed. 1974)
- Gerolamo CARDANO (1501-1576) The Online Books Page
an Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler. ... His gambling led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of the field.
- The Book of My Life (De vita propria, 1576; De Propria Vita Liber, 1654))
Throughout, Cardano presents his past and present factually, almost matter-of-factually, in a scientific spirit that spares himself nothing, while revealing a winning, if dour, personality.
- /\ 16th Century
- \/ 15th Century
- Benvenuto CELLINI (1500-1571) The Online Books Page
- Life of Benvenuto Cellini (1558-1564)
first published 1728
The artist as bohemian, free to disregard the laws and customs of ordinary men.
--Raphael and McLeish
- Maurice SCEVE (c. 1501-c. 1564) The Online Books Page | REC Music Foundation
a French poet active in Lyon during the Renaissance period. He was the centre of the Lyonnese côterie that elaborated the theory of spiritual love
- The Delie (Delie, 1564)
- Portuguese Voyages (1498-1663)(1953)
Portuguese discoveries is the name given to the intensive maritime exploration by the Portuguese during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The seven texts are: "The Route to India" 1497-8 from "Vasco da Gama's First Voyage"; "The Discovery of Brazil" 1500; "The Lands of Prester John" 1520-6; "The Furthest East, 1537-8" from "The Voyages and Adventures of Fernand Mendes Pinto"; "The Tragic History of the Sea" 1552 and 1585; "The Jesuits in Abyssinia" from "A Voyage to Abyssinia"; and "Overland Return from India", 1663.
- Charles David Ley, Editor
- Francois RABELAIS (c. 1495-1553) The Online Books Page D. S. Carne-Ross essay
a major French Renaissance writer, doctor, Renaissance humanist, monk and Greek scholar.
- Gargantua and Pantagruel (1535-1552)
Relish for excess, the French appetite, is here displayed at its most gluttonous, not only for food and sex but for ideas and the display of rhetorical virtuosity; the 16th century is anatomized literally and metaphorically--though at a length which inclines one (to one's loss) to make a chapter or two stand for the whole.
--Raphael and McLeish
- MARGARET of Valois (1492-1549) The Online Books Page
Queen of France and of Navarre during the late sixteenth century. ... She was also a gifted poet and writer, notable for both her own scandalous behavior and for revealing that of others.
- Heptameron (Les Marguerites de la marguerite des princesses, 1558)
- Bernal DIAZ del Castillo (1492-1581) The Online Books Page Rashkin, Sarnoff, and Bagdasarian PowerPoint
a Spanish conquistador, who participated as a foot soldier in the conquest of Mexico with Hernan Cortes.
- The True History of the Conquest of New Spain (Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva Espana, 1632)
- FUZULI (c. 149r-1556) The Online Books Page Poetry Magic
the pen name of the Azerbaijani or the Bayat branch of Oghuz Turkic and Ottoman poet, writer and thinker Muhammad bin Suleyman
- Leyla and Mecnun (Dastan-i Leyli vu Mecnun, 1535-1536)
...stems from an old Arabic legend of unrequited love among the Bedouins. ... Fuzuli's beautiful treatment of it as a mystic allegory is the best-known Turkish version of the romance.
--A Guide to Oriental Classics
- 1492 and All That
- Francesco GUICCIARDINI (1483-1540) The Online Books Page eNotes
an Italian historian and statesman. A friend and critic of Niccolò Machiavelli, he is considered one of the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance.
- The History of Italy (Storia d'Italia, 1561)
- Martin LUTHER (1483-1546) The Online Books Page | The Small Catechism Project Wittenberg post
a German monk, former Catholic priest, professor of theology and seminal figure of a reform movement in 16th century Christianity, subsequently known as the Protestant Reformation.
In one sentence: The Church teaches that God for Christ's sake imparts holiness: Luther taught that God for Christ's sake imputes holiness to the sinner.
--M. L. Cozens
the doctrine of justification by faith alone derives from Luther's effort to correct the individualist turn of Catholic theology, and from his sensitivity to the overwhelming need of man to love himself in the world, as God had loved him.
Luther had what Wycliffe and Hus did not: technology.
In the west, identity politics began in earnest with the Reformation. Martin Luther argued that salvation could be achieved only through an inner state of faith, and attacked the Catholic emphasis on works--that is, exterior conformity to a set of social rules. The Reformation thus identified true religiosity as an individual's subjective state, dissociating inner identity from outer practice.
Luther & Zwingli / Should be treated singly; / L hated the peasants, / Z the Real Presence.
--W. H. Auden
- To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation (An den christlichen Adel deutscher Nation, 1520)
was written by Luther after his realization that the breach between him and the papal church was complete and likely to be permanent. He wrote as a patriotic German rather than as a churchman or theologian.
