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Junior High World History - The Renaissance: Moving North

Coming out of the Dark Ages? Then the Renaissance is just what you are looking for! Investigate the location, artists, inventions, ideas and more that marked a major shift in World History.

Overview of the Northern Renaissance

The Renaissance was not confined to Italy as you have read and seen. Here is a Quick Overview of the major countries that also participated in the Renaissance. Take down some notes while you are here so that you can refer back to them for the final project. Some names and places will likely be familiar to you already, for example the artists Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Durer who we have discussed already. Also you will see William Shakespeare listed as a prominent writer of this time period. Below we will look at three prominent Northern Renaissance figures we have not seen yet.

Thomas More

Thomas More did many things in his lifetime. He is perhaps most famous for his refusal to accept the English King Henry VIII decision to split with the Catholic Church based in Rome. His writings and humanism are more important for our look at the Renaissance though. His most famous work called Utopia outlined a perfect society where people were equal, education was free, and government was ruled by reason. In Utopia Thomas More reflected many of the same Renaissance principles seen in Italy. To read more about him, head to this website.

Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus was a Dutch reformer and scholar. Throughout his life he studied and wrote extensively whether it was at the monastary, on his trip to Paris, or when he arrived in England. While in England he befriended Thomas More and began to think more about the church and how to reform it. He continued to publish and traveled to Italy as well. He is most famous for his work Praise and Folly which is a satire (using humor and exageration to criticize someone or something) of the Church's behavior at the time. To read more about him click on this Biography.

Francois Rabelais

François Rabelais was a prominent physician and writer in France. His works often criticized authority in a satirical way. In many cases this got him into trouble; he even had to write under a false name and go into hiding on occasion. It was far more difficult for Rabelais after his patron, the French Renaissance King François I passed away. With the help of friends Rabelais was able to travel and continue to publish his writings. More can be learned about Rabelais in this short biography.

Why are they Important?

Looking at what the three figures above are known for, why are their contributions important to the Northern Renaissance? In other words... how do these figures compare with the thinkers, inventors, and painters of the Italian Renaissance? Write a 1/2 page reflection on this question and turn it into me.