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Documentary Description


Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance



Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance tells the story of a violent, dramatic and compelling age; a critical turning point in Western history. Travel back in time to see the real human stories behind the European Renaissance, and the family that bankrolled it. This is a family who inspired some of the greatest moments in the birth of the modern world and challenged some of the greatest thinkers and pioneers of the age.



Filmed on 16mm film entirely on location in Italy, the story of the Medici is an epic drama that weaves the descendants of one Tuscan family with momentous cultural and political turning points. Played out in the courts, cathedrals and palaces of Renaisssance Europe, this is the cradle of modern civilization.



Their story is a bloodthirsty mix of ambition and triumph, murder and revenge. And it is a tale of inspiring achievement and cultural revolution. Through the eyes of the Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, uncover the history of the greatest achievements of the early modern era.



From the construction of the great dome of Florence, the painting of the “Birth of Venus” and the sculpting of Michelangelo's “David”, to Luther's Reformation and Galileo's earth-shattering confrontation with the Church. None of these would have happened without the Medici… and their friends.



Combining extraordinary dramatic sequences with interviews, original archive and special effects this four-hour documentary series is a political suspense thriller and riveting intellectual adventure story, told through the lives of some of history's most exciting characters.



Florence



The city of Florence, capital of Tuscany, nestles in the Arno valley some 50 miles from the Mediterranean. Founded by the Romans, by the year 1400 the city was a vibrant trading centre and headquarters of an international banking network.



Florentine families principally made their fortunes from wool and silk. But the chief guilds of the city also represented every other conceivable business - from lawyers and goldsmiths, to spice merchants, poets and craftsmen. The guilds formed the basis for popular government, the Signoria. Florence was one of the few republics in the world run by the people, for the people.



At this time, the population exceeded 50,000 - only London and Constantinople were larger. In a city run by powerful families, rivalries were inevitable.



For administrative purposes, Florence was split into four quarters - Santo Spirito, Santa Croce, San Giovanni, and Santa Maria Novella. But to residents of these neighborhoods, the name was more than just a zip code. Families like the Medici became powerful in their district and their networks and influence pitted neighbor against neighbor. The Medici ran the district of San Giovanni. Their deadly rivals, the Pazzi, controlled downtown Santa Croce.



Those civic rivalries survive to this day and spill over in the traditional feast of St. John, held every year in Florence on June 21. The city grinds to a halt as costumed teams from each quarter parade through the streets and gather in Piazza Santa Croce, for a traditional calcio tournament. Calcio - a dangerous mix of soccer, rugby and wrestling - is practically a blood sport; the aim of the game is not just to score goals, but to hospitalize your opponent.



Ruthless Ambition




The Medici didn't start out as the most powerful family in Italy. Other families were just as rich, and just as ambitious. But no one knew more about getting ahead - and staying ahead - than the Medici.



They clawed their way to the top, sometimes through bribery, corruption and violence. Those who stood in their way could end up humiliated - or dead. And the Medici exploited a network of “friends of friends” - hangers on who would do anything to stay close to the family.



For the Medici, this network of amici degli amici - the magic words in Renaissance Italy - was the key to fame, fortune and survival.



The power of the Medici stretched all the way to Rome, where even the papacy was something to be bought and sold.



They were the Godfathers of the Renaissance.



God's Bankers



The Medici created a lucrative partnership with another medieval power, the Catholic Church. In what had to be one of the most ingenious enterprises of all time, the Medici bank collected 10% of your earnings for the Church. If you couldn't pay, you faced excommunication - a one-way ticket to hell.



The Pope himself had a massive overdraft, and the Medici bank became the most profitable business in Europe. By 1434, half the bank's revenue came from the Rome “branch”, which was in fact little more than a mobile bank that followed the Pope around the world.



Papal connections gave the Medici bank immense power, soon everyone wanted an account with the Pope's personal bank. On one occasion the nomination of a new bishop was “delayed”, until his father - a Cardinal - had repaid their debts to the Medici bank.



And the Medici kept ahead of their banking rivals because of the invention of limited liability. Giovanni di Bicci had set up a franchise system, where regional branch managers shared a stake in the business. Giovanni also banned loans to princes and kings, who were notoriously bad investments.



Consequentially, the Medici business remained in the black while its competitors lost fortunes.



Losing Face



In many societies there is nothing more humiliating than to receive a brutta figura - a loss of face in society.



The fear of public humiliation informs every choice, every argument, every decision - in 15th century Italy.



During the Medici's feud with the Albizzi in the 1430s, rumors were spread by a poet called Filelfo, a ‘friend’ of the Albizzi family. Filelfo claimed Cosimo was a traitor and a cheat. Filelfo's words were instrumental in turning the government against the leader of the Medici. When Cosimo returned to power, Filelfo was terrified, but unlike his friends he was allowed to escape with his life.



