Author Topic: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant  (Read 225077 times)

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #40 on: January 09, 2009, 08:17:12 PM »

"I want to know what were the steps by which
man passed from barbarism to civilization (Voltaire)"

   



What are our origins?
Where are we now?
Where are we headed?
Share your thoughts with us!
   Volume Five (The Renaissance)
       
"Four elements constitute Civilization -- economic provision, political organization, moral traditions, and the pursuit of knowledge and the arts. "
 
"I shall proceed as rapidly as time and circumstances will permit, hoping that a few of my contemporaries will care to grow old with me while learning. "
       
"These volumes may help some of our children to understand and enjoy the infinite riches of their inheritance."
       
"Civilization begins where chaos and insecurity ends."



SAVONAROLA AND THE REPUBLIC

The Prophet
The Statesman
Literature: The Martyr
Architecture and Sculpture: The Republic and the Medici
Art Under the Revolution

In this volume the  term "Renaissance" refers only to Italy. Will Durant studies the growth of industry, the rise of banking families like the Medici, the conflicts of labor and capital and considers the reasons why Italy was the first nation, and Florence the first city in Italy, to feel the awakening of the modern mind. He follows the cultural flowering from Florence to Milan, Mantua, Ferrata, Verona and Venice, Padua and Parma, Bologna, Rimini, Urbino, Perugia, Siena, and Naples. 

In each city of Italy we witness a colorful pageant of princes, queeens, dukes, or doges -- of poets, historians, scientists, and philosophers -- of painters, sculptors, engravers, illuminators, potters, and architects -- of industry, education, manners, morals, crime, and dress -- of women and love and marriage -- of epidemics, famines, earthquakes, and death.

Dr. Durant draws vivid vignettes -- of Petrarch, Boccaccio, Cosimo de' Medici, Fra Angelico, Donatello, Beatrice and Isabella d'Este, Leonardo da Vinci, Piero della Francesca, Signorelli, Perugino, Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Aldus Manutius, Correggio, Alexander VI, Caesar and Lucrezia Borgia, Julius II, Leo X, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

The Renaissance, by recalling classic culture, ended the thousand year rule of the Oriental mind in Europe.


This volume, then, is about YOU. Join our group daily and listen to what Durant and the rest of us are saying. Better yet, share with us your opinions.

Discussion Leader: robby



JUSTIN  January 9, 2009

Brian:  I was smiling when I wrote my reply to your con/lib message.

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #41 on: January 09, 2009, 08:39:36 PM »
Brian: I was smiling when I wrote the reply.

Brian

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2009, 09:04:34 PM »
Justin - - - Does that smile make you a Republican?

Brian.

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #43 on: January 10, 2009, 01:05:24 AM »
I was smiling when I wrote the reply.

Persian

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #44 on: January 10, 2009, 05:32:35 PM »
BRIAN = yesterday I forwarded a copy of your History 101 to a couple of friends/colleagues and am still laughing at their replies.  The first one went to a fellow who is a Catholic priest, born and lives in Africa, went to school in Ireland and still speaks with a Dublin accent.  The second one was sent to a man in Azerbaijan, who is the director of an institute focused on world peace.  Their replies basically stated they (like you) felt lucky not to have to choose which political party to support.

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #45 on: January 10, 2009, 05:43:32 PM »
As we continued in the early chapters of this fifth volume on The Renaissance, Durant called our attention to what he called "The Golden Age."  He spoke of Piero il Gottoso and Lorenzo the Magnificent.  Under the heading of Literature he told us about Politian.  Regarding Architecture and Sculpture, he discussed the Age of Verrocchio.  He told us about the painters Ghirlandaio and Botticelli.

What thoughts and comments do any of you have as you read the names above?

Robby

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #46 on: January 10, 2009, 09:09:31 PM »
I see myself as a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Very often that leaves me partyless much like you and the Irishman in Azerbajian.


Emily

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2009, 03:54:35 PM »
Hi Robby and all. Good to see the 'Story' is back online. I don't have anything to contribute today, perhaps later.

Emily

JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #48 on: January 11, 2009, 07:42:25 PM »
WELCOME, WELCOME Emily!

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2009, 12:41:12 AM »
Emily; It is nice to hear your voice again.

