Cover image for Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620 : a biographical dictionary
Title:
Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620 : a biographical dictionary
Author:
Carney, Jo Eldridge, 1954-
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
xvii, 417 pages ; 25 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780313305740
Format :
Book

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Status
Central Library CT759 .R46 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

Covering the period comprising the Renaissance and Reformation, this volume introduces a unique set of interdisciplinary biographical dictionaries providing basic information on the people who have contributed significantly to the culture of Western civilization. Unlike general dictionaries which focus on political and military figures, this book covers such figures as the religious leaders who contributed to the Reformation, scientists who paved the way for a new view of the universe, and Renaissance painters, sculptors, and architects, as well as writers, musicians, and scholars. While the great personalities are included--Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Galileo--the volume covers lesser known figures as well--the Muslim scholar Leo Africanus, the Flemish geographer-astronomer Gemma Frisius, the English travel writer Thomas Coryate. Although many of the subjects also had political influence, the entries are written to highlight their individual cultural achievement.

An exciting, tumultuous, and chaotic age, the years from 1500 to 1620 saw increasing discontent with Catholicism and the beginning of Protestantism with Luther's 95 theses, great strides in the development of the printing press and a resulting increase in literacy, the humanist movement with its emphasis on the arts of antiquity, a proliferation of literature and art inspired by but moving beyond classical forms, and conflict between the triumph of Renaissance culture and the theologians of the Protestant Reformation. The resulting cultural production was astounding. This volume covers those who contributed to the fields of art and architecture, music, philosophy, religion, political and social thought, science, mathematics, literature, history, and education. With over 350 entries written by 72 scholars, the book provides a good basic resource on an exciting age.


Author Notes

Jean Akers, Department of History, State University of New York, New Paltz
Debbie Barrett-Graves, Department of English, College of Sante Fe
Mark Bayer, Department of English, Ohio State University
Jeffrey A. Bell, Department of History and Government, Southeastern Louisiana University
Gunter Berghaus, Department of Drama, University of Bristol
Eckhard Bernstein, Department of Modern Languages and Literature, College of the Holy Cross
Lydia Bernstein, Department of Foreign Languages, Bridgewater State College
Nancy Erickson Bouzrara, Department of Foreign Languages and Classics, University of Southern Maine
Barbara Boyle, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Mitchell Brauner, Department of Music, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Jo Eldridge Carney, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Deborah Compte, Department of Modern Languages, The College of New Jersey
David Crook, Department of Music, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Luci Fortunato Delisle, Department of Modern Languages, Bridge-water State College
Connie S. Evans, Department of History, Auburn University
Charles Fantazzi, Department of Foreign Languages, East Carolina University
Robin Farabaugh, Department of English, University of Maryland
Sheila Ffolliott, Department of Art History, George Mason University
Al Geritz, Department of English, Fort Hays State University
Gary G. Gibbs, Department of History, Roanoke College
Jean Graham, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Mary Jane Haemig, Department of Religion, Pacific Lutheran University
Michael A. Hakkenberg, Department of History, Roanoke College
Lisa Hinrichsen, Department of English, Wellesley College
Katherine Hoffman, Department of English, Roanoke College
Karen S. James, Department of Foreign Languages, Roanoke College
Susan H. Jenson, National Endowment for the Humanities
Lynne E. Johnson, Department of Art and Art History, Goucher College
Gwynne Kennedy, Department of English, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Edmund M. Kern, Department of History, Lawrence University
Karolyn Kinane, Department of English, University of Minnesota
John N. King, Department of English, Ohio State University
Yu Jin Ko, Department of English, Wellesley College
Ana Kothe, Department of the Humanities, University of Puerto Rico
Elaine Kruse, Department of History, Nebraska Wesleyan University
Whitney Leeson, Department of History, Roanoke College
Carole Levin, Department of History, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Alison Williams Lewin, Department of History, Saint Joseph's University
Kevin Lindberg, Department of English, Ohio State University
Megan S. Lloyd, Department of English, King's College
Jane C. Long, Department of Art History, Roanoke College
Iain S. Maclean, Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University
John Marciari, Department of Art History, Yale University
Tim Mcgee, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Michael J. Medwick, Department of English, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Michael J. Mikos, Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Paul Miller, Department of History, Louisiana State University
Heather J. Murray, Department of English, Pennsylvania State University
Russell E. Murray, Jr., Department of Music, University of Delaware
Karen Nelson, Center for Renaissance and Baroque Studies, University of Maryland
Thomas G. Olsen, Department of English, State University of New York, New Paltz
Michele Osherow, Department of English, University of Maryland
Mary Pixley, independent scholar, McLean, Virginia
Dora E. Polachek, Department of Modern Languages, State University of New York, Binghamton
Catherine C. Pontoriero, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Rosemary Poole, Department of Art History, George Mason University
Lawrence Rhu, Department of English, University of South Carolina
Richard J. Ring, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University
Tucker Robison, independent scholar, Charleston, Illinois
William B. Robison, Department of History and Government, Southeastern Louisiana University
Christopher D. Roebuck, Department of English, Boston College
Louis Roper, Department of History, State University of New York, New Paltz
Erin Sadlack, Department of English, University of Maryland
Cheryl Smart, Department of Art History, University of Arizona
Rachel Hostetter Smith, Department of Art History, Taylor University
William Spellman, Department of History, University of North Carolina, Asheville
Kirilka Stavreva, Department of English, St. Ambrose University
Evelyn Toft, Department of Modern Languages, Fort Hays State University
Andrew G. Traver, Department of History, Southeastern Louisiana University
Patricia A. White, Department of English, The College of New Jersey
Stephanie Witham, Department of English, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Lilian H. Zirpolo, independent scholar, Woodcliff Lakes, New Jersey


