Sat, 06 Jun 2020
Petrarch wanted to end the cruel wars for light causes that were wounding Italy, but had no plan beyond sending his poem out into the world, and urging elites to have their kids read Cicero. Machiavelli also wanted to end the cruel wars for light causes, and seeing that reading Cicero had failed he proposed a new way of evaluating history, collecting examples of what worked and didn’t in the past, basing our statecraft and actions on them so the next time we try things we’ll choose more wisely.
This is long but excellent on why living through the renaissance was not great, how the notion of the renaissance came to be and why it continues to be such a popular idea. Plus, it’s funny.
posted at: 21:23 #