Week 25: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Renaissance Man: Emperor Charles V

The portrait of Charles V that you see at the left was painted by Titian and is currently on view in the Prado in Madrid. Charles V (and also at the same time King Carlos I of Spain) was the single most important, the most powerful, the most dominant personality of the sixteenth century in Europe. Charles lived from 1500 to 1558 and thus he dominated the whole first half of the century and his influence continued through the rest of the century through the person of his son King Philip II who was his student in the intricacies of 16th century government and followed his policies loyally. Charles’s biography is the story of someone who grew up in many states and using many languages, but who in the last years of his life became more and more Spanish. He became the most elegant, the most powerful and the best educated Renaissance Man of the century.


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