For Your Interest – Remember Newton?

Edward Dolnick is the author of The Clockwork Universe, from which we read excerpts for our discussions about Renaissance innovation and conflict. The most recent episode of Radiolab, an excellent radio show that you all should give a listen (and/or subscribe to its podcast), invited Dolnick on the air to discuss Newton and the mysteries of the cosmos – both then and now.



And/or visit for other fascinating episodes!


Week of 2/27 Supplements

Here’s your handout about Romanticism (excerpted from the Norton Anthology of World Literature) – be sure to save this for future reference.

Romanticism (Norton)

Below is a link to the full texts of Keats’s “Ode to a Grecian Urn,” which we will use this week to further discuss Romanticism.

John Keats – “Ode to a Grecian Urn” (1819)



The King James Bible & Paradise Lost

If you need a new copy of the Genesis / Paradise Lost packet or were absent on Friday, see me asap so that I can provide you with one and/or copy some more.

Working in groups, you read one of three sections from the Milton excerpt; all students read the Genesis excerpt. If absent, choose one of the sections included below and complete the questions that go along with it. Be sure to get notes from others about the remaining two sections upon your return.

All students must individually provide written responses for their sections. However, for the teach your peers” presentation, verbal responses will suffice.

Milton – Sections 1,2, and 3

Machiavelli Supplement for 2/8 and 2/9

The following New York Times article was published in 1994, entitled “Gangs: Machiavelli’s Descendants.” The piece describes life for today’s gang youth, exemplifying the social hierarchy, price of admission, and violence at the heart of these organizations. One thing is absent from the article, though – an explanation as to why/how these gangs are “Machiavellian.”

Gangs: Machiavelli’s Descendants – New York Times

Click below for assignment details. (Due Friday, 2/10)

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Machiavelli – Chapter 8 Classwork/Homework

Here is the document for your Machiavelli classwork/homework today. You only need individual, written responses for the Chapter 8 questions – just make sure someone jotted down your ideas about the discussion question in your group, that way we can share them tomorrow.

Machiavelli – Chapters 1, 2, 8


Michel de Montaigne

Here’s the assignment sheet for your Montaigne-style humanist essays; we completed the brainstorming in-class today, and will begin organizing these ideas into paragraphs after your quiz tomorrow. Final drafts will be due Monday, 2/6 – they should be 1-2 pages in length. 

Montaigne – Be your own humanist!


Some ideas to aid your brainstorming – Montaigne also wrote reflections on the following topics:

Of the Force of Imagination

Of Age

Of the Custom of Wearing Clothes

Of Ill  Means Employed to a Good End

Of Glory

Of Experience

Of Solitude

…and many more!