But one day, down a dark alley, a different kind of justice caught up with him. Filelfo was attacked by a group of men, armed with a blade. When they had finished with him, Filelfo had a fresh wound, stretching right across his face, from ear to ear - a loss of face indeed.



Private Lives



The Medici were well-known for their personal as well as professional dalliances.



When Cosimo il Vecchio was a young man, he was given a slave girl. Despite his marriage he continued to live with her, away from his family. Their bastard son, Carlo, sought his fortune in Spain and became a wealthy man in Barcelona.



Lorenzo's brother, Giuliano de'Medici, famously impregnated his mistress before his brutal murder in 1478. Their child, Giulio de'Medici, was later crowned Pope Clement VII.



Clement took a black slave girl as a mistress. Their child, Allessandro, became the first black head of state when he was made Duke of Florence in 1530. But he met a sticky end - stabbed to death by his own cousin after an argument over a woman.



Pope Leo X had more exotic tastes. Famed for his extravagant lifestyle, he was entertained by young boys leaping naked from cakes. When the new Pope entered Florence in triumph, he had a young boy painted gold, from head to toe, who paraded through the streets. It was pure propaganda, implying the return of a golden age under the rule of the Medici. The boy died shortly afterwards, poisoned by the gold paint on his skin but the papal celebrations went on for days.



And Catherine de'Medici, Queen of France, made sure she was informed of the intrigues at court by expressly employing a group of pretty young women to engage in pillow talk with gullible male courtiers.



The Other Families



The Medici weren't the only famous family of the Italian Renaisssance.



Their fame stemmed as much from their longevity as from their achievements. Their rivals burned just as bright - they just didn't last as long.



Albizzi

The Albizzi were one of the oldest families in Florence and led the republican government for two generations. By 1427, they were the most powerful family in the city, and far richer than the Medici. They had been the patrons of genius and cultural icons, but the family was more interested in waging war than sustaining commercial viability. By 1430, their military policy had cost the Florentine taxpayer a fortune and much of their support. Pragmatic pacifists marshaled around Cosimo de'Medici.



Maso degli Albizzi, patriach of his family, had two sons, Luca and Rinaldo. From a young age, Luca was friends with Cosimo de'Medici. They shared a passion for classical learning and good conversation. During the 1420s, Luca declared his public allegiance to the Medici family, even marrying Cosimo's cousin. For his hot-headed brother Rinaldo, this was a humiliation too far. The bitter family rivalry had just got personal.



Rinaldo's impatience got the better of him. Eager to flush Cosimo out of Florence, he allowed the head of the Medici family to stay alive, gathering support whilst in exile. And Rinaldo's rash decision to besiege the Palazzo Vecchio when he didn't get his way allowed Cosimo to return triumphant. The Albizzi were banished, never to return to power in Florence.



Pazzi

Like the Albizzi, the Pazzi were an older, nobler lineage than the Medici. They could trace their ancestry back to Pazzino de'Pazzi, the first knight to scale the wall of Jerusalem during the First Crusade. The Pazzi were also wealthy bankers, and enjoyed good commercial terms with their Medici rivals. They even sealed these friendly relations through inter-marriage.



But Lorenzo de'Medici, wary of Pazzi ambition, kept his rivals out of government office during the 1470s. When a greedy nephew of Pope Sixtus IV approached the younger Pazzi with a plan to seize Medici land, they found the chance for power in Florence irresistible. The ambitious sons of Jacopo de'Pazzi led an audacious plot against the Medici.



The plot failed. Executed at the hands of furious Florentines, the name of Pazzi was erased from the city, their homes looted and destroyed. One conspirator was hunted down in the streets of Constantinople, and handed over by the Ottoman Emperor. Even he knew that Lorenzo de'Medici was not to be messed with.



Perhaps by coincidence, the Italian noun for a hot-headed fool is pazzo - and some have suggested that the Italian-American slang, patsy, meaning a scapegoat or stooge, is derived from the unfortunate Pazzi assassins.



Borgia

Their name has become a byword for murder and incest, making the Borgia the most notorious family in Renaissance Italy. They were not friends of the Medici.



Rodrigo Borgia, the corrupt Pope Alexander VI, had at least two illegitimate children. His sociopath son, Cesare, was born just a year after Giovanni de'Medici, in 1476. Cesare was made a cardinal in 1493 and his presence in Rome under the rule of his father made the city off-limits to the Medici cousins.



Cesare marched through Rome with weapons barely hidden under his silk robes, taking pot-shots at prisoners and murdering close relations. Rumored to have committed incest with his beautiful sister, Lucrezia, he stabbed her lover to death at the feet of the Pope, and strangled her second husband, who was only 18-years-old. After his father's death, Cesare was exiled to Spain, where he died in 1507. Lucrezia went on to patronize some of the greatest talents of the High Renaissance, including the poet Ariosto, and the artist Titian.



