How Humanism Contributed to Rennaisance Ideals

Through the groundwork laid by the Hundred Years War, the Black Death, and the Protestant Reformation, Italian Renaissance humanism nearly single-handedly allowed for the modern concept of individuality. The rebirth of classical literature, and especially the attempts among the philosophical elite to translate this literature, helped bring this “enlightening” knowledge to the gradually more literate masses. Also, the frenzy for education of these masses allowed the concept of individuality to spread to all social classes. Even peasants, the dredges of European society, believed (and were allowed to believe) they could achieve a level of intellectual intelligence equal to the great classical philosophers.

Francesco Petrarch, the great Renaissance humanist, noted other humanists, “and innumerable others like them,” signifying the vast popularity classical literature had gained in the then recent past. The popularity of classical literature, however, pales in comparison to the strength of the individual fostered by these humanist ideals. Pico della Mirandola, a Florentine writer, stated in his On the Dignity of Man, that there are no limits placed on what man can accomplish. His rationalization was that man was not subject to the fate of God; rather that he controls his own destiny, and that his accomplishment were limitless within the spectrum of achievements available to man, that is, that man’s greatness falls somewhere in between that of the angels and that of the insects, the beasts. Leon Battista Alberti noted his belief that “Men can do all things if they will,” and truly, this was the belief of the people, especially with the vast growth of universities in the High Middle Ages. Leonardo da Vinci may have been known at his time as a great painter, but he may also have been one of the greatest mathematicians of that era. Renaissance artists, such as Michelangelo and Raphael, writers and philosophers such as Petrarch and Machiavelli, the great composers like Mozart and Bach, athletes who revived ancient Roman athletics such as disc and javelin competitions, and even the popes, who, unfortunately, were sometimes no more than successful businessmen before fulfilling their holy duties, were, in all groups, somewhat of a peasant heritage.

Humanism in the Italian Renaissance fostered an increased surge of individualism allowing people to believe that, in the words of Alberti, “Men can do all things if they will.” This thought laid the groundwork for the development of modern society.





Please do not pass this sample essay as your own, otherwise you will be accused of plagiarism. Our writers can write any custom essay for you!
  • The Humanistic View – Сustom Literature essay
  • Written by: MIKEMASON During the renaissance, humanism was a philosophy that was characterized by its blending of the concern of the history and actions of all human beings, and their influence in the world, with religious duty. Prior to renaissance thinking, medieval Europe considered life to be sinful and should despised, and that people should only
  • The Renaissance – Сustom Literature essay
  • Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Renaissance - 310 words It is the end of middle ages and beginning of modern times. It is 16th century Renaissance means Re-birth or newbirth. First birth was teh classical times. Renaissance is the re-birth of the liberal spirit of classical period. Renaissance liberated people's minds from the superstitions and
  • Humanism The Renaissance And M – Сustom Literature essay
  • Sample essay topic, essay writing: Humanism The Renaissance And M - 482 words Humanism The introduction of the concept of humanism greatly affectedthe Renaissance. The Humanistic influence shaped Renaissanceart, writing, education and thinkers, its ideas were spread amongall aspects of life. Machiavelli's writings during theRenaissance were also affected by the ideas of humanism. Hisideas reflect the
  • Christian Humanism
  • Sample essay topic, essay writing: Christian Humanism - 510 words Christian humanism was the humanists' efforts to unite classical learning with the Christian faith. The Christian humanists rejected what they regarded as medieval Christianity's excessive emphasis on other worldliness. They desired to bring their knowledge of the classical languages to bear in their effort to attain
  • Cereta, Laura (1469–1499)
  • Born into an upper-middle-class family in Brescia in 1469, Laura Cereta received an education in Latin grammar, mathematics, classical literature, patristics, and moral philosophy both at home and from the nuns at the convent where she spent two years as a child. She married The Brescian merchant Pietro Serina at the age of fifteen, and was
28 January 2014. Author: Criticism