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The Christians V08 - God in Man

V08

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The Renaissance / AD 1300 to AD 1500 / God in Man / Volume Eight of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years History Series

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The Renaissance: God in Man

Volume 8: A.D. 1300 to 1500
But amid its splendors, night falls on medieval Christianity

The late Middle Ages brought great suffering and death: the shattering of western Christendom between rival papacies, ecclesiastical corruption and cynicism, a plague called the Black Death which killed off half the population of Europe, the destruction of France by England, the fall of Constantinople to a resurgent Islam, and the merciless Catholic suppression of nascent Protestantism. Yet despite such ruin and despair, good things emerged. “Holy Russia” arose in the north and threw off Tartar oppression. Spaniard Christians freed themselves at last from Islam and discovered new continents across the Atlantic. In Italy, the Renaissance saw a magnificent rebirth of art and science in a new and fascinating form.

Chapter One

Dante writes an epic poem of redemption that inspires the ages

  • Quotations from the Divine Comedy
  • The troubling concept of purgatory

Chapter Two

The Black Death, history's worst plague ravages Christendom

Chapter Three

To Babylon and back: the church is rocked by avarice, jealousy and schism

  • The mystic Catherine of Siena drives the pope back to Rome
  • John Wyclif leads an attack on the church that foreshadows things to come

Chapter Four

The Czech hero John Hus perishes in flames for instituting reform

Chapter Five

The English nearly kill a nation until Joan of Arc turns the tide

  • The many depictions of the Maid of Orleans

Chapter Six

Constantinople falls after 700 years as Islam erupts anew

  • The town of Otranto fails the Pasha's push
  • The Hungarian Jan Hunyadi scatters the Muslims at Belgrade

Chapter Seven

‘Holy Russia’ ousts the Tartars and rejects western Christendom

  • The monk Sergius lays the foundations at the freed nation
  • Tamerlane, scourge of God, brings new horror from the East
  • The marital union of Poland and Lithuania creates a Baltic power

Chapter Eight

Isabella and Ferdinand unite Spain and restore it to Christendom

  • To unite the faith, Ferdinand unleashes the horror of the Spanish Inquisition

Chapter Nine

Ambition versus faith: the conflicted Columbus discovers America

  • Henry the Navigator's great ‘end run’ around Islam

Chapter Ten

The Italian Renaissance magnificently concludes the Middle Ages

  • Leonardo da Vinci: a man of inspired distraction

Chapter Eleven

The Borgias and the Renaissance papacy nearly wreck Christendom

  • Lucrezia, femme fatale of Renaissance Italy
  • The Dominican monk whom the pope could not allow to live
  • Nicolo Machiavelli pens a bible of slease politics for the ages
  • Amid medieval ruin, Groote and Kempis bring a glimmer of light