The Renaissance was a time when a new view of the world was born; based in a rebirth of knowledge from Greece and Rome. Understanding this world view and how it came to be will make an understanding of the Enlightenment clear.

And why not start with Italy and the Medici? First the series about the Medici on Netflix and then the books - (Part V chapter III in Durant's Story of Civilization)

We begin with Petrarch and Boccaccio. A mere 700 years past. {As the reading progresses an outline will be found below and discussion found in the Forum}

Book I Prelude

Chapter I - The age of Petrarch 1304 - 1374 and Boccaccio 1313 - 1375

Chapter II - The Popes in Avignon

And to understand better how the Renaissance connects to our 'modern' world we will look at Machiavelli and his Discourses on Livy