Chronology (Renaissance)

The question of when to begin and when to end a chronological list of major events of the Renaissance is as open to debate as the scope and significance of the Renaissance itself. In addition, the development of the Protestant Reformation from 1517 creates a whole new set of problems in defining the age. The following list includes only a few major events of the Reformation, since those events are treated fully in another Scarecrow Press historical dictionary. Landmarks in the history of art are included from the late 13 th century to the early 17th century. The rather arbitrary starting date is 1250, the death of the last Holy Roman Emperor to have significant political authority in Italy. The terminal events (which, like the condemnation of Copernican astronomy and the imprisonment of Galileo, might well be regarded as part of a post-Renaissance age) are the English civil wars of the 1640s and the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648. Some dates in the list are approximate.

1250 Death of Emperor Frederick II; most of northern and central Italy is left de facto independent

1267 Guelf party gains permanent control of Florence 1293 Ordinances of Justice (Florentine constitution) 1296-1300 Giotto’s frescoes at Assisi, life of St. Francis 1297 Closure of Great Council at Venice

1303 Dante, De vulgari eloquentia

1304 Birth of Petrarch

1305-1306 Giotto’s frescoes in Arena Chapel at Padua

1305-1377 "Babylonian Captivity" of papacy; popes reside at Avignon, 1309-1377 1321 Death of Dante

1337 Petrarch begins writing De viris illustribus; beginning of Hundred Years’ War

1341 Petrarch crowned poet laureate at Rome

1343 Approximate onset of 14th-century depression; Florentines defeat attempt by wealthy families to set up a dictatorship

1343-1382 Democratizing reforms at Florence

1347 Cola di Rienzo leads "Roman Revolution" against papal rule of Rome

1348-1350 Black Death strikes most parts of Europe

1360 Treaty of Brétigny suspends large-scale conflict during Hundred Years’ War; skirmishes continue

1374 Death of Petrarch

1375 Coluccio Salutati appointed chancellor of Florence 1378 Ciompi rebellion at Florence

1378-1402 Giangaleazzo Visconti, duke of Milan

1378-1417 Western Schism divides European Christian churches

1381-1391 Coluccio Salutati, De laboribus Herculis

1382 Greater guilds stage coup d’état at Florence; end of democratizing reforms; restoration of control by greater guilds

1397-1400 Manuel Chrysoloras teaches Greek at Florence

1403 Leonardo Bruni, Laudatio Florentinae urbis

1409 Council of Pisa fails in effort to end Schism

1414-1418 Council of Constance

1415 Leonardo Bruni writes first part of History of the Florentine People; Henry V of England resumes Hundred Years’ War

1417 Council of Constance elects Martin V as pope, ending Western Schism

1423 Vittorino da Feltre establishes humanistic court school at Mantua

1425-1427 Masaccio’s frescoes, Brancacci Chapel at Florence

1425-1430 Donatello, bronze statue of David

1427 Leonardo Bruni appointed chancellor of Florence

1429 Guarino Guarini establishes humanistic court school at Ferrara

1432 Jan van Eyck completes Ghent Altarpiece

1434 Cosimo de’ Medici returns from exile and establishes Medici political control of Florence

1435 Leon Battista Alberti, The Elements of Painting

1440 Lorenzo Valla, The Elegances of the Latin Language; Declamation on the Forged and Deceitful Donation of Constantine

1447 Death of Filippo Maria, last Visconti duke of Milan

1450 Francesco Sforza becomes duke of Milan

1453 Fall of Constantinople to Turks; end of Hundred Years’ War

1454 Peace of Lodi ends Milanese succession crisis

1454-1455 "Gutenberg Bible" printed at Mainz

1456 Peter Luder returns from Italy; lectures on humanism at University of Heidelberg

1469 Marriage of Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon opens way for unification of Spain

1477 The Rash, last duke of Burgundy, killed in battle with Swiss

1478 Pope Sixtus IV founds Spanish Inquisition at request of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella

1479 Rudolf Agricola returns from Italy to Germany, writes De inven-tione dialectica

1484 Marsilio Ficino, Latin translation of Plato’s works

1485 Henry Tudor defeats Richard III in battle of Bosworth 1485-1509 Henry VII, first Tudor king of England

1489 Angelo Poliziano, Miscellaneorum centuria prima

1490 Aldus Manutius establishes Aldine press at Venice

1492 Spanish conquest of kingdom of Granada; expulsion of Jews from Spain; Columbus lands at San Salvador in West Indies; Elio Antonio Nebrija, Gramática . . . sobre la lengua castellana

