Why did the Renaissance first begin in Italy?
An interest in the classical authors was helped by a close relationship between the Italian language and Latin and by the presence of countless classical monuments in Italy
Why was Florence at the heart of the Italian Renaissance?
The program Petrarch laid out soon caught fire in Florence, the city from which his family had come and in which he found influential friends and disciples
What role did the Medici family play in the Italian Renaissance?
They were huge patrons of the arts
What are the characteristics of humanism?
Classical scholarship: the ability to read, understand, and appreciate the writings of an ancient world
How was humanism different from medieval scholasticism?
The Classics started to become more valued
How was humanism different from nominalism?
Most Renaissance humanists read the church fathers avidly and believed the highest virtues were rooted in piety
Why is Petrarch considered to be the “Father of Humanism?”
He laid out a program of education that taught what the ancients had done and said, which caught fire in Florence and is credited with sparking the Italian Renaissance.
Why was Cicero a favorite classical figure of humanists?
He knew what proper values were and pursued them in their own lives, despite temptations and the distraction of public affairs.
What was the goal of a “liberal arts” education?
To aid physical, moral and social development, a new way to measure social distinction
What were core subjects that were taught?
Latin and Greek, mathematics, music and philosophy, dancing, courteous manners, riding, and fencing.
What is meant by the term “civic humanism?”
The idea that participation in public affairs is essential for human development.
How did the Italian Renaissance differ from the Renaissance of the 12th century?
Education was focused on the classics, as well as increasingly practical and useful training in the Italian Renaissance
According to Castiglione, what are the basic attributes of the Renaissance courtier?
A commitment to taste and elegance as well as to courage
How did the values of this courtier influence the development of a modern aristocratic class in Western Europe?
It was no longer easy to claim that physical bravery was the supreme quality of noblemen. Instead, nobles began to set themselves apart not just by seeking a humanist education but also by patronizing artists and writers whose praise made them famous.
List the basic beliefs of Neoplatonists.
The entire universe is arranged in a hierarchy of excellence, with god at the summit.
Each being in the universe, with the exception of only god, is impelled by a “natural appetite” to seek perfection.
How did their beliefs differ from civic humanists?
While civic humanists focus more on outside (public) achievement, Neoplatonists believe that personal perfection and the highest human value is the contemplation of the beautiful.
How were humanists responsible for secularizing and professionalizing the writing of history?
While medieval chroniclers had looked to the past for evidence of god’s providence, the humanists used the past to illustrate human behavior and provide moral examples. They also helped standardize spelling and grammar in vernacular languages; and the Classical ideals of simplicity, restraint, and elegance of style that they promoted helped reshape Western literature.