Week 21: Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Renaissance in France: Francis I & Guillaume Budé


The two men pictured here are central to this week’s study, since it is during the lifetime of King Francis I, that France engages fully with the ideas and artistic achievements of the Italian Renaissance. Budé was the intellectual teacher for the King on those educational ideas that mattered. His influence would help to change Medieval France into Renaissance France. One such idea was a college that would prepare young French students with a knowledge of Latin and Greek (Hebrew too) and the cultural heritage of Rome and Greece. In other words, Budé’s idea about the College of France (which the King founded as recommended by Budé) was the very core of all modern ideas about an education in the humanities before graduate school (Medical, Legal, or Business). From 1500 to 2000 most colleges would have agreed and would have provided, until recently, exactly this humanistic education that Budé recommended.


J. R. Hale, The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance.  This study of the whole Renaissance period in all of Europe was the final masterpiece of one of the greatest historians of the Early Modern period.  John Hale was working on this book when he suffered a debilitating stroke.  But his wife, Sheila Hale, and other scholars finished the book for publication and we are all enriched by its availability.  It is in print, but you might also look at used copies of the original quality paperback.  This book will serve us for the whole year-long course.  It is especially useful for Winter and Spring Quarters.

John Hale,

The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance,

Scribner, Reprint edition (June 1, 1995),

ISBN 0684803526


This is a beautiful book which covers the whole of the Renaissance in every field and every country. Margaret King is one of the greatest American scholars of the Renaissance, and she has written a very useful general book on the subject. What is especially attractive, is all the extra material: the charts, the maps, the photos, all of which make this a great study of the Renaissance. It would be a useful "textbook" for our whole year on the Renaissance. It was, of course, designed as a college textbook for a course on the Renaissance. If you buy a new copy, it is 35$ but there are many used copies listed on Amazon.

Margaret L. King, is Professor Emerita of history at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of several books on women, humanism, and Venice in the Renaissance, and is currently editor-in-chief of the Renaissance and Reformation online bibliography published by Oxford Bibliographies.

Margaret L. King,

The Renaissance in Europe,

Laurence King Publishing; 2 edition (January 1, 2003),

ISBN 1856693740