Origin and meaning of the term humanism The ideal of humanitas The history of the term humanism is complex but enlightening.
Origin[ edit ] Some of the first humanists were great collectors of antique manuscriptsincluding PetrarchGiovanni BoccaccioColuccio Salutatiand Poggio Bracciolini.
Of the four, Petrarch was dubbed the "Father of Humanism" because of his devotion or loyalty to Greek and Roman scrolls. Many worked for the Catholic Church and were in holy orderslike Petrarch, while others were lawyers and chancellors of Italian cities, and thus had access to book copying workshops, such as Petrarch's disciple Salutatithe Chancellor of Florence.
In Italy, the humanist educational program won rapid acceptance and, by the midth century, many of the upper classes had received humanist educations, possibly in addition to traditional scholasticist ones.
Some of the highest officials of the Catholic Church were humanists with the resources to amass important libraries.
Such was Cardinal Basilios Bessariona convert to the Catholic Church from Greek Orthodoxywho was considered for the papacyand was one of the most learned scholars of his time. Italian Humanism in the renissance spread northward to FranceGermanythe Low Countriesand England with the adoption of large-scale printing after the end of the era of incunabula or books printed prior toand it became associated with the Protestant Reformation.
Paganism and Christianity in the Renaissance[ edit ] This section is too long to read comfortably, and needs subsections.
Please format the article according to the guidelines laid out in the Manual of Style. The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy describes the rationalism of ancient writings as having tremendous impact on Renaissance scholars: Here, one felt no weight of the supernatural pressing on the human mind, demanding homage and allegiance.
Humanity—with all its distinct capabilities, talents, worries, problems, possibilities—was the center of interest. It has been said that medieval thinkers philosophised on their knees, but, bolstered by the new studies, they dared to stand up and to rise to full stature. Infor example, Poggio Bracciolini discovered the manuscript of LucretiusDe rerum naturawhich had been lost for centuries and which contained an explanation of Epicurean doctrinethough at the time this was not commented on much by Renaissance scholars, who confined themselves to remarks about Lucretius's grammar and syntax.
And if it is names that bother us, no one better deserves the name of Epicurean than the revered founder and head of the Christian philosophy Christfor in Greek epikouros means "helper. Completely mistaken, therefore, are those who talk in their foolish fashion about Christ's having been sad and gloomy in character and calling upon us to follow a dismal mode of life.
On the contrary, he alone shows the most enjoyable life of all and the one most full of true pleasure. Renaissance Neo-Platonists such as Marsilio Ficino whose translations of Plato's works into Latin were still used into the 19th century attempted to reconcile Platonism with Christianity, according to the suggestions of early Church fathers Lactantius and Saint Augustine.
In this spirit, Pico della Mirandola attempted to construct a syncretism of all religions he was not a humanist[ clarification needed ] but an Aristotelian trained in Parisbut his work did not win favor with the church authorities.
Historian Steven Kreis expresses a widespread view derived from the 19th-century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardtwhen he writes that: The period from the fourteenth century to the seventeenth worked in favor of the general emancipation of the individual.
The city-states of northern Italy had come into contact with the diverse customs of the East, and gradually permitted expression in matters of taste and dress. The writings of Dante, and particularly the doctrines of Petrarch and humanists like Machiavelli, emphasized the virtues of intellectual freedom and individual expression.
In the essays of Montaigne the individualistic view of life received perhaps the most persuasive and eloquent statement in the history of literature and philosophy.
Of these two, Hermeticism has had great continuing influence in Western thought, while the former mostly dissipated as an intellectual trend, leading to movements in Western esotericism such as Theosophy and New Age thinking. Though humanists continued to use their scholarship in the service of the church into the middle of the sixteenth century and beyond, the sharply confrontational religious atmosphere following the Protestant reformation resulted in the Counter-Reformation that sought to silence challenges to Catholic theology with similar efforts among the Protestant denominations.
However, a number of humanists joined the Reformation movement and took over leadership functions, for example, Philipp MelanchthonUlrich ZwingliJohn Calvinand William Tyndale.
With the Counter Reformation initiated by the Council of Trentpositions hardened and a strict Catholic orthodoxy based on Scholastic philosophy was imposed. Some humanists, even moderate Catholics such as Erasmus, risked being declared heretics for their perceived criticism of the church.Introduction.
Humanism was the major intellectual movement of the Renaissance. In the opinion of the majority of scholars, it began in lateth-century Italy, came to maturity in the 15th century, and spread to the rest of Europe after the middle of that century.
Renaissance Humanism. The time when the term "Humanism" was first adopted is unknown. It is, however, certain that both Italy and the re-adopting of Latin letters as the staple of human culture were responsible for the name "Humanists.".
The great intellectual movement of Renaissance Italy was humanism. The humanists believed that the Greek and Latin classics contained both all the lessons one needed to lead a moral and effective life and the best models for a powerful Latin style. Nicholas kept the vile "Satyrae" of the humanist until he had perused them, and gave Filelfo a purse of ducats when he departed.
Enea Silvio de' Piccolomini ascended the papal throne in as Pius II., another humanist pope. The Humanism of the Renaissance. Humanism (the philosophy that people are rational beings) became quite popular during the Renaissance.
The dignity and worth of the individual was emphasized. This movement originated with the study of classical culture and a group of subjects known collectively as the “studia humanitatis”, or the humanities. Renaissance Humanism was a revolution in thinking and feeling which left no part of society, not even the highest levels of Christianity, untouched.
Continue Reading History of Humanism in Ancient Greece.
Renaissance, (French: “Rebirth”) period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values. Introduction. Humanism was the major intellectual movement of the Renaissance. In the opinion of the majority of scholars, it began in lateth-century Italy, came to maturity in the 15th century, and spread to the rest of Europe after the middle of that century. Nov 02, · Watch video · Florence, where the Italian Renaissance began, was an independent republic. It was also a banking and commercial capital and, after London and Constantinople, the third-largest city in Europe.