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2009, 07:01:00 AM »
Any comments regarding Post 45?

Robby

mabel1015j

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2009, 03:31:05 PM »
Justin - social liberal/fiscal conservative - you sound like many of the Quakers who live around me here in NJ. I think they pick their party depending on what is going on in the world. When we first moved here many of them were members of SANE (anti-nuclear assn) and were anti-war (Viet Nam), so they could continue being Rpublicans after 1968, but i know some have meandered back and forth between parties as the decades have passed. We sometimes need another- or two - political parties as the two major parties become more idealogue, maybe w/ our new administration there is some hope for less extremes and more inclusion of different policies..................jean


Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2009, 06:17:46 PM »
Jean: It is difficult wearing a party label. I think for example that fiscal responsibility is the right course for government and that the Republicans make that condition a part of their platform but they in actuality have been more irresponsible fiscally than the Democrats not just in this current administration but over the long haul. It is the Democrats who have lowered the cost of government and reduced the overall debt as well as minimized the annual deficit. It was Clinton who found himself with a surplus and a lower debt.

Back to the Renaissance before Robby gets after us for breaking the rules. 

JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2009, 07:01:31 PM »
As to Post 45, the onlyname I know from there is Botticelli. Should we look at "Venus on the half-shell" as we go by?

JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2009, 07:05:32 PM »
Here it is:

http://www.weichtiere.at/Mollusks/geschichten/venus.html

Not a great print: the best i found with a quick search.


JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #55 on: January 13, 2009, 07:08:46 PM »
And here is Primavera (didn't we already do this once?)

http://home.comcast.net/~mmarmor/Primavera.htm

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #56 on: January 13, 2009, 07:18:50 PM »
It's nice that you mention Ghirlandaio and Botticelli in the same post for the two worked on projects together but were very different in their approach to iconography and composition. Ghirlandaio was more like our illustrator, Norman Rockwell in that he did the popular thing. The mathematical realism of Masaccio was on the way out when Ghirlandaio adopted his manner. Ghirlandaio used portraits of well known people from his local community as models to illustrate works with religious content and he set the scenes in what was then modern times. One, today, may find it strange, to see a nativity, for example, placed in a 15th century setting with 15th century garments.

Michelangelo Buonorotti apprenticed to Ghirlandaio and certainly some of the naturalism we see in Michelangelo is due to that apprenticeship. Of Course, Flemish painters like Van der Goes gave them both a taste of naturalism which they readilly absorbed. One can see this very clearly in Ghirlandaio's portrait of "The Old man and his Grandson." It is a magnificent example of what one can do in egg tempera.

Botticelli, on the other hand, introduced people of the 15th century to secular topics, to mythological scenes. The Platonic school was active under Medici influence and the works of Roman sculptors and Roman painters were being unearthed quite frequently so there was a classical awareness extant that impressed patrons of Art and the artists responded as did Botticelli. He was part of the reaction against Masaccio's mathematical painting but he went beyond compositional change to secular iconography. "The Birth of Venus" is a good example of a Botticelli topic. So too is "Primavera."

It is worth noting that Botticelli depicted elongated forms in his paintings which later influenced Michelangelo and the Mannerist's who followed him. Mannerism was characterized by idealized forms which tended to be elongated rather than natural.    

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #57 on: January 13, 2009, 09:49:05 PM »
Joan:  Regarding "having already done something," I am quickly and succinctly going over the early part of Volume Five, partly to refresh our regulars so we can ease into where we were and partly to help newcomers here.

Robby

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2009, 01:57:51 AM »
While reading Byron tonight I came across some lines that brought our earlier work with Petrarch back into focus.

There's doubtless something in domestic doings
  Which forms, infact, true love's antithesis;
Romances paint at full length people's wooings,
  But only give a bust of marriages:
For no one cares for matrimonial cooings,
  There's nothing wrong in a connubial kiss:
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife,
He would have written sonnets all his life? 

Gumtree

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2009, 07:33:26 AM »
Justin Thanks for the lines from Byron - very apropos. They have been running through my mind during the past week or so but I couldn't recall Byron as the author.  I guess I will never forget that now.
Reading is an art and the reader an artist. Holbrook Jackson

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #60 on: January 15, 2009, 07:50:35 PM »
As we moved through The Renaissance, we examined Milan.  We talked about Piedmont and Liguria, Pavia, The Visconti, The Sforzas, and the letters and arts of that geographical area.

