Download Astraea: The Imperial Theme in the Sixteenth Century by Frances Amelia Yates PDF

By Frances Amelia Yates

This e-book examines the photographs and symbolism of eu monarchy within the sixteenth century. The accession of Charles V, together with his gigantic dominions in either the previous and new worlds, used to be the social gathering for a renewal of the parable of Empire within the West. The topic used to be echoed within the pageants and ballets of the declining Valois dynasty in France and, specifically, within the glorification of Elizabeth I. This publication makes an attempt to light up reader's knowing of the Renaissance monarchies as they struggled with the darkish undertow of reformation and counter-reformation.

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He is Romanized as the stoic emperor, the W orld Ruler on whose domains the sun never set. Yet he is also the northern ruler, the Christian and chivalrous emperor, wearing the collar o f the Order o f the Golden Fleece. Charles’s intensive cult, after the manner o f his Burgundian ancestors, of the Order o f the Golden Fleece tended to restore something o f their inter­ national character to the Orders o f Chivalry and to place Charles himself in an international setting as the Knight-Emperor o f Christendom, pledged to maintain the Christianized imperial virtues and to spread them throughout the world.

Apart from its anti-imperial tone, Bruni’s History o f Florence is an example o f a more exact and scholarly type o f historiography, which was leading to a more realistic and secular view o f both history and politics, a climate of opinion in which it began to seem less and less desirable to base either history or action on mystical interpretations o f the Roman Empire. It was Machiavelli, o f course, who put Realpolitik on a scientific basis. Animated by an intense patriotism, he wished for the creation o f a strong, well-organized state in Italy which should become the nucleus o f Italian unity.

This reaction from the scepticism concerning the medieval empire, and its basis in the theory o f translation, which humanist study had encouraged, is connected with the reaction which * Guevara’s book was translated into English by Thomas North with the title The Diall oj Princes. The passage here indicated on the rule o f O ne is quoted, in North’s English translation, below, p. 52. a T h ey were important sources for Erasmus in The Education o f a Christian Prince\ see L. K . B om ’s introduction to his translation.

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