The conflicts that devastated Renaissance Europe were justified by ancient ideas rooted in natural law and Christianity. Though replaced by legal frameworks for the conduct of war between states, the killing continues.
Today it is hardly possible to equate the Italian Renaissance with the modern world, as Burckhardt did a century ago. But, argues Denys Hay, his discerning study has helped to transform the Western attitude to the past, and its influence remains profound.
David Rundle looks at the current state of the humanities, asking whether we can recapture the confidence and broad cultural ambition of the Renaissance’s studia humanitatis, which sought to define what it is to be human.
Though he had begun life as an energetic mercenary soldier, writes Alan Haynes, the Duke of Urbino became a celebrated humanist and a generous patron of contemporary art and learning.