Humanism the Gateway to Individualism

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The greatest and most influential intellectual movement of Renaissance Italy was humanism. The humanists believed that the Greek and Latin classics contained all the lessons one needed to lead a moral and effective life and were the best models for a person to live by. They developed a new kind of classical scholarship, with which they corrected and tried to understand the works of the Greeks and Romans, which was important to them. Both the republic elites of Florence and Venice, and the ruling families of Milan, Ferrara, and Urbino hired humanists to teach their children classical morality and to write elegant, classical letters, histories, and propaganda. The quest for education of this society allowed the concept of individuality to…show more content…
Francesco Petrarch, the great Renaissance humanist, noted other humanists, "and innumerable others like them," signifying the popularity classical literature had in the then recent past. 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 or predestination, rather that he controls his own destiny, and that his accomplishments were limitless within the range of achievements available to man. 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 discus 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. Never before had society’s greatest thinkers come from the peasant class. Humanism spreads the idea of society away from rigid systems of classes built on economic wealth, but rather opportunities were open for the people of lower classes. This was due

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