A Journal on “Out of the Ashes” by Kaborycha

Kaborycha argues that the Renaissance relied upon previous schools of thought, events, and ideas being stimulated by the rise and fall of Ancient Rome years earlier. She argues that the rich history of the land that Renaissance Italians lived and created in allowed for a consistent measurement of their own society against that of their predecessor. 

She references the early spread of Christianity and the sacking of Rome, and the intimate ability of the faith to connect to individuals. Kaborycha highlights the existence of Christianity as the only unifying factor of the European region in the years following Rome’s fall. She argues that as the church became a provider of religious identity, it also became the epicenter of community, security, and political power. This is seen in her next point concerning the coronation of Charlemagne, where the struggle between the separation of the church and of the state is cemented in European thought for years to come. 

She writes that the economies found in Italy provide context for the success of the Renaissance. Wool finishing and silk industries create a thriving textile industry in Florence, and soon lead to the city becoming one of the heralded cities of its day. Their textile industry was a massive proponent of trade during this time, and extended far beyond the regional boundaries of Italy. Long distance trade between countries and merchants pushed forward the concept of international banking. 

Kaborycha provides the previously mentioned context in order to explain the culture that the author Dante grew up in. In his works, he argues moral, political, and religious points, all of which can be seen to be influenced by previous events. The same is true for the artists she references, Giotto, Nicola, Giovanni, and Pisano. These figures all represented a change in thought and a debate over ideals, and what constituted society during this time. 

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