HIS109Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Leonardo Bruni, Medieval Latin, Shared Experience

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Lecture 6
Italian Humanism
PETRARCH (1304-1374)
Petrarch was born into a family of Florentine exiles
Father decided he needed a job, so they went to Avignon where the Pope was (he
became a writer for the papacy)
Petrarch never felt a sense of belonging with his extended family
Went to law school (smart)
Not interested in studying law but eae iterested i studig Ciero’s speehes
Remarkable sense of language
Decided to study words instead of law
Cicero was his role model, thought he was amazing
“a the orld as still largel feudal, defied i ters of God’s pla for a
Put his skills to use in the community
Rejected medieval Latin, as opposed to the refined Latin that Cicero spoke
Words are an index to who you are, you are what you write and say
Began to draw connections linked to medieval past
Fasiatio ith ords’ oetio to other humans
Humans are humans because they have developed languagethe only species to do so
through the exercise of reason and theologically have a soul
Externalization of selves
Lead him to understand the world of the ancient Romans and their words
14th century revolutionary concept
Thus developed a sense of self, wrote letters to people (wrote one to posterity)
The more he wrote about himself, the more narcissistic he became
Began editing his letters so they had coherence
Started writing dialogue about himself which he called the secret book/SECRETUM
In the book there is a dialogue between him and St. Augustine (psychological
Writing, thinking, analyzing almost everything
Realized that he was in charge of his own life
Was a traditional Christian
Traditional concept of courtly love at the time
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Document Summary

07/10/2015: believed in the affair of the mind, not the body. Investigated how he was feeling and wrote this in poems to laura the woman he was i(cid:374) lo(cid:448)e (cid:449)ith (cid:449)ho did(cid:374)"t k(cid:374)o(cid:449) he e(cid:454)isted. She married two french aristocrats: basically life is a romcom, petrarch validated his reality of having an emotional life with feelings. Whe(cid:374) he (cid:449)e(cid:374)t to paris he shared petrar(cid:272)h"s (cid:271)elief a(cid:374)d po(cid:449)er of (cid:449)ords that words can externalize understanding community based on shared experience. Hired people to do his work as pop grew. Took the ideas of petrarch and applied them to his groupies. Took hi(cid:373)self a(cid:374)d applied it to others" li(cid:448)es: petrarch will always remain a distant and scholarly scholar, another disciple was leonardo bruni. Said florence was a republic, so everyone was in charge of their own success and ambition. Dignity of the individual became florentine ideology.

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