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Italian and Northern Humanism

In: Historical Events

Submitted By llee111
Words 2266
Pages 10
Leslie C. Lee
HIEU 205
June 23, 2014

Italian and Northern Humanism During the age known as the Renaissance, humanism was a thriving force within Europe. Humanism had a profound impact on how man viewed the role of education and intellectualism within society. Renaissance humanism has been defined as simply a curriculum based upon the study of Greco-Roman classics that affected the culture and man’s point of view. Renaissance humanism was ultimately divided into two branches which came to be known as Civic humanism and Christian humanism which defined differences between Italian humanists and Northern humanists. Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) and Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) and their ideals exemplify what separated the two. The contrast between Italian humanism and Northern humanism can be simply stated as one led man away from God, the other drew man closer to God.
Education was crucial a factor in the ideals of both Italian and Northern humanists. Classical scholarship was the heart of Italian humanism while Christian scholarship was the chosen education of Northern humanists. The classical Latin language of Cicero was an important part of both scholarship curriculums and both Alberti and Erasmus were fluent in Latin. The differences between scholarships were the exclusion or inclusion of Christian classics.
Italian humanists unlike Northern humanists held the idea that the classic Latin language should be the chosen language of the elite. It was a common practice of Alberti to publish his writings in both Latin and Italian so that the elite and the less educated could read them. The study of cultural arts was a vital part of classical scholarship; however, Alberti lamented over the lack of interest and innovation that pervaded ancient Greek and Roman culture. He was disappointed that creative and innovative works were not in abundance amongst...

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