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BEACON LIGHTS OF HISTORY, VOLUME VI
RENAISSANCE AND REFORMATION.
BY JOHN LORD, LL.D.,
AUTHOR OF "THE OLD ROMAN WORLD," "MODERN EUROPE," ETC., ETC.
RISE OF MODERN POETRY.
The antiquity of Poetry The greatness of Poets Their influence on Civilization The true poet one of the rarest of men The pre-eminence of Homer, Dante, Shakspeare, and Goethe Characteristics of Dante His precocity His moral wisdom and great attainments His terrible scorn and his isolation State of society when Dante was born His banishment Guelphs and Ghibellines Dante stimulated to his great task by an absorbing sentiment Beatrice Dante's passion for Beatrice analyzed The worship of ideal qualities the foundation of lofty love. The mystery of love Its exalted realism Dedication of Dante's life-labors to the departed Beatrice The Divine Comedy; a study The Inferno; its graphic pictures Its connection with the ideas of the Middle Ages The physical hell of Dante in its connection with the Mediaeval doctrine of Retribution The Purgatorio; its moral wisdom Origin of the doctrine of Purgatory Its consolation amid the speculations of despair The Paradiso Its discussion of grand themes The Divina Commedia makes an epoch in civilization Dante's life an epic His exalted character His posthumous influence
ENGLISH LIFE IN THE FOURTEENTH CENTURY.
The characteristics of the fourteenth century Its great events and characters State of society in England when Chaucer arose His early life His intimacy with John of Gaunt, the great Duke of Lancaster His prosperity His poetry The Canterbury Tales Their fidelity to Nature and to English life Connection of his poetry with the formation of the English Language The Pilgrims of the Canterbury Tales Chaucer's views of women and of love His description of popular sports and amusements The preponderance of country life in the fourteenth century Chaucer's description of popular superstitions Of ecclesiastical abuses His emancipation from the ideas of the Middle Ages Peculiarities of his poetry Chaucer's private life The respect in which he was held Influence of his poetry
Marco Polo His travels The geographical problems of the fourteenth century Sought to be solved by Christopher Columbus The difficulties he had to encounter Regarded as a visionary man His persistence Influence of women in great enterprises Columbus introduced to Queen Isabella Excuses for his opponents The Queen favors his projects The first voyage of Columbus Its dangers Discovery of the Bahama Islands Discovery of Cuba and Hispaniola Columbus returns to Spain The excitement and enthusiasm produced by his discoveries His second voyage Extravagant expectations of Columbus Disasters of the colonists Decline of the popularity of Columbus His third voyage His arrest and disgrace His fourth voyage His death Greatness of his services Results of his discoveries Colonization The mines of Peru and Mexico The effects on Europe of the rapid increase of the precious metals True sources of national wealth The destinies of America Its true mission
The age of Savonarola Revival of Classic Literature Ecclesiastical corruptions Religious apathy; awakened intelligence; infidel spirit Youth of Savonarola His piety Begins to preach His success at Florence Peculiarities of his eloquence Death of Lorenzo de' Medici Savonarola as a political leader Denunciation of tyranny His influence in giving a constitution to the Florentines Difficulties of Constitution-making His method of teaching political science Peculiarities of the new Rule Its great wisdom Savonarola as reformer As moralist Terrible denunciation of sin in high places A prophet of woe Contrast between Savonarola and Luther The sermons of Savonarola His marvellous eloquence Its peculiarities The enemies of Savonarola Savonarola persecuted His appeal to Europe The people desert him Months of torment His martyrdom His character His posthumous influence