Quiz on the Italian Renaissance

  1.  In which century was the term “Renaissance” first used?

o 16th

o 17th

o 18th

o 19th

It is believed that the term “Renaissance” was first used by the French historian Jules Michelet in 1858, but it was inked into history by the Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt in his 1860 book, “The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy.”

2. The Renaissance witnessed achievements in which field(s)?

o painting and sculpture

o literature and philosophy

o science and technology

o exploration

o all the above

Characteristics of the Renaissance include a renewed interest in classical antiquity, the rise of humanism, and radical changes in ideas about religion, politics, and science.  While we often associate the Renaissance with achievements in painting, sculpture and  architecture, there were tremendous advances in almost every field of human endeavor.

3. Which of the following was not a characteristic of humanism?

o belief in human dignity

o belief that all knowledge comes from God

o belief in the responsibility to lead personally fulfilling lives

o belief in the responsibility to contribute to the greater good

During the Renaissance, there was a shift from thinking that God ruled all thought and events to a human-centered philosophy.

4. Which was the most copied text during the 15th century?

o The Bible

o Dante’s Divine Comedy

o Pliny the Elder’s Natural History

o Cicero’s On the Republic

During the Renaissance, ancient manuscripts, lost for centuries, were rediscovered.  Popes and princes amassed vast libraries of Greek and Latin manuscripts laboriously written out by scribes on parchment, which were the skins of sheep, goats or donkeys.  In the beginning, the Divine Comedy, written in the “vulgar” Italian in 1308-1320, was considered fit only for wrapping fish.  By the end of the 15th century, it was the most reproduced text.

5. Which Medici was exiled from Florence by Savonarola?

o Cosimo (the patriarch)

o Cosimo’s son Piero

o Piero’s son Lorenzo

o Lorenzo’s son Piero

The Medici, the first family of Florence, ruled the city-state, off and on, from the mid-14th to the mid-18th centuries.  Known for banking and art collection, the family wielded extensive power…including populating the Catholic Church’s hierarchy.  They could be vicious with enemies; they manipulated the citizenry though elections and taxes.  They also amassed and preserved some of the Renaissance’s greatest treasures.  The son of Lorenzo “The Magnificent”, Piero “the Unfortunate,” was exiled from Florence in Savonarola’s “bonfire of the vanities” and his purge of perceived corruption.

6. Where is Michelangelo’s “David” located?

o Rome

o Milan

o Venice

o Florence

Weighing more than five tons, the “David” sculpture took Michelangelo three years to complete.  It is now considered one of the most iconic masterpieces to come out of the Italian Renaissance.  The sculpture can be seen today at the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

7. Which Renaissance man invented the parachute?

o Caravaggio

o Leonardo da Vinci

o Michelangelo

o Hieronymus Bosch

 While Leonardo da Vinci may be most remembered for his paintings, only 15-20 survive today, depending on attribution.  However, 50 notebooks of between 20,000 and 28,000 notes and sketches survive of his studies of the human body, nature, and innovations or       inventions like a flying machine and a prototype of the world’s first parachute, which he created by draping a piece of cloth over a wooden pyramid-shaped structure.

8. Michelangelo disliked Raphael because of what claim?

o Raphael was too old

o Raphael was copying him

o Raphael was rude to him

o Raphael was a conman

The charming artistic prodigy Raphael was eight years younger than the surly Michelangelo, and tensions ran high when they worked next door to each other.  Michelangelo claimed that Raphael was copying his style.  Raphael responded by painting a sulking Michelangelo into his famous “School of Athens” fresco in the Vatican.

9. Which astronomical discovery is not credited to Galileo Galilei?

o Pluto

o the moons of Jupiter

o the sun’s spots

o the Milky Way

One of the most famous scientists to come out of the Renaissance, Galileo used the newly invented telescope to make enormous strides in astronomy.  He was the first to note that the sun had spots, to observe the Milky Way, and to identify the moons of Jupiter. 

10.The printing press became available for commercial use in 1450.  Which of the following was this invention not responsible for?

o providing work for scribes and illuminators

o increasing literacy

o promoting the changeover from parchment to paper

o promoting the Reformation

o exhorting people to war

While the spread of literacy required the availability of inexpensive texts, stationers and booksellers had amply supplied school-

            masters and students with primers and grammars long before the arrival of print.  Literacy levels in Tuscany declined over the

            16th century.  Economic prosperity and political liberties of the 14th and 15th centuries did more for literacy than the printing press.

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1 Response to Quiz on the Italian Renaissance

  1. Marie Panzera says:

    Nice quiz, Barbara. Bud would love it. Thank you.

    Sent from my iPhone

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