Antiquaries, Society of To Arcadelt, Jacques (Renaissance and Reformation)

Antiquaries, Society of

A British society dedicated to the preservation of the national historic heritage. In its original form it was founded in 1572 by Archbishop Matthew parker with the collaboration of William cam-den and other scholars. Its early proceedings were preserved among Sir Robert cotton’s papers and were published in 1720 as A Collection of Curious Discourses. James I suppressed the society in 1604, on suspicion of political intrigue, but it was formally revived in 1717.


Contempt and hatred for jews has been expressed by many religious and other groups worldwide, but the focus here is on early modern Christian anti-semitism. Gavin I. Langmuir’s definition of the term is derogatory, as is usual in the West today: "by ‘anti-semitism’ we mean all instances in which people, because they are labeled Jews, are feared as symbols of subhuman-ity and hated for threatening characteristics they do not in fact possess." Although the term was invented to express approval for an anti-Jewish manifesto (by Wilhelm Marr) in 1873, it is not anachronistic to call Renaissance attitudes towards Jews "antisemitic." As Lionel B. Steiman writes, "the ideas and attitudes to which it refers have belonged to Western history for two thousand years.. .There is an inherent consistency in Western attitudes towards Jews which justifies use of the term antisemitism" for all periods of Christianity.

After 1500 there was little direct physical aggression toward European Jews: most Jews had already been contained or removed by medieval suppression. Judean people had been attacked within and without Europe, suffering through crusading voyages and local, hardship-motivated riots: Jews were easy targets for aggrieved mobs. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) imposed sumptuary laws to force Jews to dress distinctly from Christians. States began to expel them by force: England shipped out most of its Jews in 1290, as did France (1392), Spain (1492), and Portugal (1496). Similar Italian actions came later, with Pope Paul IV ghettoizing Jews in Rome in 1555, practically and psychologically marginalizing them.

Despite their reduced numbers, Jews remained a focus for vitriolic detestation throughout the Renaissance and Reformation. Each branch of Christianity had its own sort of Jew-hatred. For Catholics, Jews were despised members of a sinning creed: by definition, Jews were opposed to the redeeming work of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Frequently accused of ritual murder, poisoning water supplies, and excessive wealth accumulation, Jews were to be kept alive as an example of the depravity of those who reject Christ. It was patronizingly believed that Christ would redeem the mistaken Jews at his Second Coming, although great energy and sometimes coercion (particularly in 16th-century Spain) was expended to convert Europe’s remaining Jews. erasmus remarked in a letter (August 11, 1519) that "If hate of the Jews is the proof of genuine Christians, then we are all excellent Christians." luther’s attitude to Jews was initially conciliatory but became more hostile: his growing antisemitism can be acknowledged simply by comparing the titles of two of his works: That Jesus Christ Was Born a Jew (1523) and On The Jews and Their Lies (1543). Calvinism tends to be associated much less with antisemitism than Catholicism or Lutheranism, but this reflects John Calvin’s general silence on Jewry rather than any affection or tolerance for Judaism.

Despite or because of the low numbers of Jews in Europe, Jewish characters feature prominently in the literature of Renaissance Europe. Superficially at least, these characters are uniformly typecast: they lend money at extortionate rates, they have large noses, they are scheming and untrustworthy, they revere circumcision, and they are murderous in intent. The hateful Jew was particularly common on the Elizabethan English stage. In Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice only the happy ending required by the comic genre prevents Shylock from spitefully killing a Christian merchant who cannot pay a debt. Critics will forever argue about whether or not such representations of Jews are innately antisemitic, or whether the dramas tend rather to show that Christians have similar characteristics to the Jews to whom they wrongly feel morally superior. This ambiguity is troublingly apparent in Christopher marlowe’s tragedy The Jew of Malta. The title character embarks upon a gleeful killing spree, murdering Christians with supposedly traditional Jewish methods of poisoning and expertly choreographed trickery. But he is provoked into this campaign by Christians who exploit his money and eventually brutalize him when he no longer serves any economic end. Are the Jew’s actions any worse than the Christians’?

Less ambiguous is the tale of the "Wandering Jew," a 13th-century myth about a Jew who taunted the cross-bearing Christ that resurfaced during the 1500s. For this mockery, the Wandering Jew was condemned to roam the earth until Judgment Day. A pamphlet promoting this legend was printed in 1602, supposedly at Leyden: within two decades, the text had become assimilated and appreciated all over Europe. As the influence of this myth indicates, late-Renaissance antisemitism had international appeal.

The Holocaust of the mid-20th century was, in part, made possible by the two-millennium-old hatred of Jewry. Renaissance and Reformation thinkers and nonthinkers have an assured place in this grim legacy, one that remains politically hypersensitive to this day.

