SAT II World History : Italy and the Renaissance

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Europe

The Last Supper can be attributed to which Renaissance artist?

Possible Answers:

Dante

Cosimo de Medici

Raphael

Michaelangelo

Leonardo da Vinci

Correct answer:

Leonardo da Vinci

Explanation:

Leonardo da Vinci is often considered the ultimate "Renaissance man," a term that suggests being supremely skilled in many different areas of life, particularly artistically and intellectually. Perhaps Da Vinci's most famous work is The Last Supper

Example Question #2 : Europe

Which of the following was not an Italian city-state during the Italian Renaissance? 

Possible Answers:

The Papal States

The Kingdom of Naples

The Republic of Florence

The Duchy of Milan

The United Provinces

Correct answer:

The United Provinces

Explanation:

During the Italian Renaissance, the country we now know as Italy was divided up into several independent city-states. All of the answer choices were city-states except for the United Provinces. The United Provinces refers to territory in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium during the time when this territory was under Spanish control.

Example Question #3 : Europe

Cosimo de Medici was the ruler of __________.

Possible Answers:

Geneva

Naples

Berlin

Florence

Milan

Correct answer:

Florence

Explanation:

Cosimo de Medici was the ruler of Florence throughout a large period of the Italian Renaissance. He is renowned as a patron of the arts who encouraged the Renaissance to flourish in his city-state.

Example Question #4 : Europe

The Sistine Chapel and David are works of art and architecture that are attributed to which Renaissance artist?

Possible Answers:

Albrecht Durer

Jan van Eyck

Raphael

Leonardo da Vinci

Michelangelo

Correct answer:

Michelangelo

Explanation:

The Sistine Chapel and David are two of the most famous works of the famous Renaissance artist and sculptor Michelangelo.

Example Question #5 : Europe

The Renaissance most likely evolved first in Italy due to __________.

Possible Answers:

Italy's extensive mercenary class that protected the cities from barbarian raids 

the wealth of the Papacy

Italy's cultural legacy of artistic and scientific accomplishment 

Italy's political and religious unity 

Italy's urban society and emerging middle class

Correct answer:

Italy's urban society and emerging middle class

Explanation:

Italy's relatively large urban society and emerging middle class allowed for a large number of individuals to be free to pursue artistic or scientific pursuits. This was in contrast to most of the rest of Europe and the world, where the vast majority of people had no free time for pursuits unrelated to simply surviving. This allowed the Renaissance to flourish first in Italy.

Example Question #6 : Europe

The Decameron, by Giovanni Boccaccio, tells a series of stories about __________.

Possible Answers:

The Italian Renaissance 

The Black Death

The Roman Empire 

The Hundred Years' War 

Greek mythology 

Correct answer:

The Black Death

Explanation:

The Decameron was written by Giovanni Boccaccio in the fourteenth century. It is considered one of the most important works of early Humanism and the Italian Renaissance. It is centered around a series of tales about the Black Death. The Black Death was a devastating plague that hit Europe in the fourteenth century and led to widespread death and suffering. By some estimates as many as a third of all Europeans perished as a direct result of the Black Death. It would take almost two hundred years for population levels to recover.

Example Question #7 : Europe

The Medici rose to prominence in which Italian city-state?

Possible Answers:

Naples

Venice

Milan

Florence

The Papal States

Correct answer:

Florence

Explanation:

The Medici rose to prominence in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in Florence. The Medici were a banking family, and in the fifteenth century, the Medici Bank was the largest in Europe. The Medici are significant because they were frequent and enthusiastic patrons of the early Renaissance in Italy. They funded artistic works and spectacular architectural wonders.

Example Question #1 : The Renaissance

The School of Athens is one of the most famous works of which Renaissance artist?

Possible Answers:

Raphael

Jan Van Eyck

Michaelangelo

Leonardo da Vinci

Petrarch

Correct answer:

Raphael

Explanation:

The School of Athens is one of the most famous Renaissance paintings, and it is still considered a masterpiece today. It was painted by the Renaissance artist, Raphael, in the early sixteenth century. The fresco can be found in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Example Question #9 : Europe

Lorenzo the Magnificent is best remembered as __________.

Possible Answers:

a patron of the arts

a religious dissident

an Italian mercenary captain

an Enlightenment philosopher

a Northern Renaissance artist

Correct answer:

a patron of the arts

Explanation:

Lorenzo the Magnificent was a ruler of Florence in the fifteenth century. At the time, Florence was an economic center of Europe and one of the most prominent cities of the Italian Renaissance. Lorenzo the Magnificent is most commonly remembered as a generous and enthusiastic patron of the arts. He sponsored the works of Michelangelo, among many others.

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