Great Minds of the Italian Renaissance and their World (ITALIAN 340)
What enabled Leonardo da Vinci to excel in over a dozen fields from painting to engineering and to anticipate flight four hundred years before the first aircraft took off? How did Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel Ceiling? What forces and insights led Machiavelli to write "The Prince"? An historical moment and a cultural era, the Italian Renaissance famously saw monumental achievements in literature, art, and architecture, influential developments in science and technology, and the flourishing of multi-talented individuals who contributed profoundly, expertly, and simultaneously to very different fields. In this course on the great thinkers, writers, and achievers of the Italian Renaissance, we will study these ¿universal geniuses¿ and their world. Investigating the writings, thought, and lives of such figures as Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Galileo Galilei, we will interrogate historical and contemporary ideas concerning genius, creativity, and the phenomenon of ¿Renaissance man¿ known as polymathy. Taught in English.