The skills, ideas, and behaviours imparted through schooling provide insight into the collective outlook of a society in any age. Deeply rooted in archival sources, Christopher Carlsmith's A Renaissance Education uses a case study approach to examine educational practices in the north-eastern Italian city of Bergamo from 1500 to 1650. Carlsmith illustrates how education in this and other Venetian cities was affected by Renaissance humanism, Tridentine Catholicism, and Venetian domination, and how cooperation among various institutions resulted in a surprising array of options for schooling in these provincial cities.
A Renaissance Education's close analysis of civic, ecclesiastical, confraternal, and family records not only paints a vivid portrait of how schooling functioned in one city but also explores this small city's dynamic interconnections with other locales and with larger regional processes.
The ambition of this new study is not to be a work of mere local history, but rather a broader contribution to our understanding of pre-university education in sixteenth and early seventeenth century Italy, in which Bergamo functions as a microcosm of larger trends.
“This excellent book is a study of schooling in the provincial city of Bergamo in the late Renaissance. Carlsmith offers useful and important data from nearby villages, other Veneto cities, and Venice. No scholar of Renaissance and Catholic Reformation education can afford to miss this important work.?
'Carlsmith's erudition and lucid prose are to be praised, and his contribution to reader's understanding of confraternities in the history of education is especially noteworthy, as is his explanation of Counter-Reformation educational programs in general... Such careful, nonpartisan scholarly work deserves a broad readership.'