In This Article Humanism

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reference Resources
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals
  • Humanistic Studies
  • Philosophy and the Civic Life
  • Petrarch
  • Florentine Humanism
  • Roman Humanism
  • Venetian Humanism
  • Humanism in the Italian States
  • German Humanism
  • French and Spanish Humanism
  • Humanism and Religion
  • Biblical Humanism
  • Humanism as Rhetoric
  • Cicero and Imitation
  • Humanist Historiography
  • Consolatory Literature
  • The Transmission of Greek and Latin Learning
  • Pedagogical Humanism and Humanists
  • Humanism and the Protestant Reformation

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Renaissance and Reformation Humanism
by
Paul Grendler
  • LAST MODIFIED: 10 May 2010
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195399301-0002

Introduction

Humanism was the major intellectual movement of the Renaissance. In the opinion of the majority of scholars, it began in late 14th-century Italy, came to maturity in the 15th century, and spread to the rest of Europe after the middle of that century. Humanism then became the dominant intellectual movement in Europe in the 16th century. Proponents of humanism believed that a body of learning, humanistic studies (studia humanitatis), consisting of the study and imitation of the classical culture of ancient Rome and Greece, would produce a cultural rebirth after what they saw as the decadent and “barbarous” learning of the Middle Ages. It was a self-fulfilling faith. Under the influence and inspiration of the classics, humanists developed a new rhetoric and new learning. Some scholars also argue that humanism articulated new moral and civic perspectives and values offering guidance in life. Humanism transcended the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, as leaders of both religious movements studied and used the ancient Latin and Greek classics. Because of the vast importance and broad scope of humanism, it is not surprising that scholars have studied it intensively and view it in different ways. This entry provides a sampling of some of the best and most influential scholarship on the subject and demonstrates the broad impact of humanism in the era of the Renaissance and Reformation.

General Overviews

Because humanism is a vast topic, overviews are few. Nauert 2006 is brief but has the advantage of presenting a single viewpoint, while Rabil 1988 is large and has many authors.

  • Nauert, Charles G., Jr. Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe. 2d ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

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    Excellent and concise one-volume survey of humanism across Europe. A good starting point for both students and scholars.

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    • Rabil, Albert, Jr., ed. Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and Legacy. 3 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1988.

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      Forty-one essays by recognized authorities, each with bibliography, about humanism across Europe and specific themes. Volume 1 deals with the foundations of humanism and humanism in Italy, volume 2 with the rest of Europe, and volume 3 with humanism and the disciplines, the professions, arts, and science. A good starting point for advanced students and scholars lacking knowledge in particular fields of study.

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      Reference Resources

      Several comprehensive scholarly aids and sources useful for students and advanced scholars of Renaissance humanism are available. Students and scholars seeking basic information may start with the articles on humanism in Grendler 1999, all of which offer reliable information and basic bibliographies. Weiss 1996 is a good introduction to northern European humanism. Bietenholz and Deutscher 1985–1987 provides numerous short biographies. The advanced researcher doing manuscript research will find Kristeller 1963–1997 indispensable, while Hankins 2001 provides reliable Latin texts and English translations of works by Italian humanists.

      • Bietenholz, Peter G., and Thomas B. Deutscher. Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation. 3 vols. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1985–1987.

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        Short biographies of over 1,900 Renaissance and Reformation figures mentioned in the works of Erasmus; particularly useful for northern Europe. Paperback reprint published in 2003.

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        • Grendler, Paul F., et al., ed. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. 6 vols. New York: Scribner, 1999.

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          Offers nearly 1,200 articles, all with bibliographies and written by experts, plus hundreds of illustrations, maps, genealogical charts, and tables, on every aspect of the Renaissance. Vol. 3, pp. 209–233, presents survey articles on humanism in different countries by various specialists.

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          • Hankins, James, ed. The I Tatti Renaissance Library. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2001.

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            Provides reliable facing Latin texts and English translations of important works of Italian humanists. Very valuable source. A list of the volumes in the series is available online.

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            • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Iter Italicum: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and Other Libraries. 7 vols. London: Warburg Institute, 1963–1997.

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              Lists thousands of manuscripts by Italian humanists found in libraries throughout the world. An indispensable tool for the researcher. Also available online. CD-ROM version available under the direction of Lucinda Floridi (Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1995).

