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Adventures in the Human Spirit



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This single-volume text is a historical survey of the western humanities. Written to be accessible to students with little background in the arts and humanities, Adventure in the Human Spirit provides a balanced introduction to the major arts, philosophy, and religion. This text approaches the humanities by focusing on principal events, styles, movements, and figures, bringing the past to life.

Table of Contents

1 The Humanities: An Introduction to the Adventure 12

Creating a Sense of Self 13

        Tradition: Nurturing the Creative Spirit 13

        Modes of Expression and Reflection 13

The Arts 14

        The Pictorial Arts 14

        Sculpture: The Art of Shaping 15

        Architecture: The Art of Shelter 17

        Music: The Art of Sound 18

        Dance: The Art of Movement 20

        The Art of Theater 21

        A Note about Opera 22

        The Literary Arts 22

An Invitation to the Adventure 22

Chapter Summary 23


2 The Ancient World 24

The First Humans 25

Mesopotamia 26

        The Sumerians 26

        Empires of the Near East 27

        KEY CONCEPT: Myth 29

Ancient Egypt 30

        Egypt: Religion and Society 30

        The Arts of Egypt 32

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: Death at an Egyptian Banquet 32

Asia and America 33

        The Indus Valley 33

        Bronze Age China 35

        KEY CONCEPT: Civilizations and Progress 35

        Ancient America 36

Chapter Summary 37



3 Ancient Greece: The Classical Spirit 38

Early Greece 39

        The Aegean World 40

        Early Greek Poetry 41

        Religion and Philosophy in Early Greece 43

        Art in Early Greece 44

The Classical Period 46

        Athens in its Golden Age 46

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: The Plague of Athens 47

Classical Greek Art 48

        The Athenian Acropolis 48

        Classical Sculpture 51

        KEY CONCEPT: The Classical Ideal 53

Greek Theater and Music 56

        Greek Tragedy 56

        Greek Comedy 58

        Greek Music and Dance 58

Classical Greek Philosophy 59

        The Sophists and Socrates 60

        Plato 60

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Confucius and Philosophy 61

        Aristotle 61

The Hellenistic Age 62

        The Hellenistic Legacy 63

Chapter Summary 66


THE WRITE IDEA 44, 54, 58, 63


4 Ancient Rome: The Spirit of Empire 67

The Drama of Roman History 68

        The Rise of Republican Rome 69

        KEY CONCEPT: Imperialism 70

        Imperial Rome 71

The Art of an Empire 73

        Sculpture as Propaganda 73

        The Forum of Trajan 74

        KEY CONCEPT: The World Citizen 76

        The Romans as Builders 77

Roman Art and Daily Life 81

        Roman Daily Life 81

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: A Marriage Contract of the Roman Era 82

        Roman Theater and Music 85

The Romans as Poets and Thinkers 87

        Early Roman Poets 88

        Roman Epic and Satire 88

        Philosophy in the Roman World 89

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Rise of Buddhism 90

        Rome’s Division and Decline 93

Chapter Summary 94




5 The Spirit of Monotheism: Judaism, Christianity, Islam 95

The Judaic Tradition 96

        History and the Israelites 96

        The Hebrew Bible 98

        KEY CONCEPT: Monotheism 99

        Job and the Trials of Israel 100

The Rise of Christianity 101

        Jesus of Nazareth 101

        The Growth of Christianity 102

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: The Siege of Jerusalem 104

        Christianity in the Late Roman Empire 105

Philosophy: Classical and Christian 107

        From Classical to Christian 107

        Augustine of Hippo 107

        KEY CONCEPT: Original Sin and Human Nature 108

The Christian Empires: Rome and Byzantium 109

        St. Peter’s and the Pope 110

        Justinian and the Byzantine World 110

        Ravenna: Showcase of the Christian Arts 114

Christianity and the Arts 118

        Early Christian Music 118

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Teotihuacán: Sacred City of Mesoamerica 119

        Christianity Against the Arts 120

The Rise of Islam 121

        The Foundations of Islam 122

        Islamic Arts and Science 123

        Dawn of The Middle Ages 126

Chapter Summary 127

CRITICAL QUESTION 99, 104, 108, 126



6 The Early Middle Ages: The Feudal Spirit 128

The Age of Charlemagne 129

        Northern Edge of the Early Middle Ages 129

        Charlemagne’s Empire 130

        Carolingian Arts 130

Feudal Europe 133

        Feudalism 133

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: Work in Charlemagne’s World 134

