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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (514 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jacob Burckhardt Narrator: Ralph Cosham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455177875
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This great work redefined our sense of the European past, wholly reinterpreting what has since been known simply as the Italian Renaissance.

Within the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt finds the first stirrings of the modern world—and in the Renaissance Italian, the first modern man. In this landmark study of Italy from the fourteenth through the early sixteenth century, Burckhardt chronicles the rise of Florence and Venice as powerful city-states, the breakup of the medieval worldview that came with the rediscovery of Greek and Roman culture, and the new emphasis on the role of the individual. All these, Burckhardt explains, went hand in hand with the explorations of science and contributed to the more naturalistic depiction of the world in art and literature. His book-length essay includes discussions of all aspects of Italian civilization: the art, fashion, literature, and music of the time, as well as the flourishing intellectual and spiritual life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy is a classic of modernism.”

    Guardian

  • “The greatest single book on the history of Italy between 1350 and 1550.”

    Hajo Holborn, historian

  • “Jacob Burckhardt was not only one of the greatest historians of the nineteeth century; he remains one of the most accessible to modern readers.”

    Peter Burke

  • “An engrossing world of politics and popes, religion and renegades, lifestyles and literature that few historical works encompass…A joy for devotees of the Renaissance.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Flora | 12/28/2013

    " I want to read again. I read it while in Florence--perfect for background. Recommended by prof of Italian lit at columbia, Piccolomini, whose mother owner the Palazzo Antellesi where we stayed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 12/8/2013

    " This is an excellent book, one that still sounds quite modern though it was published nearly a century and a half ago, now! If you are any kind of medievalist, you owe it to yourself to read this classic work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Walt | 7/9/2013

    " This is a difficult reading for someone with an advanced degree in Medieval History much less lay people. The content may be of the highest caliber; but there is so much more detail than in traditional Renaissance studies that most readers are quickly overwhelmed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 6/29/2013

    " fascinating read. have been wandering about in a liripipe and quoting machiavelli for days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik Graff | 1/4/2013

    " Not knowing much about the Renaissance, but knowing something of Burckhardt's prominence and having read a book by him already, I selected this as a general introduction. Frankly, I found it detailed enough, but dry. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Noah | 1/11/2011

    " So many works of art history from theose days still hold a very strong ground. Therefore I was truely surprised to realize that this famous work is astinishingly superficials and unstructured. Quite a disappointment. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 12/16/2010

    " Too boring, didn't really know much about the people of the time so I felt lost at times. I did get the idea that I might like to watch the series The Borgias now though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 5/14/2010

    " Rather general in its descriptions but easy and engrossing read. The presentation of history has changed over the century but very useful as background reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 4/30/2010

    " Burckhardt is an O.G. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 1/25/2010

    " Not knowing much about the Renaissance, but knowing something of Burckhardt's prominence and having read a book by him already, I selected this as a general introduction. Frankly, I found it detailed enough, but dry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Simon | 11/2/2008

    " fascinating read. have been wandering about in a liripipe and quoting machiavelli for days. "

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About the Author
Author Jacob Burckhardt

Jacob Christian Burckhardt (1818–1897) was a Swiss historian of art and culture. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, published in 1860, is his best-known work, and remained for many years the classic analysis of the Renaissance.

About the Narrator

Ralph Cosham (1936–2014), a.k.a. Geoffrey Howard, was a British journalist who changed careers to become a narrator and screen and stage actor. He performed in more than one hundred professional theatrical roles, and several of his narrations were named “Audio Best of the Year” by Publishers Weekly. He won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and in 2013 he won the coveted Audie Award for Best Mystery Narration for his reading of Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery.