Italian and Northern Humanism Essay

2272 Words Oct 18th, 2014 10 Pages
Leslie C. Lee
HIEU 205
June 23, 2014

Italian and Northern Humanism During the age known as the Renaissance, humanism was a thriving force within Europe. Humanism had a profound impact on how man viewed the role of education and intellectualism within society. Renaissance humanism has been defined as simply a curriculum based upon the study of Greco-Roman classics that affected the culture and man’s point of view. Renaissance humanism was ultimately divided into two branches which came to be known as Civic humanism and Christian humanism which defined differences between Italian humanists and Northern humanists. Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472) and Desiderius Erasmus (1469-1536) and their ideals exemplify what separated the two.
…show more content…
Few texts authored by Italian humanists mentioned faith or the bible. In fact, Alberti’s verbiage in some of his writings promotes an alienation from God and alludes to an impasse toward religion.
Classical Scholarship omitted Christ and scripture while Christian Scholarship centered on them. However, Erasmus’s basis of Christian scholarship was the study of the pagan classics as the foundation for understanding the teachings of Christ. Like Alberti, Erasmus advocated the study of rhetoric, but Erasmus emphasized the paradigmatic – rhetoric style, for the purpose of understanding scripture. Unlike Classical scholarship, Christian scholarship did not emphasize the study of cultural arts. A primary goal of Christian scholarship was to produce new Christian literature written in the same style of Latin and Greek as the ancient writers of pagan literature. Erasmus was also fluent in Greek and translated many texts from Latin to Greek. One of Erasmus’ best-known work was the translation of the New Testament from Latin to Greek. Erasmus too wrote a number of treatises. The majority of Erasmus’ collection of work contains treatises aimed at educators and students all leading to Christian Scholarship. Italian and Northern humanists maintained that classical studies help develop morality and virtue however there was a firm distinction in the application of scholarly knowledge toward

Related Documents