Jacob Burckhardt, European Satire, parody and wit in Basel

The famous Swiss historian Jacob Christian Burckhardt (1818-1897) was the first to analyse the use of satire, parody and wit in Renaissance Europe.

Burckhardt (Weltliche Betrachtungen, posthumously published in 1905) also introduced the term Kleinstaat (Le petit état, the small state) as a reminder of the democratic qualities of Switzerland at the time of European superpowers and a (megalomanic) neighbour. A warning from history.

(Source Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy, Gutenberg Project, translation 2014).