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Course Materials


This course is built on the following two assumptions:

  1. You have a basic understanding of the outlines of European history from classical antiquity through the Middle Ages. If you have taken the first half of a world or Western civilization course (the equivalent of History 201 at BYU), you should be fine.
  2. You have the basic writing skills necessary to produce coherent, organized, and well-reasoned prose. If you have taken a university-level composition class (such as English 115 or its equivalent at BYU), you should be able to handle this course’s writing assignments.

Learning Outcomes

The objective of this course is both historical and historiographical—historical in that we will examine the events, trends, and key personages of the Renaissance, and historiographical in that we will examine how historians have understood and depicted this period, what its relationship is to the modern world, and how these views have changed over time. By the end of the course, you should be able to

  1. Describe the general historical outlines and specific historiographical problems of Italian history during the Renaissance.
  2. Discuss and analyze the major political, economic, social, and religious developments in Italian Renaissance history.
  3. Trace the historiographical evolution of the Italian Renaissance and analyze historical questions within this context.
  4. Refine and improve your historical research, writing, and analytical skills.

Course Materials

You will need the following texts to successfully complete the course:

In addition, I recommend that you watch these films:

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Self Checks

Self Check questions help you prepare for the quizzes and exams; they are not graded, so you can practice as much as you need to without worrying about losing points.

Lesson Quizzes

At the end of every lesson, you will complete a quiz over the lesson material. These quizzes are open-book and are made up of four to eight questions drawn from the readings for that lesson. The objective of the quizzes is to help you focus your reading and identify whether you have mastered each lesson’s key points.

Timeline Quiz

At the end of lesson 2, you will take a quiz on the sequence of several important historical events as part of the quiz for the lesson. The objective of this quiz is to familiarize you with the sequence of historic events in Italy, not to force you to memorize dates.

Map Quiz

At the end of lesson 2, you will also take a quiz on the cities and regions in Italy as part of the quiz for the lesson. The objective of this quiz is to familiarize you with the geographical and political landscape you will be studying.

Art Quiz

At the conclusion of lesson 6, you will take an art quiz as part of the lesson quiz. The quiz will be derived from the images of art, sculpture, and architecture which you will study during the course of the lesson. The quiz requires you to identify the work of art, its author, and its date of completion.


You will write three essays of 6-7 pages each on questions related to important aspects of the course material. Of those 6-7 pages one will be a title page and one will be a bibliography. See lessons 4, 8, and 10 for the essay prompts and details. These essays will be based on your readings but will involve some additional research. To make sure that I can open and read your essays, please save them as Word .doc or .docx files. You must earn a passing grade on all three essays to earn credit for the course.

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Midcourse Exam

The midcourse exam includes a selection of short-answer questions and essay questions drawn from all course materials covered in the first five lessons. The exam is proctored and is closed book but has no time limit.

Final Exam

The final exam is identical in format to the midcourse exam. It includes a selection of short-answer questions and essay questions drawn from all course materials.

The focus is primarily on material you study in the second half of the course (since the midcourse exam), but it does draw on your knowledge of all the concepts you have learned. The exam is proctored and closed book, but has no time limit.

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Your grade in this course is based on the following items:

10 Lesson Quizzes (2% each) 20%
Timeline Quiz 2%
Map Quiz 2%
Art Quiz 6%
3 Essays (10% each) 30%
Midcourse Exam 20%
Final Exam 20%

Grade Scale

Your letter grade is based on this scale.

A 100–93
A− 92–90
B+ 89–87
B 86–84
B− 83–80
C+ 79–77
C 76–74
C− 73–70
D+ 69–67
D 66–64
D− 63-60
E (fail) 59–0

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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