Nauert And Humanism

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Nauert, Charles G. Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2006)

In Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, Charles G. Nauert synthesizes the development of humanism during the Renaissance while also illustrating the importance of the development of humanism to the age of the Renaissance. Nauert was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri, Columbia and his specialty was Renaissance- Reformation Europe. His purpose in writing is to prove that the establishment and expansion of humanism during the Renaissance contributed to the subsequent development of Western society in the modern era. Nauert’s research is thorough and sufficiently covers the growth, expansion, and tenacity of
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Nauert illustrates how humanism affected religion, platonic revival, and magic, beliefs on human nature, popular culture, and Renaissance art. The art of printing helped ignite the growth of humanism and enables humanists to share their ideas. Nauert argues that the humanists’ criticism of texts in the fields of law, medicine, natural science, and theology allowed them to assume control over these fields. They gained this control because they claimed that their critical methods revealed whether a document was authentic, furthermore, they rejected documents that they discovered were forged or misinterpreted. In Florence during the mid-fifteenth-century, humanists became less interested in civic humanism, and grew interested in spiritual, religious, and philosophical questions. Nauert suggests that Niccolò Machiavelli was the sixteenth-century heir of Florentine civic humanism. Nauert illustrates how Renaissance art was connected to humanism. He writes, “The veneration felt by humanists for ancient works of art was widely regarded as a rediscovery of the principles of the principles a spirit of ancient art, a three-sided influence among ancient work, modern artist, and modern humanist was only natural” (91). The papacy also became patrons of humanistic art and scholarship; and their support facilitated the expansion of humanism. The achievements of Renaissance Italy did begin to lessen in the sixteenth century; and the influence of humanism faded, but did not perish. Italian humanism was transported across the Alps and ignited humanist movements in Germany, France, England, and Spain. The basic elements of northern humanism derived from Italian humanism; however, in each country that humanism spread to the people adapted or altered the elements of Italian humanism in order to fulfill their needs. The primary way that humanism
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