Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Of course, if you talk to a medieval historian, they'll insist there was NO Renaissance at all, that the entire concept is flawed. But then I'm a 20th century historian, so I'm more willing to speak in those terms.

Sometimes I wonder whether a critique that begins by rightfully pointing out a flaw in a concept doesn't have a natural tendency to over-reach and over-simplify as it is propagated, ending up finding more flaw than exists.

So, certainly neither the French nor Scottish Enlightenments lived up to what participants hoped that they were doing, nor did it entirely go where they hoped that it was going, but there were the participants and what they were actually doing, and we may as well call it "the Enlightenment".

So too, perhaps the Renaissance was not the clear break with the past that its enthusiasts may have imagined, either at the time or in later historiography, and it might not have been a distinct "stage" in historical development ... and certainly not even the first wave of translations of preserved texts from the Eastern to the Western Med (e.g., preceded by the Caliphate of Córdoba) ... but the pretension to a Rebirth still lends that period a distinctive character.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 12:25:25 AM EST
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