Post-classical history

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World

In Volume VI of his acclaimed Hinges of History series, Thomas Cahill guides us through a time so full of innovation that the Western world would not again experience its like until the twentieth century: the new humanism of the Renaissance and the radical religious alterations of the Reformation.

This was an age in which whole continents and peoples were discovered. It was an era of sublime artistic and scientific adventure, but also of newly powerful princes and armies—and of unprecedented courage, as thousands refused to bow their heads to the religious pieties of the past. In these exquisitely written and lavishly illustrated pages, Cahill illuminates, as no one else can, the great gift-givers who shaped our history—those who left us a world more varied and complex, more awesome and delightful, more beautiful and strong than the one they had found.

PRELUDE

Philosophical Tennis Through the Ages

INTRODUCTION

Dress Rehearsals for Permanent Change

1282: The Sicilian Vespers

1353: How to Survive the Black Death

1381–1451: Lutherans Long Before Luther

1452: The Third Great Communications Revolution

Part I - NEW WORLDS FOR OLD

Innovation on Sea and Land

1492: Columbus Discovers America

1345–1498: Humanists Rampant

Part II - THE INVENTION OF HUMAN BEAUTY

And the End of Medieval Piety

1445?–1564: Full Nakedness!

1565–1680: Charring the Wood

Part III - NEW THOUGHTS FOR NEW WORLDS

Deviant Monks

1500–1517: Erasmus and Luther

Part IV - REFORMATION!

Luther Steps Forward

1518–1521: From Dispute to Divide

INTERMISSION: IL BUONO, IL BRUTTO, IL CATTIVO (THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY)

A Portfolio of Egos

Part V - PROTESTANT PICTURES

And Other Northern Images

1498–1528: Apocalypse Now

1516–1535: Utopia Now and Then

1522–1611: The Word of God Goes Forth—First in Hochdeutsch, Then in Shakespearean English

1520s: Encounters and Evasions in Paris

1525?–1569: The Ice Is Melting

Part VI - CHRISTIAN VS. CHRISTIAN

The Turns of the Screw

1516–1525: From Zwingli to the Peasants’ War

1525–1564: From Princely Conversions to the Second Reformation

1545–1563: Catholics Get Their Act Together

1558–1603: The Religious Establishment of a Virgin Queen

1562–1648: Let’s Kill ’Em All!

Part VII - HUMAN LOVE

How to Live on This Earth

1531–1540: Nuns with Guns

1572–1616: Men in the Middle

1615–1669: The Deepening

POSTLUDE

Hope and Regret

NOTES AND SOURCES