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A Discourse on the Method  

Renee Descartes

René Descartes (1596–1650) has been called the Father of Modern Philosophy because of his work in philosophy, metaphysics, theology, and mathematics. Perhaps best known for the ... More

Discourses on Livy  

Niccolo Machiavelli

The humanist and statesman Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) is best known for his Italian treatise, The Prince, on Renaissance city-state rulers—but his Discourses on Livy better clarify his ... More

Florence under Lorenzo di Medici  

Francesco Guicciardini

Francesco Guicciardini (1483–1540) was a wealthy lawyer with good political connections. Like many such figures in the Renaissance, he also had cultural and intellectual ambitions. In his ... More

Letter to Don Benedetto Castelli  

Gallileo Galilei

An Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) made many significant contributions to science—such as improvements to the telescope and work with ... More

Lives of Artists  

Georgio Vasari

An architect and fresco-painter in his own right—and even an apprentice to Michelangelo in his youth—Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) is most fondly remembered for his personal accounts of ... More

My Life  

Benvenuto Cellini

Benvenuto Cellini (1500–1571) was an Italian goldsmith and sculptor—and part-time soldier—who inhabited the thrilling art world dominated by masters like Michelangelo and Da Vinci. A member ... More

“The Court of Suleiman the Magnificent”  

Ogier Ghiselin de Bosbecq

Ghiselin (1522–1592) was a Flemish ambassador who represented the Austrian Habsburgs at the court of Suleiman the Magnificent (1520–1566) in Istanbul. In 1581, he published an account of ... More

“The Fall of Constantinople”  

Thomas the Eparch and Joshua Diplovatatzes

The siege and conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks under Mehmet II (r. 1451–1481) was one of the turning points of world history. Unfolding over two months between April 5 and ... More