Italian wealth in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries was a fertile seedbed in which Renaissance civilization flowered. We have already noted how Italy led the way in the development of commercial capitalism. This flourishing economy placed in the hands of a vigorous class of self-made men sufficient wealth to give Italian civilization a gilding of luxury and display such as the Western World had not seen since the fall of Rome. [excerpt]
Some material in the original text is restricted by copyright. Here are links to earlier editions or translations of the same material:
Count Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (C. Scribner & Sons, 1903). This replaces text from pages 5-12 in Contemporary Civilization.
Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Oration on the Dignity of Man trans. A. Robert Caponigri (1956). This replaces text from pages 27-30 in Contemporary Civilization.
This is the publisher's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Bloom, Robert L. et al. "1. The Renaissance in Italy. Pt. VI: Renaissance Humanism." Ideas and Institutions of Western Man (Gettysburg College, 1958), 2-40.