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              • Weiss, James Michael. “Humanism.” In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Vol. 2. Edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand, 264–272. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.

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                Surveys the development of humanism with particular reference to humanism in northern Europe. Mentions the connections of humanism with the Protestant Reformation.

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                Bibliographies

                Kohl 1985 is a good English-only bibliography, while Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance is a comprehensive electronic bibliography that is particularly strong in recent works.

                • Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

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                  Online bibliography listing articles, essays, books, dissertation abstracts, encyclopedia entries, and reviews for the Middle Ages and Renaissance, from 400 to 1700, based at the University of Toronto. As of September 2009 it listed more than 1,070,000 entries, with new entries added daily. Includes links to other online Renaissance sources and is particularly useful for recent scholarship. Available through libraries or by individual subscription.

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                  • Kohl, Benjamin G. Renaissance Humanism, 1300–1550: A Bibliography of Materials in English. New York: Garland, 1985.

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                    Comprehensive and useful bibliography, although limited to English-language secondary sources and translations.

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                    Journals

                    Renaissance Quarterly is the leading journal in the field. It began as Renaissance News in 1948 and assumed its current title in 1967. Back issues are available online through several subscription services. Humanistica Lovaniensia has detailed studies on northern humanism in particular, while Italia medioevale e umanistica concentrates on the connections between late medieval and early Renaissance scholarly developments in Italy.

                    • Humanistica Lovaniensia.

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                      An annual volume that began as a series of monographs on the history of humanism at Leuven, Belgium. It now covers humanism more broadly, but focuses on humanism in northern Europe, especially the Netherlands. Publishes in several languages.

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                      • Italia medioevale e umanistica.

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                        An annual volume that focuses on early Italian humanism and late medieval scholarship. All articles are in Italian.

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                        • Renaissance Quarterly.

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                          The leading journal in the field, with articles and reviews in all disciplines involving the Renaissance. Because it covers all fields, only a small number deal with humanism. Published by the Renaissance Society of America.

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                          Origins of Humanism

                          The term “humanism” did not originate in the Renaissance (although studia humanitatis [humanistic studies] and humanista [Italian for humanist] did) but was coined in early 19th-century Germany as Humanismus (humanism). The pioneering historian of humanism was Georg Voigt (b. 1827–d. 1891), who in 1859 published a large monograph on Italian Renaissance humanism that described the origins of humanism and defined the terms of research for nearly a century. Voigt 1960 is the most recent printing, while Grendler 2006 describes Voigt’s scholarly approach and explains his importance.

                          • Grendler, Paul F. “Georg Voigt: Historian of Humanism.” In Humanism and Creativity in the Renaissance: Essays in Honor of Ronald G. Witt. Edited by Christopher S. Celenza and Kenneth Gouwens, 295–325. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2006.

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                            Presents a brief biography of Voigt in the context of 19th-century German scholarship and then assesses the interpretation and influence of Voigt 1960.

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                            • Voigt, Georg. Die Wiederbelebung des classischen Alterthums: Oder, das erste Jahrhundert des Humanismus. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 1960.

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                              Argues that Petrarch was the father of humanism and then surveys the themes and works of all major Italian humanists and themes of the 15th century, followed by brief discussions of the influence of Italian humanism on Germany, France, and England. First published in one volume in 1859, Voigt’s book has never been translated into English, except for a few well-chosen pages from the 1893 edition excerpted in Denys Hay, ed., The Renaissance Debate (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1965); reprinted in 1976 (Huntington, NY: Robert E. Krieger), 29–34.

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                              Classicizing Latin Style

                              The newest interpretation of the origins of humanism is found in Witt 2000, a large study whose interpretation is based on analysis of the Latin style of many Italian scholars between about 1260 and the 1420s. It has appeared too recently to have produced much critical reaction.

                              • Witt, Ronald G. “In the Footsteps of the Ancients”: Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2000.

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                                Argues that humanism began in the 1260s when a small number of Italian scholars sought to develop a classicizing Latin style based on imitation of the ancients. They first used it to write poetry, and the new style gradually spread to other genres over several generations, culminating in Leonardo Bruni and other figures of the early 15th century.

