Great Events from History: The Renaissance & Early Modern Era, 1454-1600is the third installment in the ongoing Great Events from History series, which began in 2004 with The Ancient World. Like the rest of the series, the current volumes are enlarged with a significant amount of new material-often more than half the original contents.
The beginning date of 1454 was selected because it immediately follows the end of the Hundred Years' War and the Fall of Constantinople. The following century and a half was marked by the height of the Renaissance in Europe; the rise of the Ottomans; the Wars of the Roses in Britain; European colonial expansion into Africa, Asia, and the Americas; the unification of Japan; the rise of both indigenous and colonial trade empires in Africa; and major changes in world economics and demographics.
Each essay averages 1,600 words (2-3 pages) in length and follows a standard format. The top matter to every essay prominently displays the most precise available date or date range for the event, followed by the name of the event and the following ready-reference data:
o A summary paragraph, encapsulating the event's significance
o Locale, or where the event occurred
o Categories, or the type of event covered
o Key Figures, a list of the major individuals involved in the event
The text of each essay is divided into standard sections: Summary of Event, Significance, Further Reading (an annotated list of sources), See also (cross-references to other essays within the set), and Related articles, which lists essays of interest in Salem's companion publication, Great Lives from History: The Renaissance & Early Modern Era 1454-1600 (2 vols., 2005).
A section of historical maps appears in the front matter of both volumes, displaying regions of the Renaissance world for easy reference. Accompanying the essays are sidebars--quotations from primary source documents--as well as 30 additional maps and more than 175 illustrations: renderings of artworks, battles, buildings, busts, sculptures, people, and other icons of the period.