Medieval Murder




In medieval Italy, life was cheap. The most infamous Renaissance murder was the assault on Giuliano and Lorenzo de'Medici. Giuliano was murdered in Florence Cathedral, in front of an audience of 10,000, on Easter Sunday. The Pazzi family believed a public assassination would proclaim their undisputed power over Florence, and strike fear into the friends of the Medici. Giuliano's assassins stabbed with such frenzy that one wounded himself in the leg by mistake. But the man assigned to kill Lorenzo hesitated a fraction too long and Lorenzo escaped with a minor neck wound.



Lorenzo survived and the Pazzi were doomed. Strung up by the people of Florence, they were flung from the windows of the Palazzo Vecchio and left to swing in the hot Tuscan sun. Stripped and beaten, their naked bodies the ultimate brutte figure, the dying Archbishop of Florence famously sank his teeth into the thigh of Francesco de'Pazzi, his co-conspirator. Another's decomposing corpse was ripped from its grave and dragged through the streets of Florence, even propped against the doors of the Pazzi Palace - the fetid head used as a door knocker.



Savonarola's execution in 1498 was as spectacular as the Bonfires of the Vanities. Tortured and bound in chains, he was burned at the stake until his legs and arms began to drop off. Those body parts still clinging to the chains were knocked off by a stone-throwing mob, who cheered as the executioner swept all remaining flesh into the fire.



In 1516, a group of discontented cardinals conspired to commit the ultimate crime - the assassination of the Pope. It was common knowledge that Leo X suffered from a hideous anal fistula, which had to be treated every few days. The cardinals conspired to poison his bandages - killing him from the bottom up.



But the conspiracy was discovered and the obese Pope was furious. A Muslim hangman was dispatched to kill off one Cardinal in his cell; others were dragged by horses through the streets of Rome, their flesh gouged by red-hot pincers.



Poor Isabella de'Medici, daughter of Cosimo I, met a very messy end. Trapped in a loveless marriage to Paolo Giordano Orsini, who humiliated her with his mistress, Vittoria, Isabella made the mistake of taking a lover. When her violent husband found out, he garroted her at the dinner table - whilst pretending to kiss her - and promptly married his mistress.



Want to find out more about the Medici and the Renaissance? We've compiled this reading list and series of links for you including those right here at pbs.org.



FOR TEACHERS



This series on the Medici family lends itself to many disciplines: history, science, language arts, and visual arts.



For this reason, the basic lesson for each program provide materials to help assure that students understand the basic content of the film.



These include:



1. Preview questions to connect the film to students' prior knowledge and focus their attention while viewing

2. A viewing guide that covers the major content of the film and can be used for assessment or review

3. Closure questions to follow viewing



Extensions include activities that are both interdisciplinary and adaptable for all disciplines. Teachers may select those extensions that best suit their time constraints, curriculum, and students. Teachers may also adapt lessons in the following ways:



* Have students complete viewing guides as a group or with partners.

* Play brief segments of the film, stopping for students to answer as you go along.

* Complete the viewing guide as a class with coaching.

* Ask a question, then show the segment that answers that particular question.



Part1: The Birth of a Dynasty



Grade Levels: 6-12



Subject(s): History, Language Arts, Industrial Arts, Visual Arts



Estimated time of Completion: at least two 55-minute periods



Applicable National Standards



Instructional Objectives:



* Contrast Renaissance and Medieval attitudes

* Understand the origins of the Renaissance

* Appreciate genius in art and engineering

* View film and understand how images and sounds are used to convey information and mood

* Use reading strategies to focus viewing

* Use writing as a way to learn

* Participate meaningfully in class discussions



# Materials Needed: Copy of Part 1 of Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (To purchase visit PBS Shop for Teachers)

# Viewing Guide 1 (PDF 84k) (Print page 1 and 2 on separate sheets; hand out separately to build suspense over Cosimo's fate)

# Comparison Chart: Medieval Europe and Renaissance Italy (PDF 100k)



Procedure:

1. Introduce the series, have students read page 1 of the Viewing Guide 1, and ask these questions before showing the first film.



Connecting Questions:



* What do you already know about the Medici family and the Renaissance?

* Where is Florence or Firenze, as it is known in Europe?

* The Renaissance starts in the quatrocento (14th century); what century is that? What years does that include?

* What does the title The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance suggest about the series and the family?

* How does a family become rich and powerful?



Focusing Questions:



* As you watch, see how the Medici rose from poverty and insignificance.

* Also notice this: Why were art and architecture so important to the rise of the Medici?

* In what ways are accepted beliefs challenged?



2. Play 29.48 minutes of the film. Stop at the point where the Albizzi have Cosimo summoned to the palace of government, and he is "at the mercy of his enemies."

NB: Give students only page 1 of the viewing guide, so they won't know what happens to Cosimo. Have students complete page 1 of the viewing guide.



3. Leave time for a tie-up discussion:



Questions after viewing the first half:



* Do you have answers to the focusing questions now?

* What do you have questions about?

