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A list of key readings about Renaissance.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.


  • Abbagnano, Nicola. "Renaissance Humanism" in Philip P. Wiener, ed. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas, (1974) online edition
  • Burckhardt, Jacob. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860), a famous classic; excerpt and text search 2007 edition; also complete text online
  • Cambridge Modern History, Vol. 1. The Renaissance (1903), older atticles by scholars complete text online
  • Campbell, Gordon. The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance. (2003). 4000 entries in 862 pp.; online at OUP
  • Cook, James Wyatt. Encyclopedia of Renaissance Literature. (2005). 598 pp.
  • Ferguson, Wallace K. Europe in Transition, 1300–1520 (1962).
  • Fletcher, Stella. The Longman Companion to Renaissance Europe, 1390-1530. (2000). 347 pp.
  • Grendler, Paul F., ed. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. (6 vol. 1999). 3000 pp.
    • Grendler, Paul F., ed. The Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students. (2003). 970 pp.
  • Hale, John. The Civilization of Europe in the Renaissance. (1994). 648 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Hattaway, Michael, ed. A Companion to English Renaissance Literature and Culture. (2000). 747 pp.
  • Johnson, Paul. The Renaissance: A Short History. (2000). 197 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Nauert, Charles G. Historical Dictionary of the Renaissance. (2004). 541 pp.
  • Patrick, James A., ed. Renaissance and Reformation (5 vol 2007), 1584 pages; encyclopedia
  • Plumb, J. H. The Italian Renaissance (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Ruggiero, Guido, ed. A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance. (2002). 561 pp.
  • Rundle, David, ed. The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. (1999). 434 pp. online edition
  • Speake, Jennifer and Bergin, Thomas G., eds. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance and the Reformation. (2004). 550 pp.
  • Turner, Jane, ed. Encyclopedia of Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art. (2 v. 2000), 1881 pp. excerpts from Grove's Dictionaries.

Scholarly studies

  • Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny (2 vol 1955), highly influential, deep study of civic humanism (republicanism); 700 pp. excerpts and text search; ACLS E-books; also vol 2 in ACLS E-books
  • Bock, Gisela; Skinner, Quentin; and Viroli, Maurizio, ed. Machiavelli and Republicanism. (1990). 316 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Bouwsma, William J. The Waning of the Renaissance: 1550-1640. (2001). 288 pp.
  • Brotton, Jerry. The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction (2006) excerpt and text search
  • Brown, Meg Lota. Women's Roles in the Renaissance. (2005). 335 pp.
  • Brucker, Gene A. Renaissance Florence (1969) online from ACLS E-books
  • Burke, Peter. The European Renaissance: Centres and Peripheries. (1998). 284 pp.
  • Connell, William J. Society and Individual in Renaissance Florence (20020 online edition
  • Copenhaver, Brian P., and Charles B. Schmitt. Renaissance Philosophy (1992), 453pp online edition
  • Crum, Roger J. and Paoletti, John T., eds. Renaissance Florence: A Social History. (2006). 674 pp.
  • Frazier, Alison Knowles. Possible Lives: Authors and Saints in Renaissance Italy. (2005). 527 pp.
  • Frommel, Christoph Luitpold. The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance. (2007). 224 pp
  • Hall, Bert S. Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe: Gunpowder, Technology, and Tactics (2001) excerpt and text search
  • Hartt, Frederick and Wilkins, David G. History of Italian Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. (5th ed. 2003). 768 pp.
  • Holt, Mack P., ed. Renaissance and Reformation France, 1500-1648. (2002). 263 pp.
  • Hay, Denys. The Italian Renaissance in Its Historical Background (1961) online edition
  • Kelley, Donald R. Renaissance Humanism. (1991). 176 pp.
  • King, Margaret L. Women of the Renaissance (1991) excerpt and text search
  • Kinney, Arthur F., ed. A Companion to Renaissance Drama. (2002). 623 pp.
  • Kittell, Ellen E. and Madden, Thomas F., eds. Medieval and Renaissance Venice. (1999). 345 pp.
  • Kraye, Jill, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism. (1996). 320 pp.
  • Kristeller, Paul Oskar, and Michael Mooney. Renaissance Thought and its Sources (1979) excerpt and text search; ACLS E-books edition
  • Levi, Anthony. Renaissance and Reformation: The Intellectual Genesis. (2002). 483 pp.
  • Mackenney, Richard. Renaissances: The Cultures of Italy, c. 1300-c. 1600. (2005). 302 pp.
  • Najemy, John M. "Baron's Machiavelli and Renaissance Republicanism." American Historical Review 1996 101(1): 119-129. ISSN 0002-8762 Fulltext in Jstor.
  • Ongaro, Julio. Music of the Renaissance. (2003). 202 pp.
  • Panofsky, Erwin. Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (1969) online edition; ACLS E-books
  • Perkins, Leeman L. Music in the Age of the Renaissance. (1998). 750 pp.
  • Pocock, J.G.A. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition (1975; new ed. 2003), a highly influential study; excerpt and text search
  • Rabb, Theodore K. The Last Days of the Renaissance and the Rise of Modernity. (2006). 272 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Rabb, Theodore K. Renaissance Lives: Portraits of an Age. (1993). 257 pp. excerpt and text search
  • Rowse, A. L. The Elizabethan Renaissance: The Life of the Society (2000) excerpt and text search
  • Skinner, Quentin. Visions of Politics. Vol. 2: Renaissance Virtues. (2002). 461 pp.
  • Sider, Sandra. Handbook to Life in Renaissance Europe (2007) excerpt and text search
  • Soergel, Philip M., ed. Arts & Humanities Through the Eras. Vol. 1: Renaissance Europe (1300-1600). (2005) 465 pp.
  • Turner, Richard N. Renaissance Florence (2005) excerpt and text search
  • Wightman, W. P. D. Science and the Renaissance - Vol. 1 (1962) online edition


