Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (650,000)
UTSG (50,000)
HIS (3,000)
HIS102Y1 (400)


Course Code
Nhung Tuyet Tran

of 3
Oct 4
Petrarch 1304-74
Boccacio d 1375
C Salutati d 1406
L. Bruni d 1444
Social change brought by rising middle class, wanting to exercise political rights, organize
e.g. guilds,
Urban middle class of towns, looking for ideology to replace value structure of middle ages
Humanista: someone who practices the humanities/liberal arts, someone who is committed to
human letters that constituted the study of secular literature, history, ethics, and other values that
pertain to living an urban secular life
Middle class: made themselves, product of social mobility, worked and made their own wealth
from often obscure origins
laymen: didnt fit into first, second, third estates, role was not defined in middle age society
Educated: before education was usually reserved for the clergy
Newly educated middle class (laymen), had beef with nobles, and traditional educated clergy
Italian trading cities benefited from crusades, opened trade routes in Mediterranean
Were the first to develop their own dynamic culture of urban secular life
Secular education in Italian cities remained, city structures were kept somewhat intact through
middle ages because off Mediterranean trade
Growing urban middle class
Usery: making interest of f lending money at interest, against the Church, they were not down
Middle class vs church doctrine against commerce
Disconnected from the romantic notions of the middle ages and nobility
Recovery of classical antiquity answered the middle class secular call for a new philosophy
Found exact vocabulary and precise phrasing of Classical authors, tried to emulate the ideals in
Became inspired the governments of the classical period, the secular justice imposed by the will
of the people
Started to apply classical texts, eg. Cicero, secular philosopher, Roman middle class,
Closer identification between ancient world and humanismapplication of the thought of
antiquity to the needs of the late middle ages
Led to better Latin style, secular values, moral philosophy, ability of the individual to define and
create himself
How to reconcile pagan ideas with religious middle age population
Petrarch (father of humanism): grew up in court of Avignon, son of notary, part of urban
bourgeois educated class, believed in significance of words, studied law, became interested in
Realized that the ideas of Cicero and classical contemporaries were good people, good ideas, not
for attaining salvation, but for moral understanding, being pagan not an issue
Petrarch: believed good men produce good words (Cicero), begins to come to conclusion what
matters to him is the nature of the individual person, the nature of human activity
We create ourselves, make ourselves who we are (human agency)
Wrote autobiography, used language as a vehicle to describe who he is to others, wrote poems
about his emotions, speaks about his romantic feelings in a way not described before
Set down platform for human beings establishing their own value structure, and being of use to
others through their words and wisdom
Boccaccio, Petrarchs contemporary, they started to gain an educated following inquiring about
the nature of the human condition
SalutatiPetrarch groupiewas a notarwas a notain 1375, made chancellor of the republic of
Florence, started to hire others who shared his philosophy (humanism), secularists
Florence - became model for a secular democratic stateearly renaissancedriven by Petrarch
Did not cause a rift between classical texts and church, but gave a secular model of values
alongside traditional Christian ones
Leonardo Brunni (father of civic humanism)chancellor of Florence till 1444 – believed that
politics of the state as something different from the church – applied humanism to the
governmental structure of Florence
Civic humanism applying humanism to others not just himself, the republic should be used to
improve the human condition on earth, charity and well being of people began responsibility of
the state
Idea of the state as an abstraction begins to growthe ability to use secular policy to ensure
well being of subjects
Humanism realizing religion has no role to play in the realm of politics, becomes the dominant
dynamic set of principles that dominates Italy, then moves into Europe, though always with a
Christian reflection