* What do you like about the way the film presents the information?

* What is going to happen to Cosimo?



4. Each segment of the film lasts 55 minutes; at the next class meeting review the first part by discussion or by going over the viewing guide for the first half of Program 1.



5. Then play the rest of the tape. Have students complete page 2 of their viewing guides. (You may want students to read questions before viewing the tape or you may not. Reading ahead focuses their viewing but can ruin suspense.)



6. Either in whole class discussion or small discussion groups that report back to the rest of the class or as an individual written assignment, have students answer these closure questions.



Closure Questions:



* What was unique about Cosimo, Brunelleschi, and Florence?

* How did Cosimo, Brunelleschi, and Florence contribute to the birth of the Renaissance?

* What problems do you foresee for the Medici family? Why?

* In what ways were the ancients and the great writers from the East and Orient different from the Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages?

* In what ways does our society discourage or punish people for thinking, believing, and acting differently from the majority?



7. Have students begin adding to the chart comparing Medieval Europe to Renaissance Italy. Have them add to this as they view additional programs and do extension assignments.



Assessment:



* Observation of responses to class and small group discussion.

* Written responses to viewing guide and closure questions.

* Products created for any extension activities.



Extensions:



1. Design a university. (The Renaissance gave rise to changes in the great universities of Europe. As universities became more secular, curriculum evolved.) What courses would be taught? What degrees offered? What courses would be mandatory? How would the courses be taught? What sort of students would you want to attract? What qualifications would your professors need to have? Design a brochure advertising your university. Use computer technology if possible.

2. Examine the Medici family tree on the PBS Web site, then map your own family tree for at least three generations, including two sentences of text for each person, with dates of birth and death (if appropriate) as well as a brief description of important facts about each person. Include a family insignia like the balls used by the Medici. Include photos or drawings and address this question: If your family could form a dynasty famous for something, what would it be and why? Use computer technology if possible.

3. For a frightening look at the superstitions believed by most Europeans during the Middle Ages and through much of the Renaissance, look at the Malleus Maleficarum (1487), a handbook on the evils of women and a manual on catching witches. Report on the five most bizarre beliefs, including at least two that have to do with human anatomy. (Available at many libraries, e-text libraries and Web sites, including this one: www.malleusmaleficarum.org/)

4. Research the Platonic ideal and the metaphor of the cave. According to Plato, what is the world really like? Make a poster or brochure that explains his beliefs. Design your own metaphor or image to explain what the world is really like.

5. Other research topics for reports, booklets, online presentations, or oral presentations: Niccolo Niccoli; Poggio Bracciolini; Filippino Lippi; Fra Filippo Lippi; Valerius Catullus; Crusades preached by Calixtus III; Pazzo de Pazzi; Dante Alighieri; Giotto di Bondone; Petrarch; John VII Paleologus; Knights of St John of Jerusalem; Knights of Santa Stefano; Trade guilds; Neo-Platonism; Italian warfare; Libraries of Lorenzo, Vatican, San Giorgio Maggiore, San Bartolommeo; Duomo (Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore); Renaissance architecture or painting; Bank of Medici; Gutenberg press; Diet of Worms; Battles of Aguadello, Anghiari, Barga, Fornovo, Imola, Lepanto, Marignano, Monteurlo, Pavia, Ravenna.

6. Research one of the people in # 5 above and then write diary entries for a pivotal period in that person's life, covering at least a week and giving details that make the reader understand what was so important about that period in the person's life.

7. Design a webquest or a virtual tour, using the Internet.



For example, students could use tourist Web sites to plan a trip to Florence (Firenze). Those sites also include links to museums and local historical attractions. They could design a virtual museum trip to see their favorite art attractions in Florence or go on such a virtual tour already on the web.



Go to the Teaching Links which include brief synopses; the links work now but the urls may not be functioning by next week.



The best thing to do is to go to: trackstar.hprtec.org. You can do a search to find links to sites of interest to you, then copy and paste them into your own track that you establish for free. You can also add instructions for students. You simply give your students the track number; they can access the links you have set for them. You can also have students design a track around a specific topic.



Part 2: The Magnificent Medici



Grades: 6-12



Subject(s): History, Language Arts, Visual Arts



Estimated time of Completion: at least two 55-minute periods



Objectives:



* Understand Humanism

* Appreciate genius in art

* Contrast Renaissance and Medieval attitudes

* View film and understand how images and sounds are used to convey information and mood

* Use reading strategies to focus viewing

* Use writing as a way to learn

* Participate meaningfully in class discussions



Materials Needed:



* Copy of Part 2 of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (To purchase visit PBS Shop for Teachers).

* Viewing Guide 2 (PDF 100k)

* Comparison Chart: Medieval Europe and Renaissance Italy (PDF 100k)



Procedures:

1. Introduce the program by asking these questions before showing the film. (Keep this short so that you can finish the film in one day if possible.) Connecting Questions:



* Where have you heard the term Renaissance man? What does it mean? (Point out that Lorenzo de Medici was the original Renaissance man.)

