Friday, May 7, 2010

Is exploration a "good" thing?

Is exploration a “good” thing? Exploration is always a good thing because knowledge is gained from exploration. Knowledge is never useless. Internal or external, exploration provides valuable information for the present and for the future. During the Renaissance, different methods art were flourishing across Europe. Not only exploration of art, but exploration of the New World was flourishing as well. This was good for Europe and good for its people. This evidently makes the world a greater place. Exploration is a good thing because it sends humankind further into a world of new discoveries where knowledge can be used and shared to make humanity affluent.

Exploration of the arts was at its highest point when the Medici family rose to power in Florence. The biggest accomplishments of the Medici were in the sponsorship of art and architecture, mainly early and High Renaissance art and architecture. The Medici were responsible for the majority of Florentine art during their reign. ( Artists were being supported, so they took risks and showed off all their skills. Also, the Medici family had many connections with highly respected people, including the Pope. They aided in the exploration of power by putting their faith into the Church. The Medici somehow knew that if you followed the Church, people would follow you vigorously. Lorenzo de Medici stated, “The first that I would therefore suggest to you is that you ought to be grateful to God, and continually to recollect that it is not through your merits, your prudence, or your solicitude, that this event has taken place, but through his favor, which you can only repay by a pious, chaste and exemplary life; and that your obligations to the performance of these duties are so much the greater, as in your early years you have given some reasonable expectations that your riper age may produce such fruits”. ( Probably the greatest ruler of Florence was Lorenzo de Medici. He was the man who truly loved the arts and supported the exploration of new styles. “Thus Lorenzo's mode of life, his ability and good fortune, were recognized with admiration, and highly esteemed, not only by all the princes of Italy, but also by those at a great distance.” (

Lorenzo the Magnificent, was said to be extremely fond of the young Michelangelo, and invited him to study the family collection of antique sculpture. Lorenzo also served as patron to Leonardo da Vinci for seven years. Leonardo had a complex mind, “It is clear that Leonardo, through his comprehension of art, began many things and never finished one of them, since it seemed to him that the hand was not able to attain to the perfection of art in carrying out the things which he imagined; for the reason that he conceived in idea difficulties so subtle and so marvellous, that they could never be expressed by the hands, be they ever so excellent. And so many were his caprices, that, philosophizing of natural things, he set himself to seek out the properties of herbs, going on even to observe the motions of the heavens, the path of the moon, and the courses of the sun. ( Lorenzo saw his talent and embraced it. Indeed Lorenzo was an artist in his own right, and author of poetry and song; his support of the arts and letters is seen as a high point in Medici patronage. ( Lorenzo had established the first art school in history. The arts were where he found solace and serenity. Lorenzo served as a wonderful patron of the exploration of arts because the young men he took under his wing grew up to do several great things and are venerated today. That is why exploration is a “good” thing. In this case, it sent the world into a more creative world with paintings and sculptures that were miraculous and became models to live by. After Lorenzo’s death, “Neither Florence nor all Italy ever lost a man of higher reputation for prudence and ability, or whose loss was more deplored by his country, than Lorenzo de' Medici.” (

During the Renaissance in Europe, the New World was being discovered and explored. Christopher Columbus ( was traveling to the new world, trying to colonize and establish trade routes. Without exploration, the knowledge of other people would not have been known. Columbus wrote in his journal, “At daybreak great multitudes of men came to the shore, all young and of fine shapes, very handsome; their hair not curled but straight and coarse like horse-hair, and all with foreheads and heads much broader than any people I had hitherto seen; their eyes were large and very beautiful; they were not black, but the color of the inhabitants of the Canaries”. ( Humans would have forever thought that the world was round and people would fall off the side of the Earth. It was a “good” thing Christopher Columbus explored the New World without a doubt. This exploration gave people much knowledge about the world they resided in.

If exploration wasn’t a good thing, people wouldn’t even bother to branch out and discover the unknown. Obviously, exploration is a “good” thing or we wouldn’t move forward in this world. Exploration brings knowledge to people who can use and share it. Exploration aids in new discoveries and makes the world prosperous.

image from:,_Departure_for_the_New_World,_August_3,_1492.jpg

Works Cited
"Christopher Columbus." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 12 May 2010. .
FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 12 May 2010. .
"House of Medici." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 11 May 2010. .
Know, I. Well. "Medieval Sourcebook: Lorenzo De Medici: Paternal Advice To A Cardinal (C. 1491)." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 12 May 2010. .
"Medieval Sourcebook: Giorgio Vasari: Life of Leonardo Da Vinci 1550." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 12 May 2010. .
"Medieval Sourcebook: Niccolò Machiavelli: History of Florence: Lorence De' Medici." FORDHAM.EDU. Web. 12 May 2010. .

1 comment:

  1. Nice job finding primary sources, though I think you'd be better off cutting down the size of your quotes and using only what is essential to your argument.

    In addition, in terms of your argument for the benefits of New World exploration, you should consider the effects colonization had on the indigenous peoples of the Americas -- was that for good or bad?