We spent some time discussing Leonardo da Vinci and his development in Milan, Florence, and Rome.

Any comments about Leonardo or the cities named above?

Robby

JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #61 on: January 15, 2009, 10:17:33 PM »
JUSTIN: that's great.

mabel1015j

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #62 on: January 16, 2009, 04:42:16 PM »
Robby has asked those of you who have been to these places to comment - i really appreciate those comments and pictures since i have never been to Europe, so please, continue...............jean

Emily

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #63 on: January 16, 2009, 08:33:39 PM »
This link is called Photoart. It is a rather new medium much removed from the time period we are currently reading. Perhaps it will take Mabel on a tour, as I felt as though I was inside this beautifully decorated church.

Use the buttons at the bottom to move around the room which will give a panaramic view. Be sure to use the + sign to zoom in on any interesting object. There is some art, perhaps Justin can identify some of it for us.


http://photoartkalmar.com/Photoart%20Kalmar%20high%20res/Gigapixel/Piaristenkircheflash.html

Emily

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #64 on: January 17, 2009, 02:25:34 AM »
Emily: Thank you. Identification of churches from the interior is always a challenge. One must play detective. It is a beautiful interior. The Church is German. Most probably some where in Southern Germany or Austria. it was built, I think, in the third quarter of the eighteenth century. The style of architecture is late Baroque, perhaps even Rococo. I think the architect was Balthazzor Neuman who was active until 1775. The church is Roman Catholic. You can tell that by the lights hanging from the crucifix which tell one the Blessed Sacrament is present at the altar. The interior is essentially naveless. The gallery and triforium windows let in large amounts of  white light. There are no stained glass windows to color the light. The interior form is very similar to the pilgrimage church called Vierzehnheilgen at Franconia. The ceiling paintings are probably by Tiepolo and depict the Resurection of Christ and the Ascension of Mary.
On the right side wall near the entrance is an image of St. Agatha who may have been martyred nearby. Saint Sebastien is opposite however I can not  see the image clearly, so it may be some other iconography. The acolyte and deacon's chairs to the left and right may have come from the attellier of Reimanschneider who was wood carver par excellence. The image over the main altar is a Nativity with the Virgin Mother enthroned as the Madonna. The Franciscan above the Crucifix may well be Saint John Napomuk, a local saint.

I choose South Germany because the north was heavily Protestant and ornamentation of the type we see in this church is not typical of the north and the protestant counter reformation.  I choose late eighteenth century because of the Barogue-Rococo characteristics of the church and because I know that it was not until after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1650 or so and the expulsion of the Islamic turks from Vienna in1685 that building in great quantity began in the South German provinces. Hundreds of churches were built in the period between 1725 and 1825.

If you know the name of the church and it's location I would like to know it but it has been fun to speculate on it's identity. 

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #65 on: January 17, 2009, 08:02:49 AM »
Thank you, Emily and Justin.  This is exactly why this discussion site exists.

Robby

Gumtree

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #66 on: January 17, 2009, 09:07:40 AM »
Wow ! Thanks Emily for that link - it's superb

Thanks Justin for identifying the church - I'll take your possible (probable?) location and craftsmen as gospel.
Reading is an art and the reader an artist. Holbrook Jackson

Eloise

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #67 on: January 17, 2009, 10:12:46 AM »
http://www.panoguide.com/gallery/503/

It's Piaristen Church in Vienna Justin.

Brian

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #68 on: January 17, 2009, 01:28:44 PM »
Justin - - - I am reading Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles with others on SeniorLearn, and wonder if you have been taking lessons from Sherlock Holmes.

That was an exemplary deduction on the whereabouts of the church.

More details of the Panorama can be found here http://www.panoguide.com/gallery/503/

Thank you, Eloise, for that little bit of fun.

Brian.

mabel1015j

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2009, 04:49:58 PM »
Thank you Emily and Eloise - the pictures were wonderful. The carvings of the wood and marble are beautiful and exquisite.