* Who were the Ninja Turtles named after? (Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello) What do these names have to do with the Renaissance? (These artists were protégés of the Medici.)



# Focusing Questions: What happens when Mafia families have power disputes? Watch this film for events that sound like something out of The Godfather.

# How were art and architecture connected to the rise of the Lorenzo?

# In what ways are accepted beliefs challenged?

2. Show the film. Depending on time constraints, either ...

(a) complete the entire film in one period and have students complete the viewing guide for homework or as they watch the film or ...

(b) break up the film into two parts and discuss the film midway with discussion and completion of the viewing guide at midpoint and at the end. 3. Either in whole class discussion or small discussion groups that report back to the rest of the class or as an individual written assignment, have students answer these closure questions:



# Closure Questions: In what ways was Lorenzo like a Mafia don? (For sociological information on the Mafia, see Jane Schneider's article "Educating against the Mafia" (Available: http://civnet.org/journal/vol3no3/ftjsch.htm).

# In what ways was he a Renaissance man?

# What problems do you see with the church?

# What art or architecture did you recognize?

# In what ways does our society support and encourage artists, scientists, and thinkers?

# What could Lorenzo have done differently?

# Could anything like the "Bonfire of the Vanities" happen in the U.S.? Explain.

# Did the fact that Florence was a republic have any effect on what happened with Savonarola and his followers? Would what happened be any more or less likely to have happened under a king?

Assessment:



1. Observation of responses to class discussions.

2. Written responses to viewing guide and closure questions.

3. Products created for any extension activities.



Extensions:



1. Show students prints of medieval and Renaissance art so that they can see the differences in realism, use of light and shading, symbolism and types of detail in backgrounds, three-dimensionality, and perspective. (Examples of this in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC are di Buoninsegna's Nativity with Prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel (medieval), Giotto's Madonna and Child (transitional), and Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi (Renaissance). Get them to first identify which is medieval, which is transitional, and which is Renaissance. List the differences on the board and have students point out in which ways the two periods differ and what characteristics of each the Giotto shows.

2. Have students design their own Lives of the Artists, including images and biographies of their favorite artists (This may be restricted to Italian Renaissance artists who were sponsored by Lorenzo or left open-ended.)

3. Design a fresco of an event from Lorenzo's life or one that would glorify our own family or school.

4. Design a time line of Lorenzo's life, including the artists. Use pictures of buildings and art that he commissioned to decorate the time line.

5. Oklahoma Senate Bill 1139, passed in April 2000, requires that science textbooks include acknowledgement that "human life was created by one God of the Universe." In 1999, a legislative committee in Arkansas recommended banning mention of evolution and carbon-dating of fossils in all state-funded textbooks used in libraries, museums, schools, and zoos. A Protestant church in Pittsburgh burned Harry Potter books, Disney CDs, and the works of other religions. Every year in the U. S., groups attempt to have books banned from school and public libraries because they object to the content. Research such a group and report on its actions; also write a letter to the group expressing your opinion on their banning or write a defense of the book and send it to the local newspaper.

6. Research the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), a federal law that ties federal funding to the use of filtering for Internet access in libraries. What exactly does the law stipulate? What libraries are affected by it? Also research the filters themselves: What sorts of things are filtered? Who decides? Is anything being filtered that should not be filtered? How effective are the filters? How did your state senator or representative vote on this issue? Write to your representatives expressing your views on the act and their voting record.

7. Research the case of the National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, 97-371, which determined the constitutionality of a law requiring that the National Endowment for the Arts consider public attitudes toward decency when awarding grants for art projects. Share your findings in a letter to the editor or a report to share with your class.

8. Have students produce a freedom of speech newsletter combining their research from any of the related topics included here.

9. Extensions 5, 6 and 7 would also lend themselves to debates or persuasive speeches. Students could role play being members of the political bodies making decisions regarding censorship or the issues raised in 3 and 4.

10. Role play being a newspaper reporter. Make up interview questions to ask of one of the artists covered in this program; research to answer the questions. Produce both a reputable newspaper version and tabloid version of the interview. The tabloid will focus on the more outrageous personal foibles while the reputable one will concentrate on what the artist contributed to the development of art.

11. Try Savonarola for war crimes.

12. Design a webquest or a virtual tour, using the Internet. For example, students could use tourist Web sites to plan a trip to Florence (Firenze). Those sites also include links to museums and local historical attractions. They could design a virtual museum trip to see their favorite art attractions in Florence or go on such a virtual tour already on the web.



Go to the Teaching Links which include brief synopses; the links work now but the urls may not be functioning by next week.



The best thing to do is to go to trackstar.hprtec.org/. You can do a search to find links to sites of interest to you, then copy and paste them into your own track that you establish for free. You can also add instructions for students. You simply give your students the track number; they can access the links you have set for them. You can also have students design a track around a specific topic.





