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Sept 29 Lecture Notes

Course Code
Nicholas Terpstra

of 2
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Disciplines- Studia humanitatis
-aimed to prepare younger ppl for a life in studia humanitatis, who would then be called
-scholasticism- professional training in theology and possibly philosophy
Moral Philosophy: about how to live
oActive vs. passive/contemplative life
oValues: virtue, happiness, life, wisdom, justice, compassion, integrity,
discipline, loyalty
oChristianity + classics
History: history was philosophy teaching by example
oBiography becomes key genre—narrative art, a beginning, middle + end,
stories of conflict in someone’s life. [Cicero]
Teaching how to live.
Political/ military. Roman history. Human history
oChronicle was previously used-- record of events that had little
commentary, simply an abstract record, no narrative
God’s history
Fortune causes rome’s fall
oFortune vs. virtu
oVirtu is different from virtue. Virtu- Vir= man therefore Virtu= manly
oFortune is a woman, virtu is manliness
oPoetry (biography/ moral philosophy)
human experience, emotion
Grammar - write correctly
oLatin grammar (Valla)
Write like Cicero
Rhetoric – write/ speaking correctly
oDemonstrative- praise/blame
oJudicial- if you were going into courts/law
oDeliberative- for political discourse
Humanists in Society
-what you could do as a humanist
Humanista- bureaucrats/ secretaries: position of great responsibility, wisdom and
Chancellor- highest position in Florentine public- controlled the chancellry
oLeonardo Bruni
Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459)
oStudies with the chancellor of Florence
oSt. Gall – Constance
Quintillian writes a book on Oratory
oDiscovers Vitruvius, architecture, geography, ptolery
oLater on becomes chanceller in Florence
Isotta Nogarola- 1418-66
oSkilled writer, trained b/c of her mothers insistance
Cassandra Fedele – 1465-1558
oVenician – trained in rhetoric
oHighly educated young woman could give excellent speech for ruler- rare
oWhen marries she stops working, when she becomes a widow she gets
back into it and at this point becomes exotic because she is an old woman