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                                Humanistic Studies

                                Probably the most widely accepted definition of humanism is that it was the broad educational, literary, and cultural movement involving the studia humanitatis—grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy, based on the standard ancient authors in Latin and, to a lesser extent, Greek. Humanistic studies generated a greater emphasis on man, a tendency toward concrete self expression, a fundamental classicism, and efforts to revive or restate the philosophical and other views of ancient writers by those who studied the humanities. Hence, a humanist was a scholar, teacher, or student of the humanities based on the classics. This is the definition proposed by Paul Oskar Kristeller (b. 1905–d. 1999), first articulated in 1945 and repeated and developed in many books and articles since. Kristeller 1965 and Kristeller 1979 offer synoptic treatments of his understanding of humanism, while Kristeller 1956–1996 provides many concrete examples of his scholarship on particular topics. Monfasani 2006 and Celenza 2004 assess Kristeller’s overall contribution to Renaissance studies.

                                • Celenza, Christopher S. The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians, and Latin’s Legacy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.

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                                  Chapter 2, pp. 16–57, 167–178, contrasts Kristeller’s synchronic approach to humanism with Garin’s diachronic approach. See also comments on Hans Baron’s civic humanism thesis, pp. 36–39.

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                                  • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Studies in Renaissance Thought and Letters. 4 vols. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1956–1996.

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                                    Collection of many of Kristeller’s articles on humanism, rhetoric, philosophy, medicine, and other topics. Some articles are conceptually broad; others present detailed research based on manuscript sources. All demonstrate Kristeller’s wide knowledge.

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                                    • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Renaissance Thought II: Papers on Humanism and the Arts. New York: Harper and Row, 1965.

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                                      Has articles on humanism, Platonism, Aristotelianism, and the influence of humanism on vernacular literature, music, and painting.

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                                      • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Renaissance Thought and Its Sources. Edited by Michael Mooney. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.

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                                        Collects some of Kristeller’s most important articles defining humanism, its connections with the Middle Ages and Byzantine learning, and humanistic concepts of the dignity of man.

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                                        • Monfasani, John, ed. Kristeller Reconsidered: Essays on His Life and Scholarship. New York: Italica, 2006.

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                                          Assessments by sixteen scholars of Kristeller’s contributions to Renaissance studies.

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                                          Philosophy and the Civic Life

                                          In contrast with Kristeller (see Humanistic Studies), Eugenio Garin (b. 1909–d. 2004), professor of the history of philosophy at the University of Florence and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, argued that humanism was a broad philosophy of life. Humanism included a positive evaluation of civic and worldly values, the primacy of the will, the dignity of man, Platonism, a sense of historical anachronism, and a new investigation of nature. In Garin’s view, humanism profoundly influenced all aspects of Renaissance thought and action, and he strongly emphasized the differences between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Garin’s scholarship on humanism has had enormous influence on Italian and European scholars, but less on North American scholars. Garin 1965 provides his only comprehensive treatment of humanism, while Garin 1969, Garin 1972, and Garin 1990 translate some of Garin’s elegant essays on various topics and individuals.

                                          • Garin, Eugenio. Italian Humanism: Philosophy and Civic Life in the Renaissance. Translated by Peter Munz. Oxford: Blackwell, 1965.

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                                            English translation of the 1958 revised edition of L’umanesimo italiano: Filosofia e vita civile nel Rinascimento. This book was first published in German in Switzerland in 1947 and then in Italian in 1952. Garin fits all the major Italian intellectual figures from Petrarch through Galileo Galilei into his interpretation.

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                                            • Garin, Eugenio. Science and Civic Life in the Italian Renaissance. Translated by Peter Munz. Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1969.

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                                              English translation of Scienza e vita civile nel Rinascimento italiano (1965) plus two other essays from 1966. Essays on the interpretation of the Renaissance, the ideal city, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo Galilei and the scientific culture of the Renaissance, and magic and astrology.

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                                              • Garin, Eugenio. Portraits from the Quattrocento. Translated by Victor A. Velen and Elizabeth Velen. New York: Harper and Row, 1972.

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                                                English translation of several essays published in Italian in the 1960s. Studies of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Marsilio Ficino, Politian, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Savonarola, plus Garin’s important essay on how the humanist chancellors of the Florentine Republic used the classics to promote republican civic values and oppose tyranny, a key part of his civic-life thesis.

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                                                • Garin, Eugenio. Astrology in the Renaissance: Zodiac of Life. Translated by Carolyn Jackson, June Allen, and Clare Robertson. London and New York: Arkana, 1990.

