The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy
by Jacob Burckhardt
translated by S.G.C. Middlemore, 1878
Introduction to Jacob Burckhardt
The best way to learn about what
human beings, such as they are and have been for at least 25
centuries, may and may not do is to study human history.
There are are a number of historians
I highly estimate, notably Thucydides, Machiavelli, Gibbon, and Jacob
Burckhardt. The reasons for my high estimate are qualities of style,
mind, interests and judgment.
Burckhardt was Swiss, lived from
1818-1897, and his most famous work is "The Civilization of the
Renaissance in Italy", as it was translated into English in 1878
by S.G.C. Middlemore, from a work originally written in German as "Die
Kultur der Renaissanze in Italien", which was first published in 1860.
The text follows, as I found it on
the internet, and as it also appears in my undated bound edition of it by
the Phaedon Press, apparently from the 1930ies, which has the great
merit of containing many - black and white - illustrations as an
appendix, which is absent from such German editions as I have.
Also, for those who care for it,
there are my notes to most paragraphs, which are reflections on the
text, not necessarily of a historical character. These are in the text
identified by a note between brackets, which links to a file
of notes for the same part, from which one can jump back to the same paragraph
after reading the note.
As is, my notes and
Burckhardt's text end in part four, from six parts, and it seems that
at some point - for some reason I can't fathom: possibly automatic
updating - I have left out the parts I had not yet commented.
That's a mistake and should be repaired soon.