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Lecture

Renaissance Humanism LEC 3

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Department
Medieval and Renaissance Studies
Course
MARS 1F90
Professor
Andre Basson
Semester
Winter

Description
1 MARS 1F90 Renaissance Lecture 3 Lecture Summary 1. Introduction a. What was humanism? - intellectuals in the Renaissance were aware of themselves living in a new age. Focused on people living in society vs people the afterlife ( the religious view vs how can they help their own community). Humanism is a movement that encouraged the study of the form and content of classical learning. (ancient Greek and ancient Latin), humanists were obsessed with the study of the old Greek and Romes texts. Throughout the studies of Humanists there is a emphasizes on the dignity of humankind. b. The Renaissance and the beginning of a new mindset in western Europe c. Definition of humanism, see textbook p. 71! d. The noun humanista i. Studia litterarum, artes liberals, and studia humanitatis ii. The word “humanist” and the Latin word humanitas e. Reading and studying the texts of the ancient Greeks and Romans - a sense of having humanity as importance instead of having an importance on the spiritual mindset. f. New perspectives on education, history and ethics g. The importance of studying both the content and style of ancient Greek and Roman literature h. The medieval mindset versus the humanist one - new mindset on the viewing of history, education and ethics. REgarding Latin they looked at the form and content; they believed if you studied the language other than the content but the style ( how it's being expressed) can transform society. 2. Dante a. Dante and the Renaissance (beginning of the renaissance; associated with Florence) b. His family, career, and exile (in secular career - not in the church- results in exile) c. The Divine Comedy ( his poems are considered mystical - wanting to be one with divine) i. Base on the struggle of the medieval mind ii. His first collection of poetry and his love for Beatrice (idealistic love - more medieval then renaissance - uncorrupted by the desires of the flesh - love at a distance) iii. The main theme of the Divine Comedy iv. Divided into three sections v. 1) Virgil and Dante in Hell (dominated by the 7 deadly sins) and 2) Purgatory (repentance - purify your sin) 2 vi. 3) Beatrice and Dante in Paradise (the knowledge of God) - Beatrice guides him in paradise, famous theologians in paradise and saints, eventually God. vii. The Divine Comedy and the Renaissance 1. The vernacular 2. The characters (people from his real life - Vergil) 3. Dante’s inner feelings (struggles with feelings for Beatrice) 4. His interest of his own intellectual and moral development (like the Renaissance) viii. Dante as typical of the Renaissance (his feelings) ix. Dante as typical of the Middle Ages 1. His feelings for Beatrice 2. His interpretation of the politics of his day 3. His pursuit of knowledge - Dante has the ideal of humanist with finding himself but his final ending is to reach salvation thus being more medieval 3. Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) - founder of humanism - the great influence in his life was he spent time growing up in Avignon. a. See textbook pp. 72-73 on his life b. Petrarch in Avignon (where he lived caused an identity issue) c. The influence of the troubadours and courtly love d. His studies in Montpellier and at Bologna (universities) His interest in ethics (can only teach you how to be a good citizen meant you lived for your community and did things for others) e. His law studies and the forensic speeches of Cicero ( found the great civilizations of Rome and Greece from Cicero) f. The Christian Church and pagan literature ( if you study pagan literature like Cicero you are deemed to not be able to go to heaven) g. Petrarch opinion of pagan literature ( his viewpoint on pagan literature was that it had some benefits for the soul and helping people live a good life and good citizen.) i. The importance of a good and virtuous life (believed good to be in a secular way not the church life) ii. The examples of people who lead good lives in literature iii. Petrarch’s letters
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