        The Arts of Feudalism 134

        The Bayeux Tapestry 135

        The Flowering of Muslim Spain 136

Monasticism 138

        The Monastic Ideal 138

        Hrotsvit and the Classical Tradition 140

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Blood of Maya Kings 140

The Romanesque Style 141

        Imperial Revival and the Romanesque Style 141

        The Romanesque Church: Monks and Pilgrims 142

        Romanesque Sculpture 143

        KEY CONCEPT: Pilgrimage 146

Early Medieval Music and Drama 147

        Musical Notation 147

        Hildegard of Bingen: Musical Mystic 149

        Drama in the Medieval Church 150

        KEY CONCEPT: Mysticism 151

The Medieval Philosopher 151

        Early Medieval Philosophy 151

        Abelard 153

        The Medieval Spirit and the First Crusade 154

Chapter Summary 155


THE WRITE IDEA 131, 136, 146, 154


7 The Late Middle Ages: The Gothic Awakening 156

The Gothic Awakening 157

        The Crusades and the Decline of Feudalism 158

        The Rise of Towns and Cities 159

The Gothic Style 160

        The Gothic Style and Divine Light 160

        The Cathedral at Chartres 161

        Gothic Sculpture 164

Music and Theater in the Gothic Age 166

        The Evolution of Organum 166

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Buddhism in Asia 168

        Gothic Theater: From Church to Town 169

The New Learning 171

        The Universities 171

        KEY CONCEPT: Scholasticism 171

        Thomas Aquinas 172

Court and City in the Late Middle Ages 173

        Courtly Love and Medieval Romance 173

        KEY CONCEPT: Chivalry 176

        Music in the Late Middle Ages 177

        Dante’s Divine Comedy 177

        Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims 179

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: The Plague and Prosperity 179

The Late Gothic 180

        Reclaiming the Classical Past 180

        Giotto and the International Gothic 181

Chapter Summary 184



8 The Renaissance Spirit in Italy 185

The Renaissance in Italy 186

        The Italian City-States 186

        KEY CONCEPT: Renaissance Humanism 187

        Patronage of the Arts and Learning 188

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: The Violence of Renaissance Youth 191

