The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance

By David Rundle | Go to book overview

S

Sack of Rome

Looting of the city of Rome by imperial troops in 1527. In the aftermath of Charles V's capture of Francis I at the Battle of Pavia in 1525, the various powers of Italy attempted to create an alliance to push his forces out of Italy. Clement VII, however, preferred to secure a truce with the emperor but this proved short-lived. In March 1527, Charles's army, under the control of the Duke of Bourbon, entered the papal states and advanced on Rome. They attacked on 6 May and, though Bourbon was killed in the assault, broke into the city. The troops -- unruly and unpaid -- went on the rampage.

During the Sack, several monuments were destroyed and palaces ransacked; much of Angelo Colocci's collection of ancient inscriptions, for example, was lost. The stories of what occurred in those days may be exaggerated -- one soldier claimed that 12,000 people had been killed -- but the shock of events was real. For some, including (incongruously) Pietro Aretino, it was a judgement of God for the sins of the papacy. Apart from the loss of art and of libraries, the Sack had a wider cultural effect: some of the artists then in Rome were captured and ransomed, others fled (like Parmigianino or Giulio Clovio). Overall, the result was a dispersal, albeit short-lived, of the artistic community which had been so active in the previous years under the Medici popes.


Sackville, Thomas, LORD BUCKHURST, 1ST EARL OF DORSET (1536-1608)

English poet and politician. He collaborated with Thomas Norton on Ferrex and Porrex ( 1561), afterwards called Gorboduc. Written in blank verse, this was one of the earliest English tragedies. He also contributed to the influential Mirror for Magistrates, intended as a continuation of John Lydgate Fall of Princes. An influential figure in Elizabeth's last years, he held offices of Privy Councillor, Lord Steward, and Lord Treasurer.

He was born in Buckhurst, Sussex, educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and studied law in London. He was made Baron Buckhurst in 1567 and Earl in 1604.


Sacred and Profane Love

Painting of about 1516 by Titian ( Borghese Gallery, Rome). An early work, painted when he was still strongly influenced by Giorgione, it is richly sensuous and poetic in feeling.

The title by which it was known in Titian's lifetime, when it was in the collection of cardinal Scipio Borghese, was Beauty Clothed and Unclothed -- the symbolism lends itself to various interpretations.


Sá de Miranda, Francisco (c. 1481-1558)

Portuguese poet who studied at Lisbon. His poems first appeared in Resende Cancioneiro Geral ( 1516), suggesting early court connections. Between 1521 and 1527 he was in Italy. His reasons for going are as obscure as his activities there, but the subsequent impact upon the structure and imagery of his poetry is clear enough. The reasons for his move to rural northern Portugal in 1530 are also obscure, but he remained in touch with court life, preparing a manuscript of his complete works in the early 1550s in response to Prince João's request. His life ended sadly: his eldest son was killed in Africa in 1553; his wife died in 1555, while Prince João had died in 1554.

Over half of Sá de Miranda's poetry was written in Castilian, which he tended to use when composing in the Italian style in imitation of Boscà and Garcilaso. On his return from Italy, he introduced Portuguese poets to the Italian hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) line, and to certain Italian poetic forms, in particular the sonnet and the eclogue (a short pastoral poem). He also breathed new life into traditional Portuguese metres by introducing new themes and imagery (as in his five Portuguese Sátiras/Satires). Mourned by contemporary poets on his death, all his works were first printed posthumously. The first of these was his Comedia dos estrangeiros/The Comedy of the Foreigners ( 1559). Probably composed on his return from Italy,

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The Hutchinson Encyclopedia of the Renaissance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vi
  • List of Genealogies vii
  • Introduction ix
  • A 1
  • B 31
  • C 72
  • D 121
  • E 141
  • F 156
  • G 175
  • H 206
  • I 225
  • J 228
  • K 235
  • L 239
  • M 259
  • N 295
  • O 303
  • P 307
  • Q 340
  • R 342
  • S 355
  • T 382
  • U 395
  • V 397
  • W 409
  • X 415
  • Z 416
  • Thematic Index 419
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