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The Humanist Movement During The Renaissance

1250 words - 5 pages

A controversial topic among historians regards the humanist movement during the Renaissance. It is generally agreed that there were mutual intentions and characteristics that mainly consisted of the study of the classics with the purpose of understanding humanity better. However, when studying the humanist movement during the Renaissance, the varying opinions concerning the time period in which the Renaissance occurred, as well as the varying locations in which humanism found a following must be taken into consideration. While humanists shared a common goal, no generalization can be made about the movement's more fine details because of the massive geographical size of the humanistic ...view middle of the document...


Moving forwards, the way in which the the humanistic movement during the Renaissance has been studied must be taken into account when addressing the question of diversity in the movement. Several times, when Montaigne, an influential French writer during the Renaissance, explored humanist values and ideals, his studies' results contradicted other humanist studies and values, displaying the varying information and subsets of humanism. It is believed by Kristeller, that all humanists of the era had "a scholarly, literary, and educational ideal based on the study of classical antiquity", and that those are the characteristics by which we should define humanism. Kristeller believes that if Renaissance humanism was interpreted using the meaning that "humanist" had during the Renaissance, that "the numerous and diversified manifestations of Renaissance humanism will . . . fall into line.” The previous statement explicitly states that Renaissance humanism was diverse due to “the numerous and diversified manifestations.” Due to the fact that Renaissance humanism extended over various fields (medicine, science, metalwork), many specialists in those fields have studied Renaissance humanism, and this has resulted in varying viewpoints. Italian humanism was seen to be restricted to the first half of the fifteenth century by Hans Baron, a historian of the Renaissance, however, it is seen as the period from 1453 to 1517 by Myron Gilmore, another historian of the Renaissance. This causes varying views about humanism during the time period, due to the fact that not everyone is studying the same time period, causing the diversification of the understanding of the humanist movement.
In the final analysis, the causes of differences can be identified, and then similar causes can be identified and then used to further display the diversity of the humanistic movement. The initial goal of humanists was to recreate the classical heritage, by doing what John Monfasani, a history professor at the University of Albany, described as "was to put all the pieces together again" although humanists could not decide which"pieces" were more or less valuable. For example, some "pieces" were valued because they could be used in discussions exceptionally well, and caused distraction to their opponents. Even with this disagreement, humanists were made up of Platonists, Aristotelians, Stoics, Catholics, and Protestants-poets, historians, moralists, physicians, jurists, and courtiers. But they shared the fact that foresight, in whatever form, should be abundantly, profusely, and opulently written down. Humanism reached all of these varying and diverse groups as seen previously, and grew more diverse as a philosophy. All of the preceding groups, stemmed from Francesco Petrarcha’s original form of humanism. Francesco Petrarcha is widely accepted as the original archetype of what is now known as Renaissance...

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