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Sprezzatura

by Peter D'Epiro Mary Desmond Pinkowish

A witty, erudite celebration of fifty great Italian cultural achievements that have significantly influenced Western civilization from the authors ofWhat Are the Seven Wonders of the World? "Sprezzatura," or the art of effortless mastery, was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione inThe Book of the Courtier. No one has demonstrated effortless mastery throughout history quite like the Italians. From the Roman calendar and the creator of the modern orchestra (Claudio Monteverdi) to the beginnings of ballet and the creator of modern political science (Niccolò Machiavelli),Sprezzaturahighlights fifty great Italian cultural achievements in a series of fifty information-packed essays in chronological order.

What are the Seven Wonders of the World?

by Peter D'Epiro Mary Desmond Pinkowish

Can you name...Newton's 3 laws of motion?The 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse?The 5 pillars of Islam? The 6 wives of Henry VIII?The 7 kinds of plane triangles? The 8 Beatitudes?If you're not sure about the answers to the above, this is the book for you. A compendium of 101 culturally significant particulars from the fields of mythology, religion, literature, history, science, mathematics, art, and music, What Are the 7 Wonders of the World? is a stimulating fusion of facts and fun that makes for an invaluable reference and an entertaining diversion.Questions are grouped in sections according to the number of items in their answer (all the 3s, all the 4s, all the 5s, etc.), so that the answers are in the form of easily memorized lists. You won't find Luther's 95 theses, or the 264 Popes, for example, but you will find everything from the 3 sons of Adam and Eve all the way up to the 24 letters of the ancient Greek alphabet. This clever format lends itself well to quizzing and guessing, which gives it a deliciously sophisticated parlor-game quality. But for those who wish to delve a little deeper, there are thoughtful essays to go with each answer that include fascinating details and place the list in its larger cultural or historical context. Much more than a book of trivia, What Are the 7 Wonders of the World? offers a grand overview of the knowledge needed to appreciate many of the finest things in our cultural and intellectual life.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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