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CIVILIZATION OF THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY

From Jacob Burckhardt's 2nd edition of the Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy; edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS

Part One: The State as a Work of Art

The Smaller Despotisms

Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe
Em. Macron, Rediscovering the Path to Europe


» Full Contents of this Part

Part One: The State as a Work of Art   » Introduction   » Despots of the Fourteenth Century   » Despots of the Fifteenth Century   » The Smaller Despotisms   » The Greater Dynasties   » The Opponents of the Despots   » The Republics: Venice and Florence   » Foreign Policy   » War as a Work of Art   » The Papacy   » Patriotism

It may be said in general of the despotisms of the fifteenth century that the greatest crimes are most frequent in the smallest States. In these, where the family was numerous and all the members wished to live in a manner befitting their rank, disputes respecting the inheritance were unavoidable. Bernardo Varano of Camerino put (1434) two of his brothers to death, wishing to divide their property among his sons. Where the ruler of a single town was distinguished by a wise, moderate, and humane government, and by zeal for intellectual culture, he was generally a member of some great family, or politically [ dependent on it. This was the case, for example, with Alessandro Sforza, Prince of Pesaro, brother of the great Francesco, and stepfather of Federigo of Urbino (d. 1473). Prudent in administration, just and affable in his rule, he enjoyed, after ; years of warfare, a tranquil reign, collected a noble library, and passed his leisure in learned or religious conversation. A man of the same class was Giovanni II Bentivoglio of Bologna (1463-1508), whose policy was determined by that of the Este and the Sforza. What ferocity and bloodthirstiness is found, on the other hand, among the Varani of Camerino, the Malatesta of Rimini, the Manfreddi of Faenza, and above all among the Baglioni of Perugia. We find a striking picture of the events in the last-named family towards the close of the fifteenth century, in the admirable historical narratives of Graziani and Matarazzo.

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Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy: Table of Contents

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Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
The Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * The Making of Europe

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