The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance

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Gordon Campbell
Oxford University Press, 2003 - Reference - 862 pages
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The word 'renaissance', French for 'rebirth', perfectly describes the intellectual and cultural revival experienced in Europe, starting early in the 14th century and ending early in the 17th century. The Renaissance was a period of intense activity, the fruits of which have had a profound iimpact on the intellectual history and culture of the whole of Europe and the wider world. Even in the Europe of today there is still much evidence of the enduring influence of the Renaissance--in thought and society as well as in art, architecture, literature, and science. Gordon Campbell, himself the epitome of the Renaissance man, with the help of his team of distinguished consultant and advisory editors, has created a unique new A-Z reference surveying all aspects of the Renaissance in Europe beginning in 1415 and ending at 1618. These dates were not chosen arbitrarily: as well as the year of the battle of Agincourt, 1415 was the year in which Jan Hus was burnt at the stake, his reforming zeal becoming a signal which was to shape the course of European affairs for centuries; 1618 marked the onset of the Thirty Years War, a conflict which sparked yet another new direction for European history. There are about 4,000 A-Z entries in the text, ranging in length from the very short and concise to the longer and more detailed. These entries cover a wide spectrum of topics including art, literature, science, culture, philosophy, religion, economics, history, and conflict. Over half of the entries are biographical, covering artists, architects, garden designers, philosophers, explorers, royalty, cardinals, reformers, statesman, writers, poets, playwrights, soldiers, rebels, woodcarvers, silversmiths, mystics, mathematicians, sculptors, and composers. The text covers a wide geographical area including all of modern Europe (plus Eastern Europe) except for areas occupied by the Ottomans. Entries include: Biographies - artists (Master of Alkmaar, Sandro Botticelli,Jan Brueghel, Jan van Eyck, Fra Filippo Lippi, Cosimo Rosselli, Leonardo da Vinci, Rogier van der Weyden, Pieter de Witte) composers (Alexander Agricola, Thomas Browne, Peeter Cornet, Leone Leoni, Jean Mouton, Stefano Rossetto) scientists and mathematicians (Christoph Clavius, Giovanni Danti, William Gilbert, Nikolaus Copernicus) playwrights (Thomas Dekker, John Fletcher, Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Hans Salat) poets (Anna Bijns, John Donne, Sir Richard Maitland, Niccolo Franco, Hans Sachs) reformers and thinkers (Johann Agricola, Jean Calvin, John Knox, Niccolo Machiavelli) royalty (Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Anne of France, Mehmet II) sculptors (Donatello, Pierre Bontemps, Claus Berg, Adam Craft, Claus Sluter) others (popes, anti-popes, theologians, statesmen, explorers, navigators, humanists, Protestant reformers, bishops, botanists, herbalists, cardinals, antiquarians, diplomats, engineers, engravers, historians, Jurists, mystics, astrologers, astronomers, philosophers,soldiers, sailors, scholars, writers, rebels, bishops, Huguenot leaders, Music theorists, actors, zoologists, clock makers, clowns) Places - chateaux (Chateau d' Amboise, Chateau de Chenonceaux, Chateau de Fontainebleau, Gaillon) cities and states (Amsterdam, Flanders, Frankfurt, Florence, Geneva, Heidelberg, Jena, London, Madrid, Naples, Oxford, Pisa, Rome, Sardinia, Savoy) countries (Algiers, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Holland, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Wales) continents (Asia, Europe) Themes - architecture (Dutch architecture, Flemish architecture, fountains, French architecture, marble, architectural orders, Spanish architecture) art (Bohemian art, bronze sculptures, Danish art, drypoint, etching, fresco, genre painting, Italian art, landscape painting, tempera) crafts (needlework, pottery, quilting, tiles, weaving) furniture (beds, cabinets, chairs, settles, and stools) general life and culture (Barbary pirates, coins, cookery, dentistry, gypsies, hospitals, magic, playing cards, tombs and mausoleums, torture, umbrellas and parasols) drama (dance, comedy, English drama, French drama) economy (guilds, banking, interest) gardens (botanical gardens, French gardens, Knot gardens, pavilion, topiary) health and medicine (Bethlem hospital, plague, syphilis, typhus) language (French language, Greek language, Italian language, Occitan language and literature) law (civil law, Dutch law, international law, maritime law) literature (Catalanliterature, English literature, French literature, poet laureate) music (claviorganum, cornett, Danish music, harpsichord, musical notation, opera, Spanish music) printing and writing (book binding, book blocks, book covers, engraving, etching, Giunti press, imprints, woodcut) religion (Baptism, Bible, Book of Common Prayer, Brownists, Calvinism, God, Holy League, Swiss Brethren) science (astronomy, geometry, logarithms, sundials, technology, trigonometry) war (arms and armour, battle of Cascina, crusades, daggers, gunpowder, musket, Thirty Years War, battle of Tunis, wars of religion) The book will be highly illustrated with 100 black-and-white integrated pictures. The main text is also supplemented with four appendices and a thematic index.

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The Oxford dictionary of the Renaissance

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Campbell (Renaissance literature, Univ. of Leicester, U.K.) has written a comprehensive, one-volume dictionary of Renaissance Europe. In contrast to other cultural dictionaries, which may contain ... Read full review

About the author (2003)


Gordon Campbell is Professor of Renaissance Literature at the University of Leicester. He was the founding editor of Renaissance Studies and is now the general editor of Review of English Studies. In addition to editing the publications detailed below, Gordon Campbell has also edited four plays by Ben Jonson and was co-editor and translator of Edward King, Milton's 'Lycidas'. He has served as chairman of the Society for Renaissance Studies and President of the English Association, of which he is a director. He has been awarded a D.Litt by the University of York and an honorary doctorate by the University of Bucharest; he is also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a corresponding fellow of South African Society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and a member of the advisory board of the Sociedad Espaņola de Estudios Renacentistas Ingleses.

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