Part 3: The Medici Popes



Grades: 6-12




Subject(s): History, Language Arts, Visual Arts



Estimated time of Completion: at least two 55-minute periods





Objectives:



* Understand Italian politics and warfare of the Renaissance

* Understand the origins and effects of the Protestant Reformation

* Contrast Renaissance and Medieval attitudes

* View film and understand how images and sounds are used to convey information and mood

* Use reading strategies to focus viewing

* Use writing as a way to learn

* Participate meaningfully in class discussions



Materials Needed:



* Copy of Part 3 of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (To purchase visit PBS Shop for Teachers).

* Viewing Guide 3 (PDF 72k)

* Comparison Chart: Medieval Europe and Renaissance Italy (PDF 100k)

* Venn diagram on Characteristics/Skills of Rulers (PDF 36k)

* Map of Vatican (PDF 52k)



Procedures:



1. Introduce the program by asking these questions before showing the film. (Keep this short so that you can finish the film in one day if possible.)



Connecting Questions:



* Why do people today become religious leaders?

* Why would Lorenzo de Medici want his son and nephew to become high officials in the church?

* What would you do if your parents decided that you were to become a religious leader, regardless or your interests or ability?

* What religious leaders in the U.S. have abused their positions?

* What would it be like to live in a U.S. in which Congress or president could tell you what religion you had to practice and what you must believe?



Focusing Questions:



* In what ways did the Medici popes continue the family's talent for art patronage? What was different? What effect did art patronage have on the effectiveness of the papacy?

* What mistakes did Popes Leo X and Clemens VII make? What effects did their mistakes have on Florence? The church? Europe?

* How were political decisions made in Italy during the Renaissance? By whom?



4. Show the film. Depending on time constraints, either (a) complete the entire film in one period and have students complete the viewing guide for homework or as they watch the film or (b) break up the film into two parts and discuss the film midway with discussion and completion of the viewing guide at midpoint and at the end.



5. Either in whole class discussion or small discussion groups that report back to the rest of the class or as an individual written assignment, have students answer these closure questions:



Closure Questions:



* Would you answer the focusing questions now?

* What questions do you have?

* How was Niccolo Machiavelli's political handbook, "The Prince", influenced by what was going on in Italy and in his own life?

* What is the connection between Machiavelli and the Medici?

* What have you learned about papal elections during this period?



Assessment:



1. Observation of responses to class discussions.

2. Written responses to viewing guide, Venn diagram, and closure questions.

3. Products created for any extension activities.



Extensions and Adaptations:



1. Have students make lists of leadership positions in the U.S. (CEOs, heads of labor unions, facilitators of cooperative learning groups, etc.). Then have students complete a Venn diagram. In one circle put characteristics/skills that people want in a good leader. In the other circle put characteristics/skills that a leader needs to stay in power. In the intersecting sections, put characteristics/skills that are needed both to wield power well and to keep power. Discuss Machiavelli's attitude toward using and keeping power. How has the situation changed today?

2. Have students view "A Child's Machiavelli: As If Le Petite Prince were written by Machiavelli". (Available as a pdf here) Have them make a list of Machiavelli's main ideas based on the book.

3. Have students read one of the many etext versions of The Prince and summarize Machiavelli's main precepts. Have groups do summaries of specific chapters or sections and then combine them.

4. Have groups do comparisons of presidential elections and scandals in the past 50 years looking for examples of Machiavellian behavior. You might also have them look for examples of times when Machiavellian ruthlessness would have been more effective. (One example: Barone, Michael. "Bill, Meet Niccolo." U. S. News & World Report 18 Sept. 1999.)

5. Noemie Emery's review of Machiavelli on Modern Leadership: "Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are as Timely and Important Today as Five Centuries Ago by Michael A. Ledeen" (National Review 26 July 1999; go to an online version. This discusses Ledeen's acceptance that evil deeds can lead to good outcomes while the moral act may create evil-as Machiavelli suggests. Ledeen cites examples from contemporary history. For example, President Jimmy Carter's refusal to use assassination as a tool against terrorists because he considered it murder resulted in many innocent people being killed in bombing raids. Have students read the review and report on ways modern history justifies Machiavelli's ideas.

6. The Catholic Church condemned Machiavelli's works. Argue that this is or is not the reason: The church in those days was against unification since its power both at home and abroad rested on control of Italy, which was easier if Italy was in turmoil.

7. Take the Who Are You? quiz on the PBS Web site. Discuss what the terms actually means and the ways in which you agree and disagree with Machiavelli's description of a savvy ruler.

8. Machiavelli's writing shows the Renaissance spirit because his work is sprinkled with Latin phrases and examples from Classical sources. He also uses a scientific, medical analogy when he refers to cutting out seditious citizens from the body politic. In what other ways does Machiavelli's work show the influence of the Renaissance?