O.K. Justin, you have officially amazed me.............thanks for all the information. I didn't know the meaning of the lights on the crucifix. As Robby says, learning those tidbits of information is one of the things i love about Senrior/net/learn................thanks to you all.............jean

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #70 on: January 18, 2009, 02:04:02 AM »
Eloise: It is nice to see you back in here. I have missed your comments very much. Thank you for identification of Piaresten. It is a church with a beautiful interior and it makes me want to return to Vienna. There are so many wonderful places to visit in the world it is hard to remain inactive. Your own Ste.Anne de Baupre is also quite lovely.

JoanK

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #71 on: January 18, 2009, 02:54:56 PM »
JUSTIN: I can see you had a ball identifying the church and artwork. BRAVO! I recognize the process: it's similiar to fanatic birdwatchers trying to identify a strange bird.

Emily

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #72 on: January 18, 2009, 06:18:42 PM »
Thank you Justin for the informative reply. How lucky we are to have you as our tour guide through the Renaissance.

Thanks also to Eloise for pinpointing the exact location of the church, and the information on the photography.

Emily

Eloise

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #73 on: January 18, 2009, 07:29:42 PM »
Emily, pinpointing the exact location of the church, and the information on the photography. No, I am not that smart. I just looked in your URL

I have seen many churches in my travels but not that one unfortunately. I guess I was just boasting when I posted that. 

I am watching another historic even, American pre Inauguration and I am as mooved as everybody in the US. Congratulations Americans, yes you can.

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #74 on: January 19, 2009, 06:51:33 AM »
Reading Eloise's remarks about "Yes we can" caused me to look back up at the illustration in the Heading to this discussion indicating civilization's move from the cave man to the mother reading to her children.  Is not what we are seeing in the news these days part of the "Story of Civilization?"

Robby

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #75 on: January 19, 2009, 07:13:02 PM »
Yes, Robbie: I was beginning to lose faith in the ability of the American people to pick a worthy candidate for the office of President but I am much encouraged by the Obama selection. WE did the right thing, I think, this time. Tomorrow, at the swearing-in, we can justifiably, be very proud. It is the way to go. 

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #76 on: January 19, 2009, 09:09:25 PM »
I was thinking even broader than that.  The Israel-Gaza conflict, the genocide in Darfur, the Russia-Ukraine dispute about the ownership of natural gas, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, capitalism in China, the success of the Harry Potter books, YouTube, Britney Spears, use of Viagra, Hurricane in New Orleans, Roger Clemens difficulty, OJ Simpson, safe sex, the BlackBerry, Tiger Woods, American Idol, MySpace, Starbucks, Miracle on the Hudson, life on Mars, Mugabe, match.com, red and blue states.  Isn't this all part of the Story of Civilization?

Does the info that Durant gives us make us think of present day events?  Do present day events make us think of the various cultures we have been examining?

Robby

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #77 on: January 20, 2009, 02:48:43 PM »
Every time period has it's  own inimitable characteristics, some of which are veneer while others are significant in that they are later seen as a new thread leading to change in the way a society functions. Try to find among the ingredients you listed, Robby,  those that are significant and therefore, worthy of an historian's pen. Will viagra lead to an increase in the birth rate among older persons? Will we learn enough from Darfur to prevent genocide in the years to come? Which of all these characteristics are veneer and which are significant? It is difficult to choose, is it not?   

Robby

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #78 on: January 22, 2009, 06:32:57 AM »
We continue to remind ourselves of the path we took as we read the volume on The Renaissance.  Under what Durant called the "Italian Pageant," he told us about Tuscany and Umbria, Mantua and Ferrara. bringing to our attention Piero della Francesca, Sognorelli, Perugino, Vittorino, the House of Este and the Arts in Ferrara.

Do any of the above strike chords in your thoughts?

Robby

Justin

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Re: Story of Civilization ~ Will & Ariel Durant
« Reply #79 on: January 22, 2009, 05:43:24 PM »
Yes, Isabella D'Este was one of the first major non eclesiastical patrons of the arts in  the world. She spent the old Count's money like a woman bent on breaking the bank but the D"Este collection, still intact as the world approached the twentieth century, gave us the works of Pierro, Masaccio, Leonardo, Perugino, and many other outstanding Renaissance artists to see in our modern museums.