Antonello da Messina

(c. 1430-1479) Sicilian-born Italian painter

Antonello probably trained initially with colantonio in Naples. His earliest surviving pictures, such as the London Salting Madonna, are however more profoundly conditioned by Netherlandish works than anything which Colantonio is known to have painted, so it seems likely that Antonello also received tuition from a Netherlandish painter, probably Petrus christus or a close follower. An-tonello’s St. Jerome in Penitence and Visit of the Three Angels to Abraham and his London Salvator Mundi (1465) show the distinct influence of van eyck. His slightly later London St. Jerome in his Study incorporates compositional motifs derived from van Eyck and Rogier van der weyden. It is plausible that this picture was executed during an undocumented visit to Venice (c. 1465-70), for Antonello’s St. Gregory polyptych (Messina; 1473) and Fathers of the Church altarpiece (Palermo) indicate a knowledge of both the figure style of piero della francesca and the altar-pieces of Giovanni bellini. His Syracuse Annunciation (1474) revolutionalizes a typical Netherlandish interior by the addition of a monumental figures and architectural motifs derived from Piero and the rigorous application of one-point perspective.

In 1475-76 Antonello was in Venice, where he painted the now fragmentary San Cassiano alterpiece (Vienna), partly modeled on Giovanni Bellini’s lost altarpiece at the Venetian church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo. In its turn, it was influential upon Venetian altarpieces to the end of the 15th century. Antonello’s last major work, the Dresden St. Sebastian, was also painted in Venice. In addition to religious works, Antonello painted a number of portraits which forcefully reinterpret a format initiated by Jan van Eyck.

By far the most significant south Italian painter of the 15 th century, Antonello’s importance is far from merely local. He was the first Italian artist to be thoroughly conversant with the Netherlandish glazed oil technique and was a major influence upon the course of Venetian Renaissance painting.

Antoniazzo Romano

(c. 1460-1508) Italian painter Trained under the Umbrian followers of Fra angelico and Benozzo gozzoli, Antoniazzo was also influenced by melozzo da forli, perugino, botticelli, and ghirlandaio. He executed numerous frescoes in Rome and elsewhere and paintings by him of Madonnas and other religious subjects survive in several northern Italian galleries. During the second half of the 15th century he was the most significant painter working in Rome.

Antonino, St. (Antonio Pierozzi)

(1389-1459) Italian theologian, historian, and economist

Inspired by the preaching of John Dominici, Antonino joined the Dominican Order in 1405 at Cortona. From an early age he was greatly troubled by corruption in Church and society, and much of his life was spent in fighting this corruption. He became prior of the Dominican house in Fiesole in 1425. In 1436 or 1437, with the aid of Cosimo de’ medici, he established the convent of San Marco in his native Florence. Between 1439 and 1445 he attended the Council of Florence (see florence, council of) and secured the lasting respect of the papacy. He received the archbishopric of Florence in 1446 but continued to live as a humble friar, spending what he could of the see’s revenues on the poor. At the same time he appreciated the value of trade in relation to ecclesiastical wealth and was influential in lessening the Church’s medieval distrust of commerce. Antonino was canonized in 1523, and his works continued to be widely published throughout the 16th century.


A Netherlands (now Belgian) city and port on the River Scheldt, 55 miles from the North Sea. Antwerp was a Gallo-Roman foundation (about 200 ce), which was ruled by Franks or Frisians after the fall of Rome. By the early 14th century it was ruled by the dukes of Brabant and known for its flourishing trade with England, Venice, and Genoa and for its trade fairs. Antwerp’s population grew rapidly from 20,000 in 1400 to 100,000 in 1550, overtaking Bruges as the leading mercantile center in the Netherlands. In the first half of the 16th century Antwerp received its first cargo of pepper from Lisbon (1501) and became a center for the spice trade; Antwerp at first prospered under hapsburg rule (from 1477), pioneering the extension of credit and making the first public loan to the Netherlands government (1511). The Antwerp stock exchange is one of the oldest in Europe (established 1531).

Later in the 16th century Antwerp’s prosperity was destroyed by religious and political disputes. As an important Calvinist center by 1560, Antwerp suffered severely during the revolt of the netherlands; a savage Spanish attack, the "Spanish fury" (1576), destroyed about a third of the town and killed about 7000 citizens. Later (1583), in the "French fury", the town was attacked by French troops under francis, duke of alen^on. After Spain recaptured Antwerp (1585) its power and wealth declined, crippled by the war and the closure of the River Scheldt to trade. During the Renaissance Antwerp was an important center for arts and scholarship with its own school of painting in the late 15th century and numerous printing presses after the arrival of plantin (1548). It was also a center for humanist scholarship. Antwerp’s most notable building from the Renaissance period is the town hall (1561-66).

Apian, Peter (Peter Bienewitz)

(1495-1552) German astronomer, mathematician, and geographer

Educated at the universities of Leipzig and Vienna, Apian was later appointed to the chair of mathematics at Ingol-stadt university. He established his reputation with the issue of a world map in 1520, and the subsequent publication of his Cosmographia (1524), a work of geography. He later published an arithmetical textbook, Rechnung (1527), which contained the first printed account of Pascal’s triangle. In astronomy Apian’s most important work was his Astronomicum caesareum (1540), containing a detailed description of five comets, one of which was the 1531 appearance of Halley’s comet. Apian was also the first to note that the tails of comets invariably point away from the sun. His son, Philipp Apian, also made an important contribution to cartography.