--Robert B. Downs
- On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church (Von der babylonischen Gefangenschaft der Kirche, 1520)
- On the Freedom of a Christian (Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen, 1520)
- On the Bondage of the Will (De Servo Arbitrio, 1525)
- Commentary on Psalm 2 (1532)
- Commentary on Psalm 110 (1539)
- Table Talk (Tischreden, 1566)
- Baldassare CASTIGLIONE (1478-1529) The Online Books Page
- The Book of the Courtier (Sir Thomas Hoby, trans., 1561; Il libro del Cortegiano, 1528)
- Thomas MORE (1477-1535) The Online Books Page Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy post
an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist. ... More later opposed the King's separation from the Catholic Church and refused to accept him as Supreme Head of the Church of England .. Tried for treason, More was convicted on perjured testimony and beheaded.
If only he had left theology to the theologians.
a model layman, living the Gospel to the full. He was a fine scholar and an ornament to his profession, a loving husband and father, humble in prosperity, courageous in adversity, humorous and godly.
--John Paul II
it was determination to avoid damnation for heresy which took Thomas More to the block.
- Utopia (1516)
unfolds the picture of a frugal, moral and equalitarian society that was the exact opposite of English society in More's day.
--Joseph A. Schumpeter
he envisioned the authoritarian communist world of his 'Utopia,' with its universal requirement of six hours' labor a day and a population that flocked voluntarily to improving pre-dawn lectures, as a detailed and practical alternative...
During his travels, the sailor had accidentally found the mythical island of Amaurote (Utopia), had lived there for five years, and was returning home with news of the perfect state. Highly unfavorable comparisons are drawn by the narrator between the inhabitants of this blessed isle and the people of England.
--Robert B. Downs
- MICHELANGELO (1475-1564) The Online Books Page Neil R. Bonner fan site | see Giorgio Vasari Lives Gregory Wolfe review | Robert Royal review | Creighton Gilbert review
an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art.
- Sonnets and Madrigals (1623)
The first edition in 1623, by a grand-nephew, was heavily revised and bowlderized, and fragments were completed. ... The original texts were published in 1863
- Ludivico ARIOSTO (1474-1533) The Online Books Page
an Italian poet. He is best known as the author of the romance epic Orlando Furioso
the most prodigal imagination ever possessed by man.
- Orlando Furioso (1516)
From a poet of such fame and such mighty gifts we would gladly receive something better than the adventures of Orlando.
He has been able to fill poetic dreams with experience and wisdom, hope and determination.
- Nicolaus COPERNICUS (1473-1543) The Online Books Page | World History Center History of Mathematics Archive post
a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who formulated a heliocentric model of the universe which placed the Sun, rather than the Earth, at the center.
In an age when experimental method has achieved the dignity of dogma, it is worth emphasizing that astronomers and physicists undertook closer observations and more exact measurements only after Copernicus (d. 1543) had put an alternative to traditional Ptolemaic and Aristotelian theories before the learned world; and Copernicus did so, not on the basis of observations and measurements, but on the grounds of logical simplicity and aesthetic symmetry.
--William H. McNeill
- On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres (De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, 1543)
Copernicus had opened the eyes of the most intelligent to the fact that the best way to get a clear grasp of the apparent movements of the planets in the heavens was to regard them as movements round the sun conceived as stationary.
- WANG Yangming (1472-1529) [Wang Shou-Jen] The Online Books Page Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
a Chinese idealist Neo-Confucian philosopher, official, educationist, calligraphist and general during the Ming dynasty.
The principal Neo-Confucian philosopher of the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries, his philosophy of the mind drew on that of Chu Hsi, yet also provided the principal alternative to Chu Hsi's intellectualism in later Chinese thought, in regard to the role of moral intuition versus cognitive learning.
--A Guide to Oriental Classics
- Instructions for Practical Living (Chuan Xi Liu; in Instructions for Practical Living and other neo-Confucian Writings, Chan Wing-tsit translation, 1963)
- Inquiry on the Great Learning (Da Xue Wen; in Instructions for Practical Living and other neo-Confucian Writings, Chan Wing-tsit translation, 1963) Humanistic Texts Robert Neville essay
- Niccolo MACHIAVELLI (1469-1527) The Online Books Page The History Guide Stewart Patrick essay | Isaiah Berlin essay [library] | Isaiah Berlin essay [NYRB] | post
an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. ... "Machiavellianism", is a widely used negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in The Prince.
What unites Machiavelli's personal and political sides is his desire that one's beliefs reflect life as it is actually lived rather than as we think it should be lived.
- Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy (Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, c. 1517)
he argues that the prospect of heaven ruins our attempts to make this life--our only real life--better.
- The Mandrake (Mandragola, 1518)
- Florentine History (Istorie fiorentine, 8 volumes, 1520-1525)
- The Prince (Il Principe, 1532) Kenneth Rexroth review
His realistic acceptance of the evil in political means and its inevitability, indeed indispensability, in striving for heroic ends has shocked critics of politics for five hundred years, yet gain the book its status as what Isaiah Berlin called the first work of political science.
--Richard E. Neustadt
Machiavelli convinces the reader that great evils, unspeakable crimes, foul deeds are not only excusable but praiseworthy if they are done in the service of some good.
- Desiderius ERASMUS (1466-1536) The Online Books Page
a Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian. ... He was a proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"
someone who never made the mistake of putting ideas before flesh and blood...