9. Conduct research on the Vatican Museum and art collection and complete a virtual tour of the Vatican. Go to the Vatican Web site. The material can be overwhelming. It is best to have students focus on one artist, one room, one type of art, one subject, etc. You might also give students a map of the floor of the Vatican and have them plot their trip as they move around, noting their favorites or pieces associated with the Medici or pieces by particular artists, etc. (Without parameters, the tour will turn into a whirwind clicking of the mouse with nothing really noticed or savored.) A copy of the map provided by the Vatican at its Web site is included. You may right click on the map at the virtual tour and copy the map, then zoom in and print it for your students. Print further instructions on the map before copying it for students. You might stipulate which sections are to be visited; provide lines where students are to write in the name of one piece from each section, etc.-depending on what your purposes are.

10. Visit the Uffizi Palace, which is now an art gallery housing the Medici collection. Go to the Uffizi Web site.

11. Design a diptych or triptych (panel with two or three folds with related paintings on each panel) or a painting with sections like the panels of the Sistine Ceiling of pivotal events in your life, the life of your family, or the history of the your state or the U.S.

12. Design a webquest or a virtual tour, using the Internet. For example, students could use tourist Web sites to plan a trip to Florence (Firenze). Those sites also include links to museums and local historical attractions. They could design a virtual museum trip to see their favorite art attractions in Florence or go on such a virtual tour already on the web.



Go to the Teaching Links which include brief synopses; the links work now but the urls may not be functioning by next week.



The best thing to do is to go to trackstar.hprtec.org/. You can do a search to find links to sites of interest to you, then copy and paste them into your own track that you establish for free. You can also add instructions for students. You simply give your students the track number; they can access the links you have set for them. You can also have students design a track around a specific topic.



Part 4: Power vs Truth



Grade Levels: 6-12




Subject(s): History, Language Arts, Industrial Arts, Visual Arts



Estimated time of Completion: at least two 55-minute periods





Objectives:



* Understand Italian politics and warfare of the High Renaissance

* Understand the effects of the Protestant Reformation and the Counter Reformation

* Understand the contributions of the Renaissance to the scientific method as well as to developing scientific principles

* Contrast Renaissance and Medieval attitudes

* View film and understand how images and sounds are used to convey information and mood

* Use reading strategies to focus viewing

* Use writing as a way to learn

* Participate meaningfully in class discussions



Materials Needed:



* Copy of Part 4 of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance

(To purchase visit PBS Shop for Teachers).

* Viewing Guide 4 (PDF 116k)

* Comparison Chart: Medieval Europe and Renaissance Italy (PDF 100k)



Procedures:



1. Introduce the program by asking these questions before showing the film. (Keep this short so that you can finish the film in one day if possible.)



Connecting Questions:



* What conflicts have you seen between power and the truth in Florence and in Italy in the Medici series? What further problems do you anticipate?

* What power will the Medici family have after the death of the Medici popes?

* What do you know about Galileo?

* What conflicts do you expect to see between the ideals of the Renaissance, especially in science, and the Catholic Church? Why?



Focusing Questions:



* In what ways is this 16th century Cosimo de Medici like the 15th century Cosimo de Medici who was Lorenzo's father?

* What penalties does Cosimo pay for his power?

* What is significant about Cosimo's choice of a wife?

* How does Giorgio Vasari contribute to restoring Medici prestige and power?

* In what ways is Galileo's fate a denial of everything that the Medici and the Renaissance have stood for?



2. Show the film. Depending on time constraints, either ...

(a) complete the entire film in one period and have students complete the viewing guide for homework or as they watch the film or ...

(b) break up the film into two parts and discuss the film midway with discussion and completion of the viewing guide at midpoint and at the end.



3. Either in whole class discussion or small discussion groups that report back to the rest of the class or as an individual written assignment, have students answer these closure questions:



Closure Questions:



* Would you answer the focusing questions now?

* What questions do you have?

* Discuss the meaning of this comment made by Bertolt Brecht in the late 1940s: "Galileo's crime can be regarded as the original sin of modern physical science".

* What was the role of the Medici family in bringing about the Protestant Reformation and in supporting the Catholic Church's Counter Reformation?

* In what ways was the Counter Reformation, including the Inquisition, like Afghanistan under the Taliban?

* What other groups want to establish or have established fundamentalist regimes or theocracies in the modern world?

* In what ways do people in the U. S. try to impose their religions on others?

* What are the primary themes of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance programs? (Check the interview excerpts on the PBS Web site.)

* On the PBS Empire Series home page is this description: "Within the long history of civilization are great eras of struggle, triumph, and loss. These periods are reflective of the best and word of humanity: explosive creativity, ultimate depravity, the use and abuse of power, and war." How well does this describe the Medici series? What specific parts of the Medici series fit specific parts of this comment?



