Renaissance Humanism


The Renaissance term “Humanist” stems from the “Studia Humanitatus” or study of the humanities–grammar, rhetoric, history, poetry, logic, and moral philosophy.

Humanism as a term was applied to the view of people, general values, and educational ideas common to Renaissance Humanists and later humanists.

Humanist and Renaissance Ideals:


                      Artistic Creativity

                      Zest for Life and Knowledge

                      Valuing Investigation and Experimentation

                      Sensory Delight in Opulence and Magnificence

                      Spectacular Individual Achievements

                      A Re-imaging of Antiquity and its Teachings

                      Centralized Authority Overthrown for Individual Investigation/Intellect

                      References to Classical Mythology, Philosophy, and Literature

                      Allusions to Scriptures

                      Love of Learning and the Classics

                      Participation in a Noble Society (The Studia Humanitatus)

                      Glorifying Antiquity                     

                      Man Important in the Universe

                      Being a Renaissance Man

                      Innate Potential of Humankind (but Mostly Mankind)

                      Reason Over Passion

                      Appreciation of the “Good Life”

                      a General Leaning Toward Pacifism

                      Impulse Toward Achieve Fame or Glory Through “Letters”

                      Valuing What Happens in this Life

                      Emphasizing the Immediacy of Experience and its Importance

                      Acceptance That Fortuna Is Outside of Man’s Control

                      Value of Virtu (Not Necessarily Goodness)–Ability, Achievement, Striving

                      “Spretzetura” (Grace under Pressure–Making Things Look Easy)