Machiavelli and The Prince

The Prince is a political work written in 1513 during the Renaissance by the humanist writer Machiavelli. Machiavelli suggested several strategies to his readers on how to be a good prince. He suggested that it is better to be feared than loved, because fear motivates people to do things, while love of a prince can … Continue reading Machiavelli and The Prince

Late Medieval literature and Christian guidance for the common man

In the epic poem The Song of Roland and the book The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi, we see very little instruction to the common man. Both of them speak of groups of people who were considered especially holy by many people, and speak of their deeds. These people were put on a … Continue reading Late Medieval literature and Christian guidance for the common man

Did The Little Flowers give the common man confidence regarding life beyond the grave?

The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi had several stories about the afterlife of some friars in the Franciscan order. One of the stories describes a devout friar named John Della Penna. He joined the Franciscan Order as a child, expecting to go to heaven at once. He did not go to heaven as … Continue reading Did The Little Flowers give the common man confidence regarding life beyond the grave?

John Wycliffe & The Great Western Schism

John Wycliffe was an English priest and a professor at Oxford University in the 14th century. He lived from 1320-1384. Wycliffe taught many things contrary to the beliefs of the church in his day, including the denial of the authority of the pope, predestination, the denial of the necessity of confessing to a priest, among … Continue reading John Wycliffe & The Great Western Schism

The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi on how to gain eternal life

The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi is a piece of literature written in the early 14th century about certain acts and miracles said to be done by St. Francis of Assisi. Francis founded the Order of Friars minor in 1216, also known as the Franciscans. The Franciscans were devoted to poverty, preaching, and … Continue reading The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi on how to gain eternal life

Would a typical listener to The Song of Roland notice it’s discrepancies?

In the medieval epic The Song of Roland, there were multiple discrepancies, some of which change key premises in the poem. One of the most obvious discrepancies was the problem of the numbers of the two opposing armies: Charlemagne and the French and Marsilie and the Muslims in Spain. The Muslim king Marsilie is said … Continue reading Would a typical listener to The Song of Roland notice it’s discrepancies?