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1 Burnside Western Civilization- General

Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World


Sprezzatura: 50 Ways Italian Genius Shaped the World Cover


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Publisher Comments:

A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World?

“Sprezzatura,” or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione in The Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli), Sprezzatura highlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.

About the Author

Peter DEpiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish are the authors of What Are the Seven Wonders of the World? And 100 Other Great Cultural Lists-Fully Explicated. DEpiro lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Pinkowish lives in Larchmont, New York.

Table of Contents


1 Rome gives the world a calendar—twice

2 The Roman Republic and our own

3 Julius Caesar and the imperial purple

4 Catullus revolutionizes love poetry

5 Master builders of the ancient world

6 “Satire is wholly ours”

7 Ovids treasure hoard of myth and fable

8 The Roman legacy of law

9 St. Benedict: Father of Western monasticism, preserver of the Roman heritage

10 Salerno and Bologna: The earliest medical school and university

11 St. Francis of Assisi, “alter Christus”

12 “Stupor mundi”: Emperor Frederick II, King of Sicily and Jerusalem

13 St. Thomas Aquinas: Titan of theology

14 Dantes incomparable Comedy

15 Banks, bookkeeping, and the rise of commercial capitalism

16 Petrarch: Creator of the modern lyric

17 Boccaccio and the development of Western literary realism

18 The mystic as activist: St. Catherine of Siena

19 Inventors of the visual language of the Renaissance: Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio

20 Lorenzo Ghiberti and the “Gates of Paradise”

21 Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici, grand patrons of art and learning

22 Sigismondo Malatesta: The condottiere with a vision

23 Leonardo da Vinci: Renaissance man, eternal enigma

24 A new world beckons: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, Verrazano

25 Machiavelli and the dawn of modern political science

26 Michelangelo: Epitome of human artistry

27 Sprezzatura and Castigliones concept of the gentleman

28 Aretino: Self-publicist, pornographer, “secretary of the world”

29 Giovanni Della Casas Galateo: Etiquette book par excellence

30 Andrea Palladio and his “bible” of building

31 Catherine de Medici: Godmother of French cuisine

32 Peris Euridice: The birth of opera from the spirit of tragedy

33 Galileo frames the foundations of modern science

34 Two sonorous gifts: The violin and the piano

35 Claudio Monteverdi, father of modern music

36 The Baroque splendors of Bernini

37 Pioneers of modern anatomy: Eustachio, Fallopio, Malpighi, Morgagni, et al.

38 Founder of modern penology: Cesare Beccaria

39 Trailblazers in electricity: Galvani and Volta

40 Venice: Rhapsody in stone, water, melody, and color

41 Europes premier poet of pessimism: Giacomo Leopardi

42 Giuseppe Garibaldi: A united Italy emerges

43 The last “Renaissance” prince—DAnnunzio at Fiume

44 La Dottoressa: Maria Montessori and a new era in early childhood education

45 Marconi invents the radio

46 Enrico Fermi: Father of the atomic age

47 Roberto Rossellini: Neorealist cinema and beyond

48 An unlikely international bestseller: Lampedusas The Leopard

49 Ferrari—on the road to perfection

50 La moda italiana: The art of apparel

Suggested Reading


About the Contributors

Product Details

D'Epiro, Peter
Pinkowish, Mary Desmond
Peter D'Epiro and Mary Desmond Pinkowish
D'Epiro, Peter
Anchor Books
New York
Civilization, Modern
Europe - Italy
Italy Civilization.
Civilization, Modern - Italian influences
World History-Italy
Italy History.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8 x 5.2 x 0.96 in 0.71 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Italy » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » Italy
History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization

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