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School of History

HIST0626 - Political Thought in Renaissance Europe A

Module code: HIST0626

Credits: 15
Semester: Autumn

Module Convenor: Angus Gowland

This course explores the contribution of humanism and republicanism, especially in Florence, to the political thought of the European Renaissance. It focuses on the letters of Petrarch; Leonardo Bruni's orations and History of the Florentine People; Niccol Machiavelli's Prince, Discourses on Livy, and Florentine Histories; and Francesco Guicciardini's Dialogue on the Government of Florence. Students are encouraged to read these texts closely, to connect the ideas in them to their authors' political and intellectual contexts, and to relate their understanding to the main interpretations of Renaissance  humanism, republicanism, and early modern political thought more generally, in modern scholarship.

There are no formal prerequisites for the course, but some familiarity with early modern intellectual history, particularly political thought, is strongly advised.

Assessment: Essay (4,000 words) 100%

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