Italian Renaissance Essay | Bartleby
Beyond these more normative uses of the Renaissance, however, the Italian past also offered a convenient screen by which Victorian authors could explore at a remove disquieting or taboo themes—as in Robert Browning’s poetic monologues, featuring Italian speakers who were debauched, insane, or even murderous. Italian subjects might conform to the type of the Catholic, the Southern, the warm-blooded, and the emotional, as opposed to the ostensibly cold-blooded, logical, and morally correct peoples of the North. This stereotyping allowed Victorians to address indirectly some of the more irrational or carnal strains implicit in their own culture.
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Leonardo da Vinci, possibly one of the greatest painters in the world, was born in Florence and lived his adulthood in Florence, the essence and heart of the Italian Renaissance.
In contrast to longswords, technically, true two-handed swords (epee's a deux main) or "two-handers" were actually Renaissance, not Medieval weapons. They are really those specialized forms of the later 1500-1600s, such as the Swiss/German Dopplehänder ("double-hander") or Bidenhänder ("both-hander"). The popular names Zweihander / Zweyhander are actually relatively modern not historical terms. English ones were sometimes referred to as "slaughter-swords" after the German, Schlachterschwerter ("battle swords"). While used similarly to longswords, and even employed in some duels, they were not identical in handling or performance. No major historical teachings detailing fencing with these specific weapons are known. These weapons were used primarily for fighting among pike-squares where they would hack paths through knocking aside poles, possibly even lobbing the ends off opposing halberds and pikes then slashing and stabbing among the ranks. Wielded by the largest and most impressive soldiers (Doppelsoldners, who received double pay), they were also used to guard banners and castle walls. The Italian humanist historian Paulus Jovius writing in the early 1500s also described the two-hand great sword as being used by Swiss soldiers to chop the shafts of pikes at the battle of Fornovo in 1495.