Northern Humanist Essay

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The Northern Humanists were firm believers in higher education. Yet, they were also very critical of the way it was carried it out. Analyze their main criticisms of higher education and learning.

The Northern Humanists are strong believers in higher education. They differed from the more Italian approach; The Northerners emphasized education across a broader band of society, not just a more scholarly yet secluded class of intellectuals. Somewhat oddly, the study of the ancient classics was valued, but not thought to have much relevance in solving their current issues. "Thus those who were attracted to the new learning tended to be those who were simply curious rather than those who were dedicated to discovering
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Similarly, when the imaginative and well educated Conrad Celtis travelled from Germany to visit Italy, "he was unfavorably impressed with the pretensions of Italian intellectuals and their scorn for the North."(Wilcox p.279).
Overall there was more support for humanist thought in the North by the ruling class, perhaps because they were more pleased to hire educated men to attend them in their councils.

Erasmus believes in the need of a universal language, both in verse and prose. He was well versed in Latin and in Greek. Erasmus and Thomas More were both staunch Catholics, opposed the reformation as proposed by Martin Luther but thought the church needed 'adjustments'. Erasmus differed from some of More's ideas, for instance he believed in free will of the individual, whereas More did not. They all advocated social reform and were interested in improvement for society. Erasmus thought science unworthy of a gentleman. "Erasmus appeared as a responsible and constructive critic of society. He attacked the superstition and formalism of late medieval religion, offering in their place a simple piety that could appeal to all levels of society."(Wilcox)

Castiglione writes an instruction manual or 'self help' book on how to make your way up the 'Courtier' ladder. Men should have a well rounded
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