A to Z 2022: The Snackable Renaissance

It’s coming. The blogger’s A to Z challenge for 2022 starts tomorrow, and I’m going all in! Well, partly in. Get ready to learn a little bit about history for the next 26 days…

…the Renaissance!

Close-up of Raphael’s School of Athens, photo by kajmeister.

Why the A to Z Challenge?

Phew! It’s been a busy time here for kajmeister. I know the blogs have thinned out recently. I haven’t been writing much here because I’ve been writing as a student and on my part-time job. Both are things that have emerged because I’ve been here, and because you’ve been reading these blogs. So, Thank You! If you’d like to hear about the Civil War (one of my history classes) or need suggestions for how to make a career change (my writing job), let me know… I’ve probably written something.

Meanwhile, it’s about to be April, and the blogosphere has this crazy challenge called A to Z. Write 26 posts on a theme. It starts off fun, gets a little grueling around L and M, hard to figure out X, Q, and J, and even if Z doesn’t make sense is exciting to write that last letter! It requires both the strategy of how to generate the challenging letters and the stamina of writing a marathon.

Two years ago, when the world shut down for all of us, the A to Z challenge was a sanity check for me. I didn’t know what I was getting into but tried it out using one of my favorite topics. Those 26 posts on the Olympics turned into a mini-book. That, in turn, helped me pitch a longer book to a real live publisher (my book on women at the games, coming this summer, *shameless plug*), and teach two short classes on the subject. I’m also now in graduate school because of that experience, learning how to write history better.

Last year, I wrote about Accounting–my previous career–and had a lot of fun exploring the background of something I knew well technically. This past January, when my first major school project required a research topic, I turned to those accounting blogs. As a result, I’m writing an accounting history paper which I’m to broaden into a thesis and another book. How can accounting history be fascinating you say? Wait two years, and we’ll find out together.

Luca Pacioli, painted by Jacobo de Barbari

But…the Renaissance?

Last year, for the letter P, I stumbled on one of the first dudes to write about accounting: an Italian friar named Luca Pacioli. After Euclid and Pythagoras, Pacioli may have been the world’s most important math teacher. He wrote two giant textbooks about geometry and arithmetic as well as smaller books about Euclid, chess problems, and math puzzles. Ever hear the one about the fox, chicken, and the rowboat? He wrote a version of that 500 years ago, only it was the goat, the cabbage, and the rowboat.

His work, Summa Arithmetica, was one of the earliest printed non-religious books, and it went into a second printing, making it one of the most widely distributed books in the early 1500s after the Bible. Last year, one of the 61 remaining copies of that book went for $1.2 million at auction.

My current research is all about that accounting textbook from 1494. So, my last three months have been All-Renaissance All-the-time. I’m going to share a little bit of that.

Starting tomorrow.

They will be short blogs! Just like this one. Much more snackable than the usual kajmeister fare. I have ideas for all the letters, although some are better than others. However, I am pledged, like a knight to his lady, to fit it in. Wait, that’s the Middle Ages…

Anything you ever wanted to know about the Renaissance? Send me a comment. I bet I can fit it in.

Verocchio’s version of David, photo by kajmeister

2 Replies to “A to Z 2022: The Snackable Renaissance”

Leave a Reply