  • Bouwsma, William J. "The Renaissance and the Drama of Western History." American Historical Review 1979 84(1): 1-15. Issn: 0002-8762 in Jstor
  • Copenhaver, Brian P. "Did Science Have a Renaissance?" Isis 1992 83(3): 387-407. Issn: 0021-1753 in Jstor
  • Cochrane, Eric. Historians and Historiography in the Italian Renaissance. (1981). 640 pp.; covers writers who died before 1610
  • Dannenfeldt, Karl H., ed. The Renaissance: Medieval or Modern? (1959), excerpts from scholars online edition
  • Ferguson, Wallace K. The Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five Centuries of Interpretation. (1948).
  • Ferguson, Wallace K. "The Interpretation of the Renaissance: Suggestions for a Synthesis." Journal of the History of Ideas 12, no. 4 (1951): 483–95.
  • Gatti, Hilary. "The State of Giordano Bruno Studies at the End of the Four-hundredth Centenary of the Philosopher's Death." Renaissance Quarterly 2001 54(1): 252-261. Issn: 0034-4338 Fulltext: in Jstor
  • Gouwens, Kenneth; with Commentary by Bouwsma, William J.; Grafton, Anthony; and Starn, Randolph. "Perceiving the Past: Renaissance Humanism after the 'Cognitive Turn.'" American Historical Review 1998 103(1): 55-82. Issn: 0002-8762 in Jstor
  • Helton, Tinseley, ed. The Renaissance: A Reconstruction of the Theories and Interpretations of the Age (1961)
  • Hudson, Lorna, ed. Feminism and Renaissance Studies. (1999). 467 pp.
  • Lamb, Mary Ellen. "Recent Studies in the English Renaissance." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 2006 46(1): 195-252. Issn: 0039-3657. Covers literature
    • Quint, David. "Recent Studies in the English Renaissance." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 1998 38(1): 173-200. Issn: 0039-3657 in Jstor
  • Landauer, Carl. "Erwin Panofsky and the Renaissance." Renaissance Quarterly 47, no. 2 (1994): 255–81.
  • Martin, John Jeffries, ed. The Renaissance: Italy and Abroad, Rewriting Histories. (2002) 328 pp.
  • Martin, John. "Inventing Sincerity, Refashioning Prudence: the Discovery of the Individual in Renaissance Europe." American Historical Review 1997 102(5): 1309-1342. Issn: 0002-8762 in Jstor
  • Muir, Edward. "The Italian Renaissance in America." American Historical Review 1995 100(4): 1095-1118. Issn: 0002-8762 in Jstor
  • Pocock, J. G. A. "The Machiavellian Moment Revisited: a Study in History and Ideology.: Journal of Modern History 1981 53(1): 49-72. ISSN 0022-2801 in Jstor.
  • Snider, Alvin. "Recent Studies in the English Renaissance." Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 1999 39(1): 171-216. Reviews 109 books published 1996-98, categorizing them as early modern culture, writing women, Renaissance authors, religious identities, and the print and politics of prose. See Lamb (2006) for later books. Issn: 0039-3657; in Jstor
  • Starn, Randolph. "A Postmodern Renaissance?" Renaissance Quarterly - v. 60 #1 Spring 2007, pp. 1-24 - in Project Muse; online edition
  • Tollebeek, Jo. "'Renaissance' and 'Fossilization': Michelet, Burckhardt, and Huizinga." Renaissance Studies 2001 15(3): 354-366. Issn: 0269-1213, online
  • Trinkaus, Charles. "Humanism, Religion, Society: Concepts and Motivations of Some Recent Studies." Renaissance Quarterly 1976 29(4): 676-713. Issn: 0034-4338 in Jstor
  • Weisinger, Herbert. “Renaissance Literature and Historiography,” in Philip P. Wiener, ed. The Dictionary of the History of Ideas: Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas, (1974) online edition
  • Woolfson, Jonathan, ed. Palgrave Advances in Renaissance Historiography. (2005). 317 pp.

