Humanism In The Renaissance

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The beginning of the 1350s sparked a new, yet controversial era in northern Italy known as the Renaissance, which influenced a change in intellectual, artistic, and cultural life. People achieved time and money through the thriving trade routes of the great Mediterranean, enabling many to focus on living a simple, comfortable lifestyle with materialistic pleasures and develop a deep appreciation of the arts, rather than solely focusing on survival. Excess time also provoked educated Italians to contemplate new notions of human nature, plans for education, and concepts of political rule. Those who were interested exposed themselves to classical manuscripts, one of which, Francesco Petrarch, who believed classical texts would bring a new golden age of intellectual achievement. Petrarch’s theory turned into a form of education that studied the works of Latin and Greek authors, known as modern day “liberal arts.” As education became prominent, those who studied the arts identified themselves as humanists and their education as humanism, defined as the devotion to literary culture and the belief that human nature and achievements were worthy of contemplation. As many began to acquire a vast array of knowledge, views of religion altered from the beloved Christianity values to revealing slight hints of Neoplatonism, viewed through famous paintings of the Renaissance such as the “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli, depicting the contentious pagan gods. The evolving rift between

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