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General Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The Renaissance has proved a remarkably durable concept and despite the pronouncements of some Renaissance scholars it shows no sign of disappearing from the titles and contents of a huge number of books, journals, articles, conferences, seminars, or course syllabi. Both Renaissance and early modern contain implicit or explicit teleological assumptions about the transition from the medieval to modern worlds which have a venerable lineage. A great deal of the discussion of the Renaissance, by no means all of it hostile, has revolved around its mythic status in European historical thought and particularly the extent to which it can be taken as an 'entirely new beginning' in European culture. The chapters in this book address the question of how historians from a wide variety of sub-disciplines should read the Renaissance into the art, sculpture, literature, and music of Europe between c.1300 and c.1550.

Keywords: European culture; modern worlds; Renaissance scholars



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