A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age - Study Guide Chapter II, The Shattering (Sections 1-11) Summary & Analysis

William Manchester
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The author self-consciously adopts the historiography of Dark Ages vs. Rebirth or Renaissance. He also embraces a "great man" theory of history where the world was changed by extraordinary elites, some good and some evil. Chapter II reviews this litany of characters and attempts to explain how they "shatter" the medieval mind.

Manchester begins by discussing Ferdinand Magellan, the mightiest explorer in history who changed the maps of the West forever. His achievements were slighted, as he died on the way around the world in the Philippines. And he was not honored in his own time. He was nonetheless a linchpin for the Renaissance who challenged medieval assumptions with a new perspective. One would think that this new discovery would have quieted European barbarism but it did not. Torquemada ran the brutal Inquisition, persecuting Muslims...

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This section contains 493 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age Study Guide
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