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                                                  English translation of Lo zodiaco della vita (1976). Essays that emphasize the influence of astrology, magic, Neoplatonism, and hermeticism on astronomy and other scientific disciplines in the Italian Renaissance.

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                                                  Civic Humanism

                                                  Hans Baron (b. 1900–d. 1988) articulated a new interpretation of Renaissance humanism that he called “civic humanism.” According to Baron, humanism developed in two stages: in the 14th century it was scholarly and literary, and in the early 15th century it became civic. Petrarch (b. 1304–d. 1374) and his first followers knew and loved the classics but were literary men devoted to study and the contemplative life. Humanism became civic during the political crisis of 1402 as the Florentine Republic struggled for its existence against Milan, ruled by a duke. At this time, Florentine intellectuals, especially Leonardo Bruni (b. 1370–d. 1444), the chancellor of Florence, joined their classical scholarship to a defense of liberty. Civic humanism included a new understanding of history, an affirmation of the ethical value of the conditions of the civic life, and a new understanding of Cicero, the classical writer most admired by humanists. Civic humanism created the intellectual foundations for a transformation of Italian culture in the Renaissance and, ultimately, the modern world, in Baron’s view. Baron 1955a and Baron 1955b articulate the basic argument, while Baron 1968 and Baron 1988 add important elements.

                                                  • Baron, Hans. The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance: Civic Humanism and Republican Liberty in an Age of Classicism and Tyranny. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1955a.

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                                                    Argues by means of close analysis and dating of numerous humanistic texts that Leonardo Bruni and other Florentines created civic humanism during the political crisis of the war against Milan at the beginning of the 15th century. Most readers will prefer the one-volume 1966 revised edition, available in paperback, because it streamlines and sharpens the argument.

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                                                    • Baron, Hans. Humanistic and Political Literature in Florence and Venice at the Beginning of the Quattrocentro: Studies in Criticism and Chronology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955b.

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                                                      Supplements Baron 1955a with detailed, somewhat technical chapters concerning the genesis and dating of humanist texts in the early 15th century.

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                                                      • Baron, Hans. From Petrarch to Leonardo Bruni: Studies in Humanistic and Political Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

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                                                        Important additional articles that round out the interpretation. Has articles on Bruni, edits Bruni’s Laudatio Florentinae Urbis, and includes an important article on the composition of Petrarch’s Secretum.

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                                                        • Baron, Hans. In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism: Essays on the Transition from Medieval to Modern Thought. 2 vols. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.

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                                                          In the 1930s Baron published important articles on 14th- and 15th-century humanism that stand independently of Baron 1955a. These articles, many revised, plus some new ones, are collected here. Volume 2 includes a revised version of Baron’s important essay on the evolution of Machiavelli’s ideas from the Prince to the Discourses.

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                                                          Assessments of the Baron Thesis

                                                          Hans Baron’s conception of civic humanism and its origins has stimulated strong criticism and thoughtful assessment. Seigel 1968 and Hankins 2000 are critical; Witt, et al. 1996 and Molho 2008 are interested in how he arrived at his conclusions and are more appreciative.

                                                          • Hankins, James, ed. Renaissance Civic Humanism: Reappraisals and Reflections. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

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                                                            Articles by ten scholars, most of them critical of Baron’s conception of civic humanism, often on the grounds that medieval scholars voiced ideas of republican liberty earlier, and that 1402 was not as decisive a turning point as Baron posited.

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                                                            • Molho, Anthony. “Hans Baron’s Crisis.” In Florence and Beyond: Culture, Society and Politics in Renaissance Italy: Essays in Honour of John M. Najemy. Edited by David S. Peterson and Daniel E. Bornstein, 61–90. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2008.

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                                                              Argues that Baron’s own personal crisis (viz., his forced move from Germany to America) transformed his understanding of the connections between politics and ideas and enabled him to see how civic humanism was formed in the crucible of the desperate Florentine political and military struggle against Milan in 1402. Fascinating combination of biography and historiography.

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                                                              • Seigel, Jerrold E. Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism: The Union of Eloquence and Wisdom, Petrarch to Valla. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968.

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                                                                Argues for a strong rhetorical element in humanist thought, and that humanists were not necessarily personally committed to civic values.

