13th Century American Renaissance Humanism

Decent Essays

While the 12th and 13th centuries were periods of expansion in economic, social, intellectual, and religious fronts, the 14th and 15th century were marked by almost uninterrupted warfare, plague, and depression. However, the one and only area of life that did not diminish at all was culture. To the contrary, cultural life (especially writing) did not slow down. It began expanding in the 11th century and never stopped, even though the troubled religious and economic scenario of the 1500s. During this time a poet by the name of Petrarch wrote many letters where he would communicate with a long dead Roman philosopher and friend Cicero. In these letters, Cicero would “write back to him”. Petrarch was careful enough to maintain Cicero’s own style of writing whenever it was Cicero’s turn to “write”, almost in an attempt to revive the Greek style of thinking. For this reason, Petrarch is considered being at the forefront of Renaissance humanism. “Renaissance humanism was an intellectual movement based on the study of the Classical literary works of Greece and Rome” (Spielvogel 344). This period was a blooming time in art and thought that took over Europe in the 1500s. This revolution in thinking consisted of a revived …show more content…

Most importantly, in its essence: the use of classical ideas within the contemporary society of the 1500s. This is true mostly in the matters of politics. More’s ideal of nation originated from the classical work of Plato’s Republic. In many aspects Utopia resembles Greek philosophic writings. By the time More was writing, Humanism had become the ideal culture of the elite of all of Western Europe. More’s Utopia is written in Latin and encompasses the Greek style of writing and thought. To fully understand Utopia, one had to have a great understanding of both Greek and Latin. Naturally, the book was reserved for the understanding of individuals with an elevated humanist

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