Assessment:



1. Observation of responses to class discussions.

2. Written responses to viewing guides and closure questions.

3. Products created for any extension activities.



Extensions:



1. Have students research and then hold a panel discussion, debate, or some other type of public forum on these or other events that relate to challenging the separation of church and state: Congress adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954; constitutionality of pledging allegiance in school because of "under God" displays of religious holiday symbols; taxpayers paying for congressional chaplains; removal of Alabama judge Roy Moore because he refused to follow a court order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a government building.

2. Hold trials for Popes Leo X and Clements VII on human rights violations.

3. Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786) was critical in securing the separation of church and state in the entire U.S. through the religious clauses of the Bill of Rights. Write a short story set in a 21st century America that does not have the separation of church and state, a country in which people can be fined and jailed for not attending the official government-sponsored church and for not paying taxes to support that church.

4. Do research on the Puritan theocracy and the Salem witchcraft trials. Make a comparison of the Protestant witch trials and the Catholic Inquisition hearings. Do this in the form of a chart or essay.

5. Parallel reading: "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood, a novel set in the near future in a theocracy.

6. Using the time line on the PBS Web site as a source and a starting point, complete a time line showing the rise and fall of the Renaissance in all of Europe over the top of the line and the rise and fall of the House of Medici under the bottom. Include illustrations as well as major events, inventions, art works, technological and social developments, and people. Identify the major turning points in the rise and the fall of each with large arrows pointing up (for the rise) and down (for the fall).

7. Have students take the Who Are You? quiz on the Web site. Discuss the accuracy of the quiz results.

8. View clips from the program again as a cinematographer and director. Analyze the difficulties presented by the filming of such a series. What worked well? Why? What aspects do you think were most difficult to complete? Why? What would you have done differently given the resources the crew had? (See the interviews on the PBS Web site.) Write a review of the series.

9. Do a story board for a 10-minute segment of the series. Then do your own story board for the way you would have handled the same segment.

10. Visit Rice University's Galileo Project which has information on Galileo and the science of his time. The site has a searchable database of over 600 people who made important contributions to science in the 16th and 17th centuries. It also includes "rooms" such as the instrument closet with pictures of the instruments he used to perform his experiments and observations as well as an observing terrace with links to accounts of Galileo's discoveries and stellar images from space agencies and observatories.

11. Visit the Institute and Museum of the History of Science, Florence to see displays on Leonardo and other Tuscan scientists

12. Visit the Multimedia Galileo Room

13. Visit the Leonardo Gallery and view the interactive models of Leonardo's engineering feats.

14. Further topics for research: Florentine public celebrations and festivals, origins of the Florentine republic; Humanism; the Great Schism; banishment and exile; condottiere; papal states; the universities of Padua, Pisa, Florence, Rome, or Wittenburg; Ponte Vecchio; color and flower symbolism; Andrea del Sarto; Sforza, Orsini, or Pazzi families; Fra Angelico; Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio); Cesare Borgia; George Gordon and Elizabeth Barrett Browning in Florence; Benvenuto Cellini; Copernicus (Nicolaus Koppernigk); Dante Aligheri; Alessandro Farnese; Lorenzo Ghiberti; Domenico Curradi Ghirlandaio.

15. Design a webquest or a virtual tour, using the Internet. For example, students could use tourist Web sites to plan a trip to Florence (Firenze). Those sites also include links to museums and local historical attractions. They could design a virtual museum trip to see their favorite art attractions in Florence or go on such a virtual tour already on the web.



Go to the Teaching Links which include brief synopses; the links work now but the urls may not be functioning by next week.



The best thing to do is to go to trackstar.hprtec.org/. You can do a search to find links to sites of interest to you, then copy and paste them into your own track that you establish for free. You can also add instructions for students. You simply give your students the track number; they can access the links you have set for them. You can also have students design a track around a specific topic.



Reading List



* April Blood - Florence and the Plot against the Medici - Lauro Martines

* Brunelleschi's Dome - Ross King

* Catherine de'Medici - Leonie Frieda

* Cosimo de Medici and the Florentine Renaissance - Dale Kent

* Dynasty and Destiny in Medici Art - Janet Cox Rearick

* Florence and the Medici - J.R Hale

* Florentine politics 1502 - 1515 - Humfrey Butters

* Galileo - Courtier - Mario Biagioli

* Galileo's Daughter - Dava Sobel

* Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling - Ross King

* Patronage - Art and Society in Renaissance Italy - F.W. Kent

* The French wars of Religion - R. J. Knecht

* The Last of the Medici - Harold Acton

* The Lives of the Artists - Giorgio Vasari

* The Pope's Elephant - Silvio Bedini

* The Prince - Niccolo Machiavelli

* The Renaissance Bazaar - Jerry Brotton

* The Rise and Decline of the Medici Bank - Raymond de Roover

* The Rise and Fall of the House of Medici - Christopher Hibbert

* The Rise of the Medici - Faction in Florence 1426-1434 - Dale Kent

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