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

These two biographical dictionaries introduce Greenwood's interdisciplinary series, Great Cultural Eras of the Western World. Each dictionary includes approximately 350 alphabetically arranged "biographical vignettes." The "culture" of the series title, according to Carney, denotes "those who made contributions to art and architecture, music, philosophy, religion, political and social thought, science, math, literature, history, or education." Carney is associate professor of English at the College of New Jersey, and Drees is associate professor of history at Virginia Wesleyan College. Entries in each volume are 250 to 1,000 words long, with most filling one or two pages. Each entry is signed by its contributor. Renaissance and Reformation includes a list of 72 contributors with their academic affiliations but not their positions. The Late Medieval Age lists only the names of its 86 contributors; it does not include their institutions or positions. Most entries are clearly written, concise, and summarize the person's claim to fame in the first sentence or two. A few articles, especially those in The Late Medieval Age, are a bit facile. For example, Leonardo da Vinci is described as the painter of the "breathtaking" Last Supper and the "ageless" Mona Lisa. Each entry includes a bibliography of several English-language books or, less frequently, articles. Although quite a few books from the 1990s and a smattering of primary sources are cited, most items are monographs published before 1990. The bibliography for Artemisia Gentileschi lists books published in 1987 and 1989 but not Ward Bissell's Artemisia Gentileschi and the Authority of Art: Critical Reading and Catalogue Raisonne, published in 1999. Several articles on Netherlandish painters cite only Edwin Panofsky's Early Netherlandish Painting (1971) and not more recent books and articles. Although Carney's introduction notes that an effort was made to include subjects "not as prominent in the historical canon," the introductory material in neither volume explains the process by which the entries were selected. An appendix in The Late Medieval Age listing figures according to 28 occupations includes bankers, heretics, inquisitors, literary figures, printers, and rebels, as well as military leaders, popes, kings, and queens. Renaissance and Reformation lists its subjects by discipline, rather than occupation. Disciplines include art and architecture, drama and theater, travel, law and political theory, and women. Dictionaries such as these must be selective, but some exclusions are puzzling. Marco Polo, William Wallace (of Braveheart fame), and court painter Orazio Gentileschi (father of Artemisia and, until recently, better known) come to mind. Both dictionaries are tightly focused geographically as well as chronologically. Although neither dictionary defines its geographic scope, both are limited to western Europe and a few eastern European and Scandinavian countries, as implied by the series name and demonstrated in the appendixes listing subjects by geographic region. Each volume includes a general bibliography arranged by topic and an index to alternative names and individuals mentioned within entries. Most of the individuals included in the The Late Medieval Age and Renaissance and Reformation are also represented in the two major encyclopedias covering these two periods, the Dictionary of the Middle Ages (Scribner, 1982-1989) and the Encyclopedia of the Renaissance (Scribner, 1999). Individuals without entries in the Dictionary of the Middle Ages include William Lyndwood, "the most prominent canon lawyer of the Middle Ages," and Jacques de Molay, the last grand master of the Order of the Knights of the Temple. Many individuals covered by the Greenwood dictionaries are also included in major subject encyclopedias such as the Dictionary of Art (Grove, 1996). The Greenwood dictionaries are optional choices for reference collections that already own the Dictionary of the Middle Ages, the Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, and a good selection of subject encyclopedias. The most appreciative audience for the Greenwood series will be students doing course work or research papers on the specific historical periods covered by the dictionaries. Libraries supporting courses in medieval and Renaissance history may want to acquire these books for reference or circulating collections.


Choice Review

Carney's collective biography provides capsule biographies of some of the more influential and significant figures of the Renaissance. Broad in scope, with contributions from some 70 scholars, its more than 350 entries include information about figures in astronomy, mathematics, music, philosophy, science, and theology, among others. A chronology, 1498 to 1620, opens the work; entries have cross-references marked by asterisks and bibliographies for further reading. The appendixes categorize entries by discipline and geographic region. The index usefully displays main entries in boldface and lists cross-references for each. The bibliography is classed by subject: general, art and architecture, the Reformation, literature, theater, science, music, humanism, philosophy, and scholarship, and women and gender. Highly recommended for undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers. S. D. Atwell Ferris State University


Table of Contents

Introductionp. ix
Chronologyp. xv
Renaissance and Reformation, 1500-1620p. 1
Appendix A Subjects by Disciplinep. 387
Appendix B Subjects by Countryp. 394
Bibliographyp. 401
Indexp. 407
About the Editor and Contributorsp. 415

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