Compared to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance is brief—little more than two centuries, extending roughly from the mid-fourteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century—and largely confined to a few Italian city states. Nevertheless, the epoch marked a great cultural shift in sensibilities, the dawn of a new age in which classical Greek and Roman values were "reborn" and human values in all fields, from the arts to civic life, were reaffirmed.
With this volume, Eugenio Garin, a leading Renaissance scholar, has gathered the work of an international team of scholars into an accessible account of the people who animated this decisive moment in the genesis of the modern mind. We are offered a broad spectrum of figures, major and minor, as they lived their lives: the prince and the military commander, the cardinal and the courtier, the artist and the philosopher, the merchant and the banker, the voyager, and women of all classes. With its concentration on the concrete, the specific, even the anecdotal, the volume offers a wealth of new perspectives and ideas for study.