The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century


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The Italian Renaissance was preceded, structured, and, to a significant extent, determined by the Renaissance of the twelfth century which saw the culmination of Romanesque art and the beginnings of the Gothic; the emergence of vernacular languages; the revival of Latin classics, poetry, and Roman law; the recovery of Greek Science and much Greek philosophy; the origins of universities, towns, and the sovereign state.

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Feb 2, 2012

¨The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century¨

Renaissance_of_the_13th_century, by Charles Hommer Haskins.

I decided to read Charles Hommer Haskins´s magnum opus, after reading his very good ¨The Rise Of Universities¨.

The medieval renaissance of the 12th Century (actually 12th and 13th Century, the crusades...) takes its roots in the 8th century Carolingian Renaissance, and was the seed of the great renaissance of the 16th century, known as ¨The Renaissance".

The bibliography shines by its eclectism, comprehensiveness, as well as its accuracy (page numbers are often mentioned).

C.H Haskins documents the emergence of universities in Europe starting with Montpellier/France and Bologna/Italy, also Orléans/France, Padova/Italy.

The tradition of the written law started in Montpellier (South of France), and moved northward, the universities of Montpellier, and Bologna shared common scolars, starting in the 12th century.

The church resisted and even forbad the study of the roman laws (Corpus Juris, etc...), the various schools of Bologna, Chartres, Montpellier, Orelans, Padova, Sorbonne, Tours, and much later Cambridge Oxford in England were the fabric of the arts and philosophies shaping this renaissance.

A must read, and fascinating book for whom likes european medieval history, along with Edwards Gibbons´s master-piece ¨The History of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire¨.

On a personal note, I lived seven years in Montpellier, Orleans and the beautiful Valley of the Loire river, so I was delighted to know more about these places, where history is so ubiquitous by the presence of medieval chateaux, churches, cathedrals, and above all beautiful abbayes, universities where this history was written.

André Gompel February 2, 2012

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