- The Praise of Folly (Moriae encomium [Greek], Laus stultitiae [Latin], 1511)
What makes The Praise of Folly somewhat enigmatic is its yoking together of a number of incongruous aspects of 'folly'.
- Colloquies (Colloquia, 1518-1533)
- Gil VICENTE (c. 1465-c. 1536) The Online Books Page | Poetry Archive
a Portuguese playwright and poet who acted in and directed his own plays. Considered the chief dramatist of Portugal
- Quem tem farelos? (1508)
- Auto da India (1509)
- Farso do Velho da Horta (1512)
- Auto dos Fisicos (1512)
The two 1512 plays are both comic triumphs, the one ridiculing an old man looking for a mistress, and the other on a a priestly buffoon who falls ill with love and is treated by a succession of outrageous doctors.
- Fernando de ROJAS (c. 1465-1541) The Online Books Page
a Spanish author and dramatist, known for his only surviving work, La Celestina ... It is variously considered "the last work of the Spanish Middle Ages or the first work of the Spanish Renaissance".
- La Celestina (La Comedia de Calisto y Melibea, 1499)
concerns the love of the nobly-born youth Calisto for Melibea, the lovely daughter of the Jew Pleberio. She rejects Calisto, so his servant Sempronio advises making use of the old go-between Celestina.
- The Spanish Bawd (J. M. Cohen translaton, 1964)
- Celestina (Lesley B. Simpson translation, 1955)
- William DUNBAR (1460-1520) The Online Books Page | Poetry Foundation | Poem Hunter
a Scottish makar active in the late fifteenth century and the early sixteenth century. He was closely associated with the court of King James IV of Scotland
- Selected Poems (Harriet Harvey Wood, ed., 2006)
- John SKELTON (1460-1529) The Online Books Page
- Selected Poems (John Skelton and Gerald Hammond, eds., 2003)
- LEONARDO Da Vinci (1452-1519) The Online Books Page T. J. Clark review | post
an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer.
- Notebooks (1970; The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci 1883)
An indispensable treasury of original insights, jokes, inventions, and observations by one of the most remarkable men the world has ever known.
- Christopher COLUMBUS (1451-1506) The Online Books Page Columbus Navigation post
an Italian explorer, navigator, and colonizer, born in the Republic of Genoa (Italy). Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents.
the greatest of a long list of Italians who, in the service of the western nations, sailed into distant seas.
It was the achievement of Columbus to convert conjecture into certainty, to substitute knowledge for hypothesis, and to open a way across the Atlantic which has never since been closed.
- Letter Concerning Newly Discovered Islands (1493)
- KABIR (c. 1440–c. 1518) The Online Books Page
a mystic poet and saint of India, whose writings have greatly influenced the Bhakti movement.
- One Hundred Poems of Kabir (1915, Rabindranath Tagore, with Evelin Underhill, translation)
- Jorge MANRIQUE (1440-1479) The Online Books Page
a major Spanish poet
- Stanzas about the Death of his Father (Coplas a la muerte de su padre, 1477)
- Matteo Maria BOIARDO (1440/1-1494) The Online Books Page
an Italian Renaissance poet.
- Orlando in Love (Orlando innamorato, 1486)
- Diego de SAN PEDRO (c. 1437–c. 1498) The Online Books Page
a Castilian writer
- The Prison of Love (Carcel de amor, 1492)
- VILLON (Francois de Montcorbier, 1431-after 1462) The Online Books Page
- The Great Testament (1461) Eric Ormsby review
a great poem of 2,000 or so lines which develops the 'legacy' theme but also interpolates the great ballads (some written earlier) by which he is remembered...
- Thomas MALORY (1416/7-1471) The Online Books Page
the author or compiler of Le Morte d'Arthur.
- Le Morte D'Arthur (1485)
No one wants the Grail to overthrow the Round Table directly, by a fiat of spiritual magic. What we want is to see the Round Table sibi relictus, falling back from the peak that failed to reach heaven and so abandoned to those tendencies within it which must work its destruction. And that is what we are shown.
--C. S. Lewis
Into the narrative of the adventures of Arthur and his court and the originally distinct story of the Quest for the Holy Grail, Malory, working in his prison with his French books about him, poured all the shadow life of bygone Medieval Europe.
- JAMI (1414-1492) The Online Books Page
a scholar, mystic, writer, composer of numerous lyrics and idylls, historian, and the greatest Persian and Tajik Sufi poets of the 15th century.
- Baharistan (1481; Edward Rehatsek translation 1887)
- CHANDIDAS (b. 1408) Poet Seers
Chandidas ... refers to (possibly more than one) medieval poet of Bengal.
- Love Songs of Chandidas (1916; Srikrishna Kirtan)
- Mabinogion The Online Books Page
The stories of the Mabinogion appear in either or both of two medieval Welsh manuscripts, the White Book of Rhydderch or Llyfr Gwyn Rhydderch, written circa 1350, and the Red Book of Hergest or Llyfr Coch Hergest, written about 1382–1410
- /\ 15th Century
- \/ 1101-1400 | 1601-1700 /\
Revised July 4, 2014.