Peter Apian A map of the world from the first French translation (1544) of his Cosmographia (1524). The maps in this work were among the first to name (South) America and to show it as a separate continent.

Peter Apian A map of the world from the first French translation (1544) of his Cosmographia (1524). The maps in this work were among the first to name (South) America and to show it as a separate continent.


The classical sun-god, who was adopted into Renaissance iconography as the embodiment of reason and order, and thus particularly associated with philosophy. He was also closely associated with artistic creativity, and he appears as patron of the muses and graces in music, art, and literature. This concept is epitomized in the crude woodcut illustrating gaffurio’s Practica musicae (1496), showing a whole range of musical correspondences, with Apollo, crowned and holding a musical instrument, at the head of the picture, three dumpy Graces on his right, and below them medallions depicting the Muses.

Apollo’s role as the creator of universal order through music is also celebrated in the myth of his victory in a musical contest with the satyr Marsyas (symbol of the irrational and uncontrollable), a subject treated by raphael in a fresco for the Stanza della Segnatura, as well as by Pietro perugino, giulio romano, titian, and Guido reni. An al legory of the pursuit of artistic excellence was perceived in the story, taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, of Apollo’s pursuit of the nymph Daphne, who was transformed into a laurel tree at the instant that he caught her; the scene is depicted in a painting attributed to Antonio Pollaiuolo (National Gallery, London).

Aquaviva, Claudius

(1543-1615) Italian theologian, fifth general of the Society of Jesus

Having joined the jesuits in 1567, Aquaviva was elected general in 1581, the youngest in the history of the society. He was faced with a variety of internal disputes, most importantly the claims of the Spanish Jesuits for special privileges; these he successfully opposed by defeating Spanish demands for an additional commissary-general for Spain. Aquaviva’s writings include his Directorium (1591), a guide to ignatius loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, and his Ratio studiorum (Method of studies; 1586), a system of education for Jesuit schools that remained unchallenged until the 20th century. His introduction of Litterae Annuae helped improve the society’s efficiency, and during his time in office its membership increased from around 5000 to over 13,000. Aquaviva is honored for his work in helping to preserve the society’s Ignatian tradition during a time when Loyola’s principles were seriously threatened.

Aragon, house of

The royal family descended from Ramiro of Navarre who inherited the Pyrenean territory of Aragon in 1035. Succeeding generations enlarged the family’s inheritance by judicious marriages and by conquest. By the end of the 13th century they had driven the Moors out of northern Spain and ruled Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands. Peter Ill’s acquisition of Sicily after the ejection of the island’s Angevin rulers following the Sicilian Vespers (1282) enabled the house of Aragon to become a major Mediterranean power, ruling over Sardinia, Naples, Sicily, and Athens, and enjoying the benefits of a flourishing maritime trade. Alfonso V, who had conquered Naples in 1442 (see alfonso i), left Naples to his illegitimate son, Ferrante (ferdinand i), in 1458; his other domains passed to his brother. The last male heir, ferdinand ii, whose marriage to Isabella of Castile prepared the way for the union of Spain, reunited Naples with the crown of Aragon in 1504.


Aragona, Tullia d’ (1508-1556)

Italian poet and courtesan

The daughter of a courtesan and possibly of Luigi, cardinal of Aragon, Tullia attracted numerous aristocratic and scholarly admirers, including the Florentine historians Ja-copo nardi and Benedetto varchi and the Paduan poet Girolamo muziano. She published poems, mainly imitating Petrarch, in Rime (1547), dedicated to Eleonora, wife of Cosimo I de’ medici. Her Dialogo dell’infinitd d’amore (1547) is a fashionable Neoplatonic essay on love.

Arcadelt, Jacques

(c. 1505-1568) French or Flemish composer

Though little is known about his early life, there is evidence he may have spent time in Florence after 1532, when the Medici regained control there. On the assassination of Alessandro de’ Medici (1537), Arcadelt probably moved to Venice and from 1540 he was in papal service in Rome. In 1544 he entered the employ of Charles of Lorraine, later archbishop of Reims, and settled in Reims until at least 1562. He may have belonged to the French court chapel and died in retirement in Paris.

Arcadelt almost certainly studied with Josquin des pres; his Masses in particular show Josquin’s influence. Arcadelt began by composing sacred music, but his secular works are better known. There are extant 126 chansons and over 200 madrigals. The chansons were very popular, the earlier ones reflecting the influence of Josquin and the later ones written in Arcadelt’s characteristic homophonic style, shifting between triple and duple time. All are of a sentimental nature and eschew licentious texts. In the madrigals, the text is of paramount importance, and musical effects are not permitted to interfere with its rhythmic requirements. One such madrigal, "Il bianco e dolce cigno" was consistently popular.

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