The Arts in Early Renaissance Italy 191

        Florence 1401—A Renaissance Begins 191

        Brunelleschi’s Domes 195

        Florentine Painting: A Refined Classicism 195

        Italian Renaissance Music 198

        Early Renaissance Sculpture 198

        KEY CONCEPT: The Science of Perspective 200

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Great Zimbabwe 203

        The Decline of Florence 204

Renaissance Genius 204

        Machiavelli and Humanist Politics 204

        Leonardo da Vinci 205

        KEY CONCEPT: The Renaissance Man …and Woman 208

The High Renaissance in Rome 209

        Josquin des Préz 209

        Raphael 211

        Michelangelo in Rome 214

        The New St. Peter’s 215

        An Age of Giants 216

Chapter Summary 218


THE WRITE IDEA 190, 203, 205, 215


9 Reformation and Late Renaissance 219

The Reformation 220

        Luther’s Challenge 220

        The Appeal of the Reformation 221

        Calvinism 222

The Rise of Northern Europe 222

        KEY CONCEPT: The “Protestant Ethic”: God, Work, and Wealth 223

        Kings, Commerce, and Columbus 224

        The Northern Renaissance Courts 225

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Ottoman Empire 228

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: A Midwife’s Advice 229

Art and Humanism in Northern Europe 229

        Faith and Humanism in Northern Art 229

        Erasmus and Humanism 234

        Utopians and Skeptics 236

The Elizabethan Age 236

        KEY CONCEPT: Skepticism 237

        The Reformation in England 237

        Theater in the Elizabethan Age 237

        The Genius of Shakespeare 240

        Elizabethan Music 241

The Late Renaissance in Italy and Spain 242

        Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation 243

        Renaissance Theater in Italy 243

        The Renaissance in Venice 245

        Late Renaissance Painting and Mannerism 248

Chapter Summary 253

CRITICAL QUESTION 222, 224, 237, 240

THE WRITE IDEA 220, 223, 235


10 The Spirit of Baroque 254

The Baroque in Italy 255

        Bernini and Counter-Reformation Rome 255

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Taj Mahal 257

        Italian Baroque Painting 262

        The Birth of Opera 263

        KEY CONCEPT: Absolutism 265

The Baroque in Spain 265

        Spanish Baroque Architecture 265

        Velázquez and Cervantes—Masters of Illusion 267

The Baroque In France 270

        The Palace of Versailles 270

        Theater and Dance at Versailles 273

        Painting in Baroque France 274

The Protestant Baroque 277

        J. S. Bach—Baroque Genius 277

        Bach’s “Well-tempered Clavier” 278

        Rembrandt and Dutch Baroque Painting 278

        KEY CONCEPT: Empiricism 282

The New Science 283

        Tools of the New Science 283

        Descartes and Newton 284

The English Compromise 285

        English Baroque Poetry 285

        Christopher Wren’s London 286

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: The Fire of London 286

        Handel and Music in England 288

        Politics and Philosophy in England 288

Chapter Summary 290




11 The Spirit of Enlightenment 291

The Rococo Style 292

        The Rococo in France 292

        The Rococo in Germany and Britain 297

The Enlightenment 301

        The Philosophes 301

        Enlightenment and Freedom 302

        KEY CONCEPT: Enlightenment 303

The Bourgeois Response 304

        The Bourgeois Style in Painting 304

        The Rise of the Novel 305

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Kabuki Theater 307

        The Bourgeois Theater in Germany 307

Music in the Age of Enlightenment 308

        Mozart and Opera 308

        The Classical Symphony 310

The Neoclassical Style 311

        Neoclassical Architecture 311

        KEY CONCEPT: Neoclassicism 313

        Neoclassical Painting 314

The Age of Satire 316

        Swift 316

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: Women Gladiators 316

        Satire and Society in Art 317

        Voltaire 318

Chapter Summary 319




12 Revolution and Romanticism 320

Revolutions and Rights 321

        The Revolutionary Wave—1776 and 1789 321

        The Napoleonic Era 323

        KEY CONCEPT: Freedom 326

        The Industrial Revolution 327

        Revolution and Philosophy 328

The Romantic Hero 328

        Faust and the Romantics 329

        Delacroix and the Byronic Hero 330

Music and Dance in the Romantic Age 331

        Beethoven: From Classical to Romantic 332

        Age of the Virtuoso 333

        Berlioz’s Fantastic Symphony 334

Elements of Romanticism 335

        Romantic Social Protest 335

        The Romantics and Nature 337

        KEY CONCEPT: Imagination 337

        Romantic Escapes 340

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: Native Storytellers 341

        Evil and the Gothic Novel 343

Chapter Summary 345


THE WRITE IDEA 322, 338, 344


13 The Industrial Age: The Spirit of Materialism 346

Materialism and Progress 347

        The Victorians 347

        Realism in Pictorial Art 349

        The Realist Novel 353

        The Modern City 354

Music and Modernity 358

        Verdi’s Operas 358

        Wagner’s Musical Revolution 358

        KEY CONCEPT: Modernity 360

        Late Romantic Music and Dance 362

Late Romantics and Early Moderns 362

        Symbolism and Art Nouveau 362

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: A Musical Career 363

        Debussy and Rodin–The Break with Tradition 364

        Impressionism 368

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: The Japanese Color Print 370

        Beyond Impressionism 372

The Dark Side of Progress 376

        The Realist Theater 377

        The Novel and Modern Philosophy 377

        KEY CONCEPT: Human Will 378

Chapter Summary 380




14 The Spirit of Modernism 381

A Turbulent Century 382

        A New Science 382

        The Great War 383

        Fascism and the Rise of Mass Society 384

Modernism in Art 385

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: War, Fashion, and Feminism 385

        Picasso and the Revolution in Art 385

        KEY CONCEPT: Primitivism 388

        Toward Formal Abstraction 389

        Expressionism and Dada 391

The Modern Mind 395

        Freud and Surrealism 395

        KEY CONCEPT: The Unconscious 397

        Modernism in Literature 398

Modernist Music and Architecture 399

        Stravinsky and Schoenberg—The New Music 399

        Modernist Building and Design 401

Art and Politics 403

        Brecht’s Epic Theater 403

        Painting and Politics 404

        Politics and the Cinema 405

In the American Grain 407

        Regionalism and Renaissance 407

        The American Scene 409

        The Age of Jazz 409

        World War and Holocaust 410

Chapter Summary 412




15 The Contemporary Spirit 413

        The Age of Anxiety 414

        Post-war America 414

        Exploring the Absurd 414

        GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: Gandhi and

        Colonial Liberation 415

        KEY CONCEPT: Existentialism 416

        The Theater of the Absurd 417

        The Existential Hero 417

Art in the Post-war Era 418

        The New York School 418

        Pop, Minimalism, and the Avant-garde 419

        KEY CONCEPT: The Avant-garde 421

        Sculpture in the Post-war Era 422

The Trials of Modern Architecture 425

        Triumph of the International Style 425

        Building as Sculpture 426

Post-1945 Music 428

        The Avant-garde in Music 428

        The Pop Rebellion 429

The Post-modern Styles 429

        Post-modern Architecture 430

        Minimalism in Music 431

        The Contemporary Visual Arts 433

        The New Fiction 436

The Global Culture 436

        Liberated Voices 437

        AIDS and the Arts 440

        WINDOWS ON DAILY LIFE: Living and Dying with AIDS 440

A New Century–Promise and Challenge 441

Chapter Summary 444


THE WRITE IDEA 416, 424, 439


Notes 445

Glossary 449

Further Reading 454

Picture Credits 455

Index 457


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