Renaissance means to be born again. The Renaissance was a period of cultural and intellectual rebirth for Europe; it started in Italy in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. Humanism was a very important piece of the Renaissance. This period happened just after the Middle ages which is dated from 400 to 1300. It was a method of learning based of reasoning and evidence. Studia humanitatis means humanistic studies, which were grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy.
Francesco Petrarca, known as Petrarch, is considered to be the founder of Renaissance Humanism.
He was one of the most important Renaissance poets who applied the values of ancient Greece and Rome to questions about religious Christian doctrines. He believed in the value of the study of philosophy and literature of the past; he encouraged this. Petrarch was one of the first people to spread the word of humanism. Once he did it spread fast and almost everyone had heard his ideas on philosophy.
With his ideas the world was given a new perspective on life ,which is what the Renaissance was all about.
There were many figures just like Petrarch, and a lot of them were political figures who spread humanist ideas with their positions. Coluccio Salutati and Leonardo Bruni became chancellors of Florence. They reached their authorities because of prowess in Latin in their speeches. They developed new ways of thinking about Florence’s government traditions of the republic based off the old writings of antiquity.
Humanism increased the influence on education. People needed to learn Greek and Latin to understand the manuscripts. This was a challenge for the poor. This led to further education in the arts and philosophies which went along with those manuscripts. Consequently, there was a blast of scientific and technological development during the Renaissance unlike any that had happened in Europe for centuries.
Renaissance Humanism’s most important characteristics lies in its spirits. Humanism was regarded as a free and open breath of fresh air. It was a way of thinking for yourself, and it was critical about the Church. It argued that people needed more intellectual freedom so they could build their own wisdom. The Humanists, rather than focusing on what they considered questions of logic, focused on the relation of the human to the divine. Humans were the high point and purpose of God’s creation for them. They tried to define the human place in God’s plan and the relation of the human to the divine; therefore, they centered all their thought on the human relation to god, and therefore they called themselves humanists. Humanists never ignored their religion; humanism is altogether a religious and educational movement, it is not a secular idea. Most religions were considered humanist by nature.
Humanists probably received a reputation for not believing in god because it was focused on the writings of men who did not. Though, many well known humanists were active in church. Papal secretaries, bishops, cardinals, and even a few popes (Nicholas V, Pius II) were humanists in the Renaissance. These leaders were defined as secular. They were more interested in art and literature than sacraments and theology. Renaissance Humanism left a mark in society and changed all. It was one of the most important philosophical movements in history. Thinking, studying, writing, and questioning are the best ways to learn. These were all what the Renaissance Humanism mainly focused on. While it was started in Italy by one man, it blossomed and spread throughout the entirety of Europe. Even now we study Renaissance Humanism because of the everlasting impact it had on society.