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This paper seeks to determine the nature of the humanism movement during the renaissance and how it had developed through time. In this regard, analysis of the works of humanists with special focuses on their contribution to the arts shall be conducted ascertain the movement called humanism.
Scholasticism pervaded much of pre-Renaissance European society. Humanism came to be as a response to the perceived insufficiency and limitations of scholastic teachings that relied too heavily on abstract thought rather than on practical experiences. The humanists proposed to educate the whole person and placed emphasis not only on intellectual achievement, but also on physical and moral development (Ehrstine and Schade, 2004; Proctor, 1998)
Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch, is considered as the first great humanist. Petrarch believed and hoped to better the world by the study of classical literature. To promote the study of classical literature, he collected ancient texts during his travels. He studied and imitated them in Latin writings of his own, and then attempted to extend their teachings to as many other people as possible (Kreis, 2008).
Aside from Petrarch, a number of scholars in Florence collected and studied ancient works, lectured about them, imitated their style, and made the city a centre of humanistic learning. Among them were Boccaccio, the scholar Niccolò Niccoli, and above all the Florentine government leader, Coluccio Salutati. They applied classical literary standards to everyday writing, laying a foundation for later literary development (Steele, 2009).
As humanists rediscovered classical literature, subjects of sculpture were classical figures the most prominent of which is Plato. Humanists hoped to make Plato a new guide for Western thought, just as scholastic thinkers had based many of their ideas on the work of Plato’s student Aristotle (Davies, 1997)
Humanists saw Roman history as a glorious episode in their own national
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“Renaissance Humanism Thesis Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/miscellaneous/1566999-renaissance-humanism.
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