God and Money

We bought God and Money in the upstairs bookstore at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.

This book discusses the struggle between money and the Church during the Renaissance. Before the start of the Renaissance, Florence was a town in crisis. As Cosimo de Medici rose and became a banker to the Popes, along with his son, Florence became a wealthy center of culture. There are a number of interesting theories proposed, including that the churches in Florence in the 1420’s and 1430’s were pulling away from Rome, operating separately (for a while in excommunication due to the Great Schism). It was this independence that led to the outpouring of culture during the later 1400’s; the return to strength of Rome in Florence then led to the Mannerists and the end of the Renaissance there (and the transfer of those ideals to northern Europe).

This book is very very short but very good and an easy read I think.


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