Bettany Hughes is distinctly communicative, her TV and audio broadcasts are always a special treat
Ever wanted to know what a classicist thinks of the Renaissance? I did! I recently came across these gems - recordings broadcast on BBC Radio 4 by UK historian Bettany Hughes. Whilst not a Renaissance scholar herself, Bettany's captivating style makes her easy to watch, or in this case listen to. I have gone to some length to present these recordings here in a more accessible format - which you can stream directly from the player below or download as .mp3
These recordings are freely available on the BBC Radio 4 site, but only as realmedia stream, requiring a specific player etc - not entirely convenient.
Bettany takes a deeper look into Florence and the Medici - swiftly debunking all the myths about the Renaissance and putting it into the context of a continuum of change. Writers from Petrarch to Ficino and beyond are largely responsible for the honeyed perception we have of this period.
Through the many experts that accompany Bettany Hughes in these recordings, we receive wonderful insights into what the Renaissance really was - more than an art movement, more than a rebirth of classical ideas, but an amalgamation of myriad factors which helped propel Europe toward a modern age, but also drew quite heavily on knowledge from the East - something which writers like Vasari, Voltaire, Burckhardt and Gibbon are quite dismissive of.