Thaddeus Wright "This scholarship is a blessing for me, number one. It means a lot because not only is it helping me with college but it's a token of appreciation from God, and I'm very honored to be getting the award. My career goals are English education; that is what I will be majoring in. I want to become a secondary high school teacher in Chicago so that I can give back to my community.
Renaissance humanism The humanist movement was consolidated by the generation of Petrarch Francesco Petrarca; — Petrarch actively looked for manuscripts, building up what was for his day a remarkable library, and taught himself to write an elegant classicizing Latin very different from what had been customary during the Middle Ages.
Like Politian later, he was a great poet in Italian; but he valued far more than his vernacular poetry his Latin epic Africaa skillful imitation of the Roman poets. Like almost everyone before Politian, Petrarch knew little or no Greek on the manuscript of Homer that he possessed, see above, Greek in the West.
Giovanni Boccaccio —75 also looked actively for ancient manuscripts and actively forwarded the aims of humanism. The revival of classical learning that Petrarch and Boccaccio promoted was only one aspect of the complex phenomenon of the Renaissance.
In origin the movement was utilitarian, seeking to exploit classical antiquity in the service of modern man; the early Italian humanists were not scholars so much as litterati and educators, and it is a mistake to think that they were pagans.
The earlier idea that the invention of printing was an effective agent in the revival is also erroneous; for bywhen the first editions of the Latin classics were quickly coming off the presses, the Renaissance was already well past its early stages.
Thus, although Greek teachers and Greek manuscripts had long before begun to enter Italy, the advanced study of Greek, apart from the activities of an isolated genius like Politian, made little headway before the 16th century. The early humanists saw that the manuscripts they discovered contained many corruptions and enjoyed trying to emend them, but many of their conjectures were frivolousand they often omitted to mark them as conjectures, a practice that irritated later scholars.
A later chancellor, Leonardo Bruni c. Poggio Bracciolini — was the most active and the most successful hunter of manuscripts, traveling to France, Germany, and even England in pursuit of them. The same period saw the beginning of the study of the ancient monuments of Italy and the collection of coins and inscriptions as well as works of art by scholars such as Flavio Biondo Flavius Blondus; — and later Pomponius Laetus — Cyriacus of Ancona — broke new ground by traveling to the countries of the Turkish Empire, where he drew monuments and copied inscriptions, thus providing the only record of many objects that were later lost.
Beginnings of modern scholarship What may be called professional standards of scholarship are seen first in the work of Lorenzo Valla —57 and Politian Angelo Poliziano; — Valla in his Elegantiae demonstrated the technique of pure and elegant classical Latin, free of medieval awkwardness; when Pope Nicholas V ordered the chief Greek prose writers to be translated into Latin, Valla was responsible for Thucydides.
He also translated part of the Iliad into Latin prose. In his philosophical works, which include treatises on pleasure and on free willhe was the first modern to throw light on Epicurus.
Gifted with the historical sense of the true critic, Valla perceived the spuriousness of several famous documents: Paul, by a later writer now called Pseudo-Dionysius; a collection of letters supposedly exchanged by St.
Paul and the 1st-century-ad Roman philosopher Seneca; and the so-called Donation of Constantineby which the emperor Constantine the Great was alleged to have granted to the papacy spiritual and temporal dominion over Rome and the West.
Politian, like Petrarch a great poet in the vernacular, began studying Greek at the age of 10 and attained a better knowledge of it than any modern to that date; in his collection of notes called Miscellaneathe second volume of which was unfortunately lost and was published only inhe threw light on a variety of ancient writers, including even Greek poets of the Hellenistic Age.
By most of the chief Latin authors were in print. Working in conjunction with the learned Cretan Marcus Musurus —he brought out in 21 years 27 editiones principes first editions of Greek authors, including five in the year alone.
During the century that followed, the book evolved from what was essentially an expensive facsimile of a medieval manuscript into a working tool for scholars. Fulvius Ursinus — built up the Farnese library in Rome, edited the Greek lyric poets, and made important contributions to numismatics and iconography.
Carolus Sigonius —84 and Pirro Ligorio c.
But after the 16th century, the atmosphere of the Counter-Reformation was not favourable to disinterested inquiry, and Italian scholarship declined.
The Jesuits in their educational activities made use of the forms of humanism while abolishing its content. The Renaissance outside Italy In Spain the Renaissance had made a promising beginning; Antonio of Nebrija — anticipated Erasmus in showing that the Greek language had been pronounced by the ancients differently from the modern Greeks, and later Antonio Agostino, archbishop of Tarragona —86did important work on ancient law and numismatics.
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