21H.141 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate

Renaissance To Revolution: Europe, 1300-1800


[C] = Cochrane, Eric, Charles K. Gray, and Mark Kishlansky, eds. University of Chicago Readings in Western Civilization. Vol. 6: Early Modern Europe: Crisis of Authority. University of Chicago Press, 1987. ISBN: 9780226069487.

[E] = Eramus, Desiderius. The Julius Exclusus of Erasmus. Translated by Paul Pascal. Introduction and notes by J. Kelley Sowards. Indiana University Press, 1968. ISBN: 9780253997333.

[G] = Ginzburg, Carlo. The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller. Translated by John and Anne Tedeschi. John Hopkins University Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780801843877. [Preview with Google Books]

[H] = Hill, Christopher. Puritanism and Revolution: Studies in Interpretation of the English Revolution of the 17th Century. Palgrave Macmillan, 1997. ISBN: 9780312174347.

[J] = Jacob, Margaret C., ed. The Scientific Revolution: A Brief History with Documents. Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2009. ISBN: 9780312653491.

[R] = Ross, James Bruce, and Mary Martin McLaughlin, eds.  The Portable Renaissance Reader. Penguin Books, 1977. ISBN: 9780140150612.

[S] = Seaver, Paul S. Wallington’s World: A Puritan Artisan in Seventeenth-Century London. Stanford University Press, 1985. ISBN: 9780416405309.

[V] = Valla, Lorenzo. On the Donation of Constantine. Translated by G. W. Bowersock. Harvard University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780674030893. [Preview with Google Books]

1 Introduction No readings assigned
2 The Discarded Image

[R] Oresme, Nicole. “The Diurnal Rotation of the Earth.”

[R] Nicholas of Cusa. “The Nature of the Universe.”

[R] Copernicus, Nicholas. “The Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres.”

Pope Boniface VIII. “Unam Sanctam, 1302.” Fordham University.

Chartres Cathedral, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Nicolaus Copernicus, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (Nuremburg, 1543), Museum of the History of Science.

3 Italian Humanism Before 1500

Petrarch, Francesco. “The Ascent of Mount Ventoux.” Fordham University.

[V] “Introduction.”

[V] “Appendix.”

[V] Excerpts from “Lorenzo Valla on the Forged and Mendacious Donation of Constantine.”

4 Before and After Gutenberg

Clanchy, Michael T. “Looking Back from the Invention of Printing.” Chapter 2 in Literacy in Historical Perspective. Edited by Daniel Phillip Resnick. For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O, 1983. ISBN: 9780844404103.

Grafton, Anthony. “The Humanist as Reader.” Chapter 7 in A History of Reading in the West. Edited by Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier. University of Massachusetts Press, 2003. ISBN: 9781558494114.

Domesday: Britain’s Finest Treasure, The National Archives.

McKie, Robin, and Vanessa Thorpe. “Digital Domesday Book Lasts 15 Years Not 1000,” The Guardian, March 3, 2002.

5 Making Books No readings assigned
6 Catholic Renewal

[R] Erasmus of Rotterdam. “An Age of Gold.”

[R] ———. “On the New Testament.”

[R] ———. “Members of One Body.”

Erasmus. “The Paraclesis.” Chapter 4 in Christian Humanism and the Reformation: Selected Writings of Erasmus. Edited by John C. Olin. Fordham University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780823211920.


[E] “Julius Excluded from Heaven: A Dialogue.”

[E] “Notes to Introduction and on the Text.”

7 In-class Writing Workshop No readings assigned
8 Protestant Revolution

[R] Erasmus of Rotterdam. “On Free Will.”

[R] Luther, Martin. “The Bondage of the Will.”

Reformation Europe—1492–1560, Credo.

9 The Radical Reformation

[R] Kirchmair, Georg. “The Peasants’ War in Tyrol.”

Hillerbrand, H. J. “Radical Reform Movements.” Chapter 5 in The Reformation in its Own Words. SCM Press, 1964. ASIN: B000CM7P8.

10 Religion and Print

[G] pp. xi–xxvi.

[G] pp. 1–51.

11 Menocchio’s Reading Strategies [G] pp. 52–128.
12 Skepticism, The Occult, and Science in the Late Sixteenth Century

de Montaigne, Michel. “On Cannibals.” Chapter 31 in Essays. Penguin Books, 1993. ISBN: 9780140178975.

Grafton, Anthony. “The Astrologer’s Practice.” Chapter 2 in Cardano’s Cosmos: The Worlds and Works of a Renaissance Astrologer. Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780674006706.