1494 French invasion of Italy, conquest of Naples; expulsion of Medici from Florence

1494-1495 Albrecht Dürer’s first trip to Italy

1495 Spain and Italian allies drive French out of Italy

1495-1497 Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper

1498 Savonarola burned as a heretic at Florence; Vasco da Gama lands at Calicut in India; Louis XII renews French invasion of Italy

1499-1512 Machiavelli heads second chancery of Florence

1501-1504 Michelangelo, David

1503 Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa; Erasmus, Enchridion of the Christian Soldier

1506 Donato Bramante designs new St. Peter’s basilica

1508-1512 Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel frescoes

1509 Lefèvre d’Etaples, Quincuplex Psalterium; instruction commences at University of Alcalá; Erasmus, The Praise of Folly (first edition, 1511)

1509-1546 Henry VIII, king of England

1510-1511 Raphael, The School of Athens

1512 Spanish troops restore Medici control of Florence 1512-1517 Fifth Lateran Council

1513 Machiavelli, The Prince (first edition in 1532); Albrecht Dürer’s engravings Knight, Death, and Devil and St. Jerome in His Study

1515 Publication of Rudolf Agrícola, De inventione dialectica; Letters of Obscure Men published

1515-1547 Francis I, king of France

1516 Erasmus edits Greek New Testament; Thomas More, Utopia

1517 Foundation of Collegium Trilingue at Louvain; Martin Luther, Ninety-five Theses

1518-1533 Andrea Alciati develops humanistic approach to teaching law (mos gallicus) at Avignon and Bourges

1521 Diet of Worms; Martin Luther refuses to recant

1524 Erasmus, On Freedom of the Will, attacks Luther

1524-1534 Michelangelo, tomb of Giuliano de’Medici

1527 "Sack of Rome" by imperial/Spanish army; Florentine people rebel against Medici control

1528 Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier

1530 Francis I appoints first Royal Lecturers on humanistic subjects; Spanish army forces Florence to surrender; Medici rule restored

1531 Andrea Alciati, Book of Emblems

1532 Florentine republic abolished; Alessandro de’Medici becomes duke of Florence; Rabelais, Pantagruel

1534 Rabelais, Gargantua; Act of Supremacy recognizes Henry VIII as head of church in England

1534-1541 Michelangelo, Last Judgment

1542 Pope Paul III issues bull Licet ab initio, founding Roman Inquisition

1543 Nicolaus Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium; Andreas Vesalius, De humani corporis fabrica

1546 Titian, Pope Paul III and His Grandsons

1546-1564 Michelangelo designs dome and central plan of St. Peter’s basilica at Rome

1549 Joachim du Bellay, Défense et illustration de la langue française

1550 Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Most Eminent Italian Architects, Painters, and Sculptors

1555 Religious Peace of Augsburg recognizes legal status of Evangelical (Lutheran) religion in Germany

1556-1598 Philip II, king of Spain

1559 Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis: France acknowledges Spanish hegemony in Italy

1559-1603 Elizabeth I, queen of England

1562 Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Peasant Wedding

1562-1598 French Wars of Religion

1580 Montaigne, Essays.

1585 Philip Sidney, The Defence of Poetry

1586 El Greco, The Burial of Count Orgaz

1588 Defeat of the Spanish Armada

1589 Henry III, last Valois king of France, murdered 1589-1610 Henry IV, first Bourbon king of France

1590 Posthumous publication of Philip Sidney, Arcadia

1599-1602 Caravaggio, The Calling of St. Matthew

1599-1607 William Shakespeare produces his major tragedies (Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth)

1603 Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning

1603-1625 James I, first Stuart king of England

1607-1615 Carlo Maderno, nave and façade of St. Peter’s

1608 Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, part 1; part 2, 1615

1616 Roman Inquisition declares Copernican astronomy heretical 1618-1648 Thirty Years’ War in Germany

1632 Galileo Galilei, Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World; Roman Inquisition compels Galileo to recant, imposes house arrest for life

1642-1649 English civil wars; abolition of monarchy

1648 Peace of Westphalia ends Thirty Years’ War

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