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                                                                • Witt, Ronald, John N. Najemy, Craig Kallendorf, and Werner Gundersheimer. “AHR Forum: Hans Baron’s Renaissance Humanism.” American Historical Review 101 (1996): 101–144.

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                                                                  Four distinguished historians assess Baron’s view of Petrarch, humanism, and Machiavelli. While noting some criticisms, they accept his view about the importance of Florentine civic humanism and its links to republicanism.

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                                                                  Petrarch

                                                                  Francesco Petrarca (known as Petrarch in English) has been identified as the first humanist since Voigt called Petrarch “the father of Humanism” in 1859 (see Voigt 1960 in Origins of Humanism). Petrarch strongly criticized medieval approaches and values, proposed ancient texts as sources of wisdom and models of style, and anticipated humanist pronouncements about the dignity of man. Bishop 1963 is a readable biography, while Foster 1984 is a good introduction to Petrarch’s thought, and Trinkaus 1979 emphasizes Petrarch’s humanistic side. Baron 1968 analyzes one of Petrarch’s most important and characteristic works. By contrast, Witt 2000 evicts Petrarch from his position of “father of humanism.”

                                                                  • Baron, Hans. “Petrarch’s Secretum: Was It Revised—and Why?” In From Petrarch to Leonardo Bruni: Studies in Humanistic and Political Literature. By Hans Baron, 51–101. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968.

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                                                                    Important study of Petrarch’s Secretum (Secret Book), his self-examination in the middle of his life, which continues to fascinate today.

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                                                                    • Bishop, Morris. Petrarch and His World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1963.

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                                                                      An attractive and well-written biography that brings Petrarch alive. It is more interested in Petrarch’s life than in scholarly debates about his role in humanism. Includes elegant translations of some of Petrarch’s poetry.

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                                                                      • Foster, Kenelm. Petrarch: Poet and Humanist. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1984.

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                                                                        Short introduction to Petrarch and his works; emphasizes his life and poetry more than his philosophy.

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                                                                        • Trinkaus, Charles. The Poet as Philosopher: Petrarch and the Formation of Renaissance Consciousness. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1979.

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                                                                          Emphasizes Petrarch as a humanist and a philosopher, as well as his role in shaping Renaissance views on man.

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                                                                          • Witt, Ronald G. “In the Footsteps of the Ancients”: Origins of Humanism from Lovato to Bruni. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2000.

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                                                                            On pp. 230–291 Witt sees Petrarch as the most important of the third generation of humanists, the one who gave humanism a more Christian direction.

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                                                                            Florentine Humanism

                                                                            After Hans Baron (see Civic Humanism), most scholars, especially in the English-speaking world, have accepted that there was a connection between humanism and politics. While humanism everywhere had as its base knowledge and respect for classical texts as inspiration and models of deportment and learning, it took on different coloration and attitudes in different political and social settings. In Florence major humanists filled the chancellorship, a high civil-service position; chancellors were both intellectual leaders and politically involved. Witt 1983, Black 1985, Brown 1979, and Godman 1998 study successive Florentine humanist chancellors, while Martines 1963 and Field 1988 connect Florentine humanists and humanism to the city’s political and social context. Bruni 1987 presents the basic works of the most important Florentine chancellor, thus enabling the reader to judge the extent and nature of Bruni’s conception of civic humanism.

                                                                            • Black, Robert. Benedetto Accolti and the Florentine Renaissance. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

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                                                                              Study of Accolti (b. 1415–d. 1464), a Florentine chancellor and humanist. Emphasizes Accolti’s role as a humanist historian of the Italian Middle Ages, as well as his reforms as chancellor.

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                                                                              • Brown, Alison. Bartolomeo Scala 1430–1497, Chancellor of Florence, Italy: The Humanist as Bureaucrat. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979.

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                                                                                Study of another Florentine chancellor and humanist. Sees Scala, who was chancellor from 1465 to 1497, as combining his humanism with a focus on the centralization of political authority in Florence.

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                                                                                • Bruni, Leonardo. The Humanism of Leonardo Bruni: Selected Texts. Translations and introductions by Gordon Griffiths, James Hankins, and David Thompson. Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1987.

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                                                                                  Although there is no comprehensive study of Bruni, this work provides a summary of his life and translates selections from his most important writings.

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                                                                                  • Field, Arthur. The Origins of the Platonic Academy of Florence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988.

