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HUMANISM
See Chapter 12 Sections 2 and 3 (p. 382-384 and
389-390
ITALIAN RENAISSANCE HUMANISM
A key intellectual movement of the Renaissance
was humanism.
 Humanism was based on the study of the
classics, the literary works of ancient Greece &
Rome such as grammar, rhetoric, poetry, moral
philosophy, and history.
 Petrarch has been called the father of Italian
Renaissance humanism.
 Petrarch did more than any other individual to
foster the development of humanism.
 Began the humanist emphasis on pure classical
Latin (Latin as used by the ancient Romans)

ITALIAN RENAISSANCE HUMANISM
CONTINUED…
Humanists used the works of Cicero as a model
for prose & those of Virgil for poetry.
 In Florence, the humanist movement took a new
direction at the beginning of the 15th century.
 New interest in civic life.
 Believed that it was the duty of an intellectual to
live an active life for one’s state.
 The study of humanities should be put to the
service of the state.

VERNACULAR LITERATURE & EDUCATION
IN THE RENAISSANCE
The humanist emphasis on classical Latin led to
its widespread use in the writings of scholars,
lawyers, & theologians.
 Some writers wrote in the vernacular- the
languages spoken in their own region- such as
Italian, French, or German.
 In the 14th century, the works of Italian author
Dante and the English author Geoffrey Chaucer
helped make vernacular literature more popular.
 Dante’s masterpiece is the Divine Comedy and
Chaucer’s most famous work is The Canterbury
Tales.

VERNACULAR LITERATURE & EDUCATION
IN THE RENAISSANCE


Humanist movement had a
profound effect on education,
believing that education could
dramatically change human
beings.
At the core of humanist
schools were the liberal
studies. (Today we call these
liberal arts)
 History
 Moral Philosophy
 Eloquence or rhetoric
 Letters (Grammar &
Logic)
 Poetry
 Mathematics
 Astronomy
 Music




Following the Greek ideal of a
sound mind in a sound body,
humanist educators stressed
physical education, such as
javelin throwing, archery,
swimming, dancing, running,
and hunting.
Its aim was to create
complete citizens.
Model for the basic education
of the European ruling
classes until the 20th century.
Few females attended;
Religion & morals should be
foremost so they could become
good wives & mothers.
ERASMUS & CHRISTIAN HUMANISM
During the second half of the 15th century, the
new classical learning that was part of the
Italian Renaissance humanism spread to
Northern Europe.
 From that came a movement called Christian
Humanism, or Northern Renaissance humanism.
 The major goal of this movement was the reform
of the Catholic Church.
 Christian humanists believed that in order to
change society , they must first change the
human beings who make it up.
 The best known of all Christian humanists was
Desiderius Erasmus.

CHRISTIAN HUMANISM & ERASMUS
Erasmus stressed the inwardness of religious
feeling.
 To reform the church, Erasmus wanted to spread
the philosophy of Christ, provide education in the
works of Christianity, and criticize the abuses in
the Church.
 Humorously criticized aspects that he believed
were in most need of reform.
 Sought reform within the Catholic Church.
 His ideas prepared the way for the Reformation.

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