HIS243H1 Lecture Notes - Jacob Burckhardt, Paul Oscar, Latin School

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Published on 19 Dec 2011
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Renaissance Humanism:
Humanism was in contrast to religion
Time when people were liberating themselves from religion and focusing on
individuality. Humanism was a worked up philosophy.
Jacob Burckhardt - "Civilization of the Renaissance" (1860)
Exemplifies a whole generation
Literature (becomes poetry), philosophy (moral), history, rhetoric (the
art of persuasive writing and speech), languages (Latin, Greek, Hebrew)
What are the disciplines that constitute of human studies?
The way to understand modern human experience, you will have to read
classical texts that may be 2000 years old.
Sense of continuity of human experience and hence the ability to continue to
read the works of Cicero, Livi, etc.
People in the renaissance felt that they had a strong sense that the scholars of
the past new better and thus to move forward, one must move back to
discover the answers.
'Studia humanitatis': (Human Studies) - disciplines
Paul Oscar Kristellar (1940s - 50s): New approach to Humanism
Humanist Values:
Man's privileged place in the universe.
Human beings individually and collective in this world that they live in is
something to enjoy.
Humans are removed from this chain and can rise and fall on this chain based
on how one lives. It is up to yourself to create yourself, where you fit in the
world depends on one's own effort.
Pico: God > Angels > Animate Beings > Rocks (Chain of Beings)
Human Dignity
Human experience is a way of learning truth
Humanists in this era write philosophy in the form of dialogue: Humanists
Using the letter form to implicitly say that one's human experience is
something to be shared and learned.
Publishing personal writings: Letters
Human Experience
Latin vs. Vernacular (The common spoken language on the day to day
2 debates on languages:
Duplicating Classical Languages
Lecture 5
11:13 AM
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Latin vs. Vernacular (The common spoken language on the day to day
Too many forms of greek (dialect)
Lets go back to Latin (100 BCE - 200 AD) Latin of the people like
Latin vs. Greek
For Valla, Latin is the electricity that animates the Roman Empire and
Culture. You cannot study roman culture in another culture and understand it
fully. At the time of Valla's writing, Latin was the only language that had a
grammar; it had rules, order, and structure. Elitists and technical way of
looking at language. Diversity of Greek vs. The Unity of Latin.
Ie. Machiavelli wants to live the classical life (wearing Toga to read classical
Imitate classical learning, language, and life.
They felt that their own society was disorganized, ignorant
Order & Rationality
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