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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 Three: The Revival of Antiquity

Propagators of Antiquity

The Authentic Greek New Testament
The Authentic Greek New Testament


» Full Contents of this Part
Page 2

When Piero heard this, he straightway perceived that it was true, and said that he would gladly take pains to learn, if only he had a teacher. Whereupon Niccolr answered that he would see to that. And he found him a learned man for Latin and Greek, named Pontano, whom Piero treated as one of his own house, and to whom he paid 100 gold florins a year. Quitting all the pleasures in which he had hitherto lived, he studied day and night, and became a friend of all learned men and a noble-minded statesman. He learned by heart the whole AEneid and many speeches of Livy, chiefly on the way between Florence and his country house at Trebbio. Antiquity was represented in another and higher sense by Giannozzo Maneeti (1393-1459). Precocious from his first years, he was hardly more than a child when he had finished his apprenticeship in commerce, and became book-keeper in a bank. But soon the life he led seemed to him empty and perishable, and he began to yearn after science, through which alone man can secure immortality. He then busied himself with books as few laymen had done before him, and became, as has been said, one of the most profound scholars of his time. When appointed by the government as its representative magistrate and tax- collector at Pescia and Pistoia, he furfilled his duties in accordance with the lofty ideal with which his religious feeling and humanistic studies combined to inspire him. He succeeded in collecting the most unpopular taxes which the Florentine State imposed, and declined payment for his services. As provincial governor he refused all presents, abhorred all bribes, checked gambling, kept the country well supplied with corn, was indefatigable in settling law-suits amicably, and did wonders in calming inflamed passions by his goodness. The Pistoiese were never able to discover to which of the two political parties he leaned. As if to symbolize the common rights and interests of all, he spent his leisure hours in writing the history of the city, which was preserved, bound in a purple cover, as a sacred relic in the town hall. When he took his leave the city presented him with a banner bearing the municipal arms and a splendid silver helmet.

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Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy: Table of Contents

url: www.ellopos.net/politics/renaissance/default.asp

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

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