Primary sources

  • Bondanella, Julia Conaway, and Mark Musa. The Italian Renaissance Reader (1987) excerpt and text search
  • Elmer, Peter et al., eds. The Renaissance in Europe: An Anthology. (2000). 412 pp.
  • Findlen, Paula, ed. The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Readings. (2002). 354 pp.
  • Ross, James Bruce, and Mary M. McLaughlin, eds. The Portable Renaissance Reader (1977) excerpt and text search
  • Whitlock, Keith, ed. The Renaissance in Europe: A Reader. (2000). 363 pp.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 text about the Renaissance (public domain)

Prominent scholars

Prominent scholars include the following presidents of the Renaissance Society of America: ( * Deceased)

Michael J.B. Allen (2006-2008); Jessie Ann Owens (2004-2006); Ronald G. Witt, (2002-2004); Patricia Fortini Brown (2000-2002); John W. O'Malley, S.J. (1998-2000); Barbara C. Bowen (1996-1998); Nancy Siraisi (1994-1996); Paul Grendler (1992-1994); Louise George Clubb (1991); *Howard M. Brown (1990); Gene Brucker (1989); *O.B. Hardison, Jr. (1988); *J. Kelley Sowards (1987); Elizabeth Eisenstein (1986); Wallace MacCaffrey (1985); *Roland Mushat Frye (1984); *Phyllis Pray Bober (1983); *Thomas M. Greene (1982); *H. W. Janson (1981); *F. Edward Cranz (1980); *Louis L. Martz (1979); *Felix Gilbert (1978); *Rensselaer W. Lee (1977); *William Nelson (1976); *Charles Trinkaus (1973-1975); *Gustave Reese (1971-1972); *Matthias A. Shaaber (1969-1970); *Phyllis W.G. Gordan (1967-1968); *Wallace K. Ferguson (1965-1966); *Josephine Waters Bennett (1963-1964); *Curt F. Buhler (1961-1962); *W. G. Constable (1959-1960); *Paul Oskar Kristeller (1957-1958); *John H. Randall, Jr. (1954-1956)