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                                                                                    Study of the Platonic Academy, a group of Florentine humanists and philosophers who studied the writings of Plato and other ancient texts in the 1450s and 1460s. The Platonic Academy was a major means by which Plato’s ideas entered the mainstream of Renaissance thought.

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                                                                                    • Godman, Peter. From Poliziano to Machiavelli: Florentine Humanism in the High Renaissance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                      Deals with Florentine humanism from 1494 to 1512, paying particular attention to Angelo Poliziano (Politian), Marcello Adriani, and Niccolò Machiavelli. Emphasizes that Florentine humanism was secular and sees tensions between the thought of the humanists and Machiavelli.

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                                                                                      • Martines, Lauro. The Social World of the Florentine Humanists 1390–1460. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963.

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                                                                                        Studies the social, political, and economic situations of forty-five Florentines strongly committed to humanism. Demonstrates that they came from the elite ranks of Florentine society and notes the congruence between their social positions and some of the values of civic humanism.

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                                                                                        • Witt, Ronald G. Hercules at the Crossroads: The Life, Works, and Thought of Coluccio Salutati. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                          Fundamental study of Salutati (b. 1331–d. 1406), a Florentine chancellor, transitional figure, and the intellectual leader of his generation of Florentine humanists. While Salutati was the most important early leader of Florentine humanists, Witt also emphasizes medieval and religious tendencies in his thought

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                                                                                          Roman Humanism

                                                                                          Humanism in Rome differed from Florentine humanism. The pope was an elected monarch who, with the aid of the Roman Curia, governed both an international church and the Papal States in central Italy. The humanists were clergymen rather than heads of families and civic office holders. Hence, Roman humanism did not celebrate republicanism or duties to family. Rather, Roman humanists, most of whom were born elsewhere and moved to Rome, emphasized the links between imperial Rome and the papacy, between the ancient city and contemporary Rome. Recent historical research demonstrates that Roman humanism was just as intellectually rich as that of Florence, but distinct. D’Amico 1983 is fundamental, while O’Malley 1979 and McGuinness 1995 deal with preaching at the papal court. Stinger 1985 and Rowland 1998 offer more general surveys, while Celenza 1999 translates an interesting text.

                                                                                          • Celenza, Christopher S. Renaissance Humanism and the Papal Curia: Lapo da Castiglionchio the Younger’s De curiae commodis. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1999.

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                                                                                            Introduction, Latin text, and English translation of a humanist treatise on the papal Curia, written in 1438. It praises the institution and criticizes its members.

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                                                                                            • D’Amico, John F. Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome: Humanists and Churchmen on the Eve of the Reformation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                              Emphasizes the Roman humanist themes, including Ciceronian Latin style and humanistic theology, from the 1480s to 1527. Explains the operation of the Curia.

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                                                                                              • McGinness, Frederick J. Right Thinking and Sacred Oratory in Counter-Reformation Rome. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                Continues the study of sacred oratory in Rome in the late 16th century, as preachers blended spirituality, humanistic rhetorical style, and the symbolic value of Rome.

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                                                                                                • O’Malley, John W. Praise and Blame in Renaissance Rome: Rhetoric, Doctrine, and Reform in the Sacred Orators of the Papal Court, c. 1450–1521. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1979.

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                                                                                                  Emphasizes the humanistic revival of classical rhetoric in preaching at the papal court.

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                                                                                                  • Rowland, Ingrid D. The Culture of the High Renaissance: Ancients and Moderns in Sixteenth-Century Rome. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

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                                                                                                    Emphasizes the enthusiasm for the classical period in papal Rome among scholars, artists, and bankers, and the connections among them between 1480 and 1520.

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                                                                                                    • Stinger, Charles L. The Renaissance in Rome. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985.

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                                                                                                      A cultural survey of Rome from 1443 to 1527 with material on humanism. It emphasizes the importance of the example of ancient Rome.

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                                                                                                      Venetian Humanism

                                                                                                      Venice, the longest lasting republic in Renaissance Italy, had a strong humanist culture. Its humanists were almost always Venetian patricians and citizens who emphasized unanimity, civic responsibility, and allegiance to Aristotelian philosophy, as King 1986 and King 2005 point out. Bouwsma 1968 deals with late Venetian humanism and cultural values in conflict with the papacy.

                                                                                                      • Bouwsma, William J. Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter Reformation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968.

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                                                                                                        Although it probably overstates