Arcimboldo: Nature and Fantasy, National Gallery of Art.


Grafton, Anthony. “Humanism and Science in Rudolphine Prague: Kepler in Context.” Chapter 7 in Defenders of the Text: The Traditions of Scholarship in an Age of Science, 1450–1800. Harvard University Press, 1994, pp. 178–203. ISBN: 9780674195455. [Preview with Google Books]

13 The Cartesian Method Descartes, René. Discourse on Method. 3rd ed. Hackett Publishing Company, Incorporation, 1998. ISBN: 9780872204225. [Preview with Google Books]
14 Overview of the English Civil War and Interregnum, 1640–1660

[C] Chapter 21: An Agreement of the People.

[C] Chapter 22: The Putney Debates.

[S] Chapter 1: The Examined Life.

[S] Chapter 6: Politics and Prayer.

Europe in the Age of the Thirty Years War—1600–1648, Credo.

15 The Varieties of Religion in Seventeenth-Century England

Anonymous. The Ranters Declaration (1650), EEBO.

Reeve, John. A General Epistle from the Holy Spirit unto All Prophets, Ministers, or Speakers in the World… (1653), EEBO.

[H] Chapter 11: The Mad Hatter.

16 Seventeenth-Century English Natural Philosophy

Jacob, Margaret C. “Science in the Crucible of the English Revolution.” Chapter 3 in Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West. Oxford University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780195082203.

[J] Bacon, Francis. Chapter 2: The Advancement of Learning.

[J] Boyle, Robert. Chapter 7: New Experiments in Physico-mechanical.

17 Print Culture and Millenarianism in Seventeenth-Century England

Jones, Captain. Plain English: or, The Sectaries Anatomized (1646), EEBO.

Lake, Peter, and David Como. “‘Orthodoxy’ and Its Discontents: Dispute Settlement and the Production of ‘Consensus’ in the London (Puritan) ‘Underground’.” Journal of British Studies 39, no. 1 (2000): 34–70.

[H] Chapter 12: John Mason and the End of the World.


T. J. A Brief Representation and Discovery of the Notorius Falshood and Dissimulation Contained in a Book Styled, The Gospel-way Confirmed by Miracles (1649), EEBO.

Raymond, Joad, ed. “The Hanged Woman Miraculously Revived: Birth, Life, Sickness, Death, Providence and the Inexplicable.” In Making the News: An Anthology of the Newsbooks of Revolutionary England, 1641–1660. Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated, 1993. ISBN: 9780900075537.

18 Newton and Newtonianism

[J] Newton, Isaac. Chapter 11: Selections from Principia.

Dobbs, Betty Jo Teeter, and Margaret C. Jacob. Newton and the Culture of Newtonianism. Humanity Books, 1995, pp. 20–46, and 61–95. ISBN: 9781573925457.

The Newton Project, University of Sussex.

The Chymistry of Isaac Newton, Indiana University.

19 Debate I No readings assigned
20 Debate II No readings assigned
21 The Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert: Content

Frontispiece & Explication, The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaboration Translation Project, University of Michigan Library.

Diagram – Map of the System of Human Knowledge, The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaboration Translation Project, University of Michigan Library.

Diderot, Denis. “Detailed Explanation of the System of Human Knowledge.” Encyclopédie Vol. 1 (1751), pp. xlvii-li. The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaboration Translation Project, University of Michigan Library.

Faiguet de Villeneuve, Joachim. “Sunday.” Encyclopédie Vol. 4 (1754), pp. 1007–9. The Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert Collaboration Translation Project, University of Michigan Library.

Diderot, Denis, and Jean le Rond d’Alembert. Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une Société de Gens de lettres. ARTFL Encyclopédie Project, University of Chicago.

Browse This Site

Technology and Enlightenment: The Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie.” February 2010–July 2010, Mauhaugen Gallery. MIT Libraries Exhibits.

22 The Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert: Diffusion and Debate

Darnton, Robert. “The Encyclopédie Wars of Prerevolutionary France.” American Historical Review 78, no. 5 (1973): 1331–52.

Pannabecker, John R. “Representing Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s Encyclopédie.” Technology and Culture 39, no. 1 (1998): 33–73

23 Natural Philosophy and the French Revolution: The Case of the Meter Alder, Ken. “A Revolution to Measure: The Political Economy of the Metric System in France.” Chapter 2 in The Values of Precision. Edited by M. Norton Wise. Princeton University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780691016016.
24 Conclusion No readings assigned

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2015
Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples
Activity Assignments