Renaissance

Erasmus of Rotterdam – Prince of the Humanists

Erasmus of Rotterdam – Prince of the Humanists

On October 27, 1466,  Dutch Renaissance humanist, Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus, also known as Erasmus of Rotterdam was born. He was the dominant figure of the early-16th-century humanist movement. Besides others, he is also namesake of the European Erasmus funding programme, the world’s largest support programme for stays abroad at universities that financed about 1 million scholarships in its first 15 years. “No Man is wise at all…
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Marsilio Ficino and his Florentine Academy

Marsilio Ficino and his Florentine Academy

On October 19, 1433, Italian scholar and Catholic priest Marsilio Ficino was born. He was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance. With his translations and commentaries he contributed significantly to the knowledge of Plato and Platonism in his epoch and made the writings of ancient Greek-speaking authors accessible to the Latin-speaking public. His understanding of Plato, influenced by Plotin‘s Neoplatonism, became groundbreaking for the early modern…
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The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

The Days That Never Happened – The Gregorian Calendar

By a papal decree signed on 24 February 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII the days from October 5, 1582 to October 14, 1582 never happened.[9] This was, because the actually used calendar was out of tune with the mechanics of the heavens. The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar,[2] did not provide sufficient precision to keep in tune for more than 15 centuries with the effect that the most important liturgic festivals and…
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Hans Lippershey and the Telescope

Hans Lippershey and the Telescope

On October 2, 1608,  German-Dutch lensmaker Hans Lippershey applied to the States-General of the Netherlands for a patent for his instrument “for seeing things far away as if they were nearby”. Telescope History Even though scientists of the middle ages never heard of telescopes and most of them did not know specific laws of optics, they started laying the foundations for telescopes as we know them today. Before the invention of the telescope…
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Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

Miguel de Cervantes and his Knight of the Sad Countenance

(Probably) on September 29, 1547, famous Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra  was born. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, is considered to be the first modern European novel, a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written. Moreover it has been translated into nearly every major language, making it one of the most widely distributed books after the Bible. Miguel de Cervantes’ influence on…
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Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

Gerolamo Cardano and Physician, Mathematician, and Gambler

On September 24, 1501, Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler Gerolamo Cardano was born. He wrote more than 200 works on medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy, religion, and music. But, he is best known for his gambling that led him to formulate elementary rules in probability, making him one of the founders of probability theory. “The greatest advantage in gambling lies in not playing at all.” – Gerolamo Cardano (around 1560). Liber…
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Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

Ludovico Ariosto and the Frenzy of Orlando

On September 8, 1474, Italian Renaissance poet Ludovico Ariosto was born. He is best known for his romance epic Orlando Furioso (The Frenzy of Orlando), which describes the adventures of Charlemagne, Orlando, and the Franks as they battle against the Saracens.[4] “Of ladies, knights, of passions and of wars, of courtliness, and of valiant deeds I sing.” – Ariosto, Orlando Furioso, Canto I, stanza 1 (1532) Ariosto – Early Years Ariosto was the oldest…
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The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

The Virgin Queen – Elizabeth I.

On September 7, 1533, queen regnant of England and Ireland Elizabeth I was born. Also referred to as the ‘Virgin Queen’, the daughter of Henry VIII was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Elizabeth‘s reign is known as the Elizabethan era, famous above all for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Sir Francis…
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Titian – the Sun Amidst Small Stars

Titian – the Sun Amidst Small Stars

On August 27, 1576, Italian painter Tiziano Vecelli, better known as Titian, passed away. The most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school, he was recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars“. Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, would exercise a profound influence…
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The Gutenberg Bible and the Printing Revolution

The Gutenberg Bible and the Printing Revolution

On August 24 (August 15, O.S.), 1456, the printing of the famous Gutenberg Bible was completed.[10] The Gutenberg Bible was the first major book printed with movable type in the West, applying the newly developed technology by Johannes Gutenberg. Widely praised for its high aesthetic and artistic qualities, the book has an iconic status. The Man of the Millenium We know that German blacksmith, goldsmith, inventor, printer, and publisher Johannes Gutenberg did not…
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