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Readings for Sept 26

Course Code
Nicholas Terpstra

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Readings for Week of Sept 26: Renaissance Humanism
TA: Kathryn.segesser@utoronto.ca
Bracciolini, The Ruins of Rome p 379
-Antonio Lusco and Poggioo Bracciolini discuss the ancient city of rome and its
buildings, and statues, etc. and how sad it is that they are no longer there and all
that is left is ruins
-roman culture provided many leaders in war, produced many illustrious men and
emperors, great virtues, the mother of many good arts, military discipline, purity
of morals and life, the decrees of the law, the models of all the virtues and the
knowledge of right living.
-Roman buildings- temples, arcades, baths, amphitheatres, the aqueducts, the
porticos, the palaces- almost nothing remains of the ancient city
-Sad lament/mourning over the ruins of rome- how it used to be glorious
-Wrote in dialogue
-Concerns itself around the architecture of the old city, shows that he is educated
by explaining what all the ruins exactly are- shows he knows what he is talking
-Rome is the victim of fortune resulting in the fall of rome
Alberti, On Virtu and fortuna p328
-Men are themselves the source of their own fortune and misfortune
-The power of gaining praise, wealth, and reputation should be attributed to
fortune rather than to ability
-Says he will use this to instruct his family
-Raise issues between human agency and supernatural forces- also will be
important when talking about religion
Valla, The Glory of the Latin Language p 131
-latin is the language that introduced nations and all peoples to liberal arts, taught
the best laws, prepared the way for all wisdom and made it possible for them no
longer to be called barbarians
-latin is a single tongue, uniform, like one law for many peoples as opposed to
different dialects.
oOne language that unites all people vs. 5 different dialects
-Only language with grammar
Alberti, Self-Portrait of the Universal Man p 480
-man of renaissance should be well-rounded- talking about himself
-alberti is an overachiever, amazing at everything, good at music and art, studies to
the point of exhaustion
-surrounded by people who don’t appreciate him
-doing all this for himself
P. Della Mirandola, Dignity of Man p 476
-talks about what makes man so wonderful- concludes that it is because God
allowed man to choose his own nature, have what he chooses, do what he wants
-your ability to be rational can rise you up to be close to god- your intellect
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