The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

Introduction by: Peter Burke
Translator: S. G. C. Middlemore
Notes by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140445343
  • 400 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


For nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt, the Italian Renaissance was nothing less than the beginning of the modern world – a world in which flourishing individualism and the competition for fame radically transformed science, the arts, and politics. In this landmark work he depicts the Italian city-states of Florence, Venice and Rome as providing the seeds of a new form of society, and traces the rise of the creative individual, from Dante to Michelangelo. A fascinating description of an era of cultural transition, this nineteenth-century masterpiece was to become the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance, and anticipated ideas such as Nietzsche’s concept of the ‘Ubermensch’ in its portrayal of an age of genius.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


“The greatest single book on the history of Italy between 1350 and 1550.”—Hajo Holborn
PRH Book Clubs Survey