Maarten Maartensz

 Philosophy - Philosophers - Burckhardt










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.

Maarten Maartensz       
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