Antiquity attractive find humanists renaissance study

Renaissance Philosophy

Many historians assert that it started earlier or ended later, depending on the country. It bridged the periods of the Middle Ages and modern history, and, depending on the country, overlaps with the Early Modern, Elizabethan and Restoration periods. The Renaissance is most closely associated with Italy, where it began in the 14 th century, though countries such as Germany, England and France went through many of the same cultural changes and phenomena. Many historians, including U.

Wilde said that interpreting the Renaissance as a time period, though convenient for historians, "masks the long roots of the Renaissance. Renaissance thinkers considered the Middle Ages to have been a period of cultural decline. They sought to revitalize their culture through re-emphasizing classical texts and philosophies. They expanded and interpreted them, creating their own style of art, philosophy and scientific inquiry. Some major developments of the Renaissance include astronomy, humanist philosophy, the printing press, vernacular language in writing, painting and sculpture technique, world exploration and, in the late Renaissance, Shakespeare's works.

Navigation menu

The term Renaissance was not commonly used to refer to the period until the 19 th century, when Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt popularized it in his classic, " The Civilization of Renaissance Italy. Contrary to popular belief, classical texts and knowledge never completely vanished from Europe during the Middle Ages.

Charles Homer Haskins wrote in " The Renaissance of the Twelfth Century " that there were three main periods that saw resurgences in the art and philosophy of antiquity: the Carolingian Renaissance, which occurred during the reign of Charlemagne, the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire eighth and ninth centuries , the Ottonian Renaissance, which developed during the reigns of emperors Otto I, Otto II and Otto III 10 th century and the 12 th Century Renaissance. The 12 th Century Renaissance was especially influential on the later Renaissance, said Wilde. Classical Latin texts and Greek science and philosophy began to be revived on a larger scale, and early versions of universities were established. Islamic countries kept many classical Greek and Roman texts that had been lost in Europe, and they were reintroduced through returning crusaders. The fall of the Byzantine and Roman Empires at the hands of the Ottomans also played a role.

This created an atmosphere for a revival in learning. Gottfried in " The Black Death. The Medici family moved to Florence in the wake of the plague. They, and many others, took advantage of opportunities for greater social mobility. Becoming patrons of artists was a popular way for such newly powerful families to demonstrate their wealth.

Support BMCR

skies, found new geographical horizons, discovered new lands, and forged the . sum total of learning in the Italian Renaissance” (“Humanism and .. What indeed is more beautiful than heaven, which of course contains all. of classical antiquity, which has always played a unique role in Western cultural history. Under the influence of classical models, Renaissance humanism brought about a profound transformation of . So far as I can see, there were three medieval phenomena .. charming descriptions of tournaments or of snowball fights.

Some historians also argue that the Black Death caused people to question the church's emphasis on the afterlife and focus more on the present moment, which is an element of the Renaissance's humanist philosophy. Many historians consider Florence to be the Renaissance's birthplace, though others widen that designation to all of Italy. Military invasions in Italy helped spread ideas, while the end of the Hundred Years War between France and England allowed people to focus on things besides conflict. For me this is the easiest and single greatest developed of the Renaissance and allowed modern culture to develop," Wilde told Live Science.

The printing press was developed in Europe by Johannes Gutenberg in In order to reach peace and harmony we need, first of all, moral philosophy, and then, once again, dialectic, natural philosophy and finally theology. It is both part of a historical and a psychological reality, and thus an essential part of that reality itself. In other words : if theological discourse verba has any meaning it must be connected to the reality res , and so, it should be part of any significant account of that reality.

The fact that scholastic philosophy has so many complex relations with theological issues is yet another good reason not to disregard this philosophical tradition. What is the purpose of such an effort? It might just be to show that theology has also a history and this is an important step beyond the Eusebian project of the Praeparatio Evangelica natural revelations followed by divine revelation which is an ahistorical project.

Since theology, as we have seen, plays such a significant role in human experience, psychology and development, it becomes a legitimate subject for the interpreter and for interpretation. It is thus not only the Mosaic or the Christian mysteries but also the theology of these ancients priscorum quoque theologia which shows us the benefits and dignity of liberal arts. Since — Pico asks — what other purpose these progressions attended by the initiaters in the secret rites of the Greeks have but purifications, and this process begins with moral philosophy and dialectic which are regarded as almost purifying arts quasi februales artes in the undertaking of the mysteries.

What else do we have here, claims Pico, but the interpretation of the more secret nature through philosophy? By doing this Pico is creating a philosophical continuity between classical and scholastic philosophies and he rejects any sharp distinction between these two traditions, and thus any exclusive approach which prioritizes the philosophical culture of classical antiquity over medieval philosophical culture. An historical awareness of the differences between these two periods does not mean dismissing an important common feature between them in matters of philosophical practices and philosophical education.

Pico is advocating a vivid and meaningful philosophical discourse — one which really matters both to those who participate in it and to those who are only following it. The second part of this paper will be dedicated to one of these reactions by Giovanni Caroli, who also reacted against the growing popularity of Savonarola. Let us consider this phrase first, and then present some biographical facts concerning Caroli and discuss his reaction.

It takes into account, for instance, the complexities of different scholastic schools of thought in the fourteenth century on the one hand, and the new methods and practices of learning employed by the humanists on the other. A relatively unknown figure — nowadays — in Florentine intellectual history of the last decades of the Quattrocento , Caroli was a man who had a share in the two great traditions of his time : the scholastic and the humanist.

Despite his position as a leading Dominican theologian in Florence and his obvious preference for the scholastic tradition and his explicit critique of the new humanist fashion , his writings reveal a far more complex picture, in which we find the unique fifteenth-century mixture of traditional ideas and new notions.

The Renaissance: The 'Rebirth' of Science & Culture

In this respect he remained loyal both to his spiritual mentor, the influential Florentine archbishop Antonino Pierozzi, and to his teacher and colleague at the University of Florence, the humanist Cristoforo Landino. Caroli was three times prior of Santa Maria Novella, taught theology at the Studium generale there, which was part of what Paul F.

He was involved in the observant reform movement, and during the s led the opposition to the influential preacher of San Marco Girolamo Savonarola. Caroli was a prolific author, who wrote biblical exegeses, a history of Florence, and polemical writings against Savonarola, Giovanni Nesi, and Pico. He was deeply involved in both the religious and intellectual life of his time.

Might Classical Reception on this model be a New Humanism?

Caroli is putting his finger exactly on the heart of the matter : the relation and tension between theology and philosophy and between human and divine issues. He is pointing out that the status of theology as a special discipline is at stake : on the one hand it is a sacred or divine doctrine based on Scripture and on the articles of faith ; on the other hand, as pointed out by Pico, it also has human aspects and the theological tradition includes many probable opinions and possible theories and speculations which should be discussed and determined as true or false.

What, then, will be the alternative, according to Caroli, of doing theology? But among the different chapters in the Book of Psalms, some are more glorified thanks to a certain quality they contain. Among this special group of Psalms we find also the Penitential Psalms.

What is so special in these Psalms? They contain many more major mysteries than the rest of the Psalms. These Psalms are most useful and necessary for making one more familiar with the Christian mysteries such as the triune God placitare is the term used by Caroli, which can be best explained by the Italian phrase intimare con decreto , and thus are essential for our salvation. But beside this known topos, Caroli is also pointing out that the Penitential Psalms are most useful and necessary for both secular and religious people in coping with their daily troubles caused by their own sins.

They contain a kind of virtue implanted in them by God, through which it might be possible to help those sinners. For this reason, he does not begin with an exposition of the Penitential Psalms themselves, but rather precedes it with his interpretation of Psalm in exitu Israhel de Aegypto , to prepare the ground for discussing the Penitential Psalms, since, as he explains, the sinner who will use the Penitential Psalms should first know how to get out of Egypt, which symbolizes servitude to sin.

He must understand how he got there and why, and what might be the remedy for his situation. After explaining the Penitential Psalms, Caroli ends his exposition with a discussion of Psalm 90 qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi , in order to show the way to divine goodness.

Asking people to make penitence was a regular formula used in sermons. But how should one start? In this exposition Caroli is acting as a moral theologian, using his experience as a preacher and a confessor, and showing the way from the lowest possible position to the highest one.

The structure of the exposition is quite simple : our commentator first cites each verse, and each citation is followed by an explanation which is thematic and allegorical. From time to time Caroli cites verses from other parts of the Bible as part of his explanation, whenever he thinks that this can help him with his argument. Only once does he cite a non-biblical authority : Augustine f.

Caroli skips the detailed literal explanation in most cases by simply translating the verses into Italian. The aim of both passions are vengeance vendetta and justice giustitia , but only the last, which is a positive passion, can be ascribed to God, Who in any case is not subject to such passions. Otherwise the sinner remains evil until the final judgment, when it is too late. One of the reasons that Kallendorf's essay is effective is that he addresses head-on many of the concerns scholars are likely to have with the theoretical framework of the volume.

First, he outlines precisely why it is that he sees the transformation paradigm as superior to the reception model. It foregrounds change and makes clear that there is no objective viewpoint from which to observe the past p. Second, he stresses that these transformation categories are not intended to be imposed as normative, but rather as an aid to understanding humanism. To illustrate how Kallendorf applies the theoretical framework to Virgil, here are some examples: Encapsulation unchanged integration into the receiving culture is illustrated by quotations from Virgil on coins minted by Renaissance rulers p.

Appropriation is demonstrated by folio editions of Virgil accompanied by commentaries from late antiquity or the Renaissance, i. Kraye's contribution is very ambitious, outlining different aspects of the Renaissance transformation of Aristotelianism, Platonism, Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Pyrrhonian skepticism. Kraye presents a broad range of the material in a coherent structure, reviewing scholarship from the past forty years in light of the theoretical framework expounded by Bergemann et al.

Naturally, Ficino is discussed, both from the perspective of Platonism though somewhat unusually indirectly via humanist and philosopher Paolo Beni's evaluation of Ficino's use of the Timaeus , which makes sense given that Kraye's article addresses the interaction between humanism and philosophy , as well as in terms of his interaction with Epicureanism illustrated by his interest in Lucretius' De rerum natura.

Ficino's use of the Timaeus in the service of his project of developing a Christian Platonism is presented as an example of both appropriation and assimilation, while his subsequent destruction of his own commentary on Lucretius is cited as an example of negation. Kraye does not limit herself to Italian humanism, discussing also the influence of Stoicism in the Northern Renaissance: Erasmus' movement from assimilating Seneca to Christianity to appropriation of his rhetoric is contrasted with Lipsius' movement in the opposite direction from initial appropriation of Stoic ethics to greater willingness to assimilate Stoicism to Christianity in his handbooks on Stoic philosophy.

Palmer's contribution complements Kraye's by examining the relationship between humanism and philosophy, with Palmer concentrating on the authorial strategies of the humanists to define themselves in opposition to scholasticism, which result in concealing their philosophical innovations by ascribing these contributions to classical sources.


The chapter also contains a particularly interesting digression on the philosophical canon as taught at English-speaking universities between and philosophy publications from the 'top ten' academic presses in , illustrated by a number of graphs and pie charts pp. While much of this confirms what many professional philosophers will probably intuit i.

The link between both strands of the chapter is that both the pre-scholastic Middle Ages and the pre-seventeenth-century Renaissance, which Palmer demonstrates are the least studied eras today at least by philosophers at Anglophone universities , are presented as being affected by the same 'self-fashioning technique': Petrarch, Bruni, etc. Descartes, in particular, is portrayed as an integrator and assimilator of old ideas to such a successful degree that he can present his own work as innovative, while erasing his sources.

The chapter outlines how both humanist self-presentation and subsequent evaluation affect our present understanding and underevaluation of the early Renaissance. First, Maximilian Benz is credited in a footnote n. Second, none of the six officially listed authors receives a biographical note in the section on contributors.