Archive: "Renaissance and Reformation" Category

This month in Reformation history: Martin Luther translates the New Testament

Five hundred years ago, during the summer of 1521, Martin Luther sequestered himself at Wartburg castle. While in hiding from secular and Papal authorities who might arrest him on heresy charges, he set to work translating the Bible into vernacular German according to his understanding of scripture. In Germany, vernacular Bibles based on the Latin …

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This month in Reformation history: The Edict of Worms

The Imperial Diet was divided on what to do about Luther. While some felt he should be condemned, others feared that any action against Luther would lead to rebellion in areas of the Holy Roman Empire which supported him. On May 8, 1521 Emperor Charles took the decisive step of drawing up an edict against …

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This month in Reformation history: Luther at the Diet of Worms

When Charles V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in October 1520, he was immediately confronted by urgent political, military, and social challenges within his new realm. He called an imperial council, or Diet, to be held in the city of Worms on the Upper Rhine in modern Germany. The council opened on January 23, 1521. …

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This month in Reformation history

The winter of 1520-1521 marked a crucial turning point in the theological conflict between Martin Luther and the papacy. Pope Leo X issued an official decree (or “Bull”), Exsurge Domine on June 15, 1520 which condemned Luther and his teachings. Luther received a copy of the decree in October. It gave him 60 days to …

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Special Collections acquires a copy of the first complete Spanish translation of the Bible

Special Collections recently acquired a copy of the earliest edition of the complete Bible in Spanish, known as “La Biblia del Oso” because of the printer’s mark, an illustration of a bear seeking honey. The Bible was translated into Spanish by Casiodoro de Reina, a former Catholic monk turned Protestant reformer, possibly with collaborators. “La …

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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

This week in 1519, Charles, King of Spain and Duke of Burgundy, was elected Holy Roman Emperor. Charles V succeeded his paternal grandfather Maximilian I (his maternal grandparents were Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain). Charles’ reign saw immense change across Europe, including the launch of the Protestant Reformation, major political and religious conflicts, and the …

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The Giunti and the Medici

As part of the History of Printing and Renaissance/Reformation Collections, Special Collections has acquired numerous examples of the work of the Giunti family, a prominent Italian printing dynasty of the 15th and 16th centuries. The family’s printing business extended across Europe, with presses in Venice, Florence, and Lyon and a book distribution network which spread …

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Happy Reformation Day!

Tradition says that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of Wittenberg’s parish church on October 31, 1517. Over the next few years, thanks to the power of the printing press, Luther’s ideas would spread across Europe and spark a new religious movement. Luther even inspired poetry! These two pieces, one well-known and …

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Cicero in the Renaissance

Cicero was a huge deal in the Renaissance. Manuscripts of the classical Roman statesman’s letters and speeches were rediscovered by the Italian humanists Francesco Petrarch and Poggio Bracciolini in the 14th and 15th centuries, leading to new interest and dissemination of his works among scholars. Many Renaissance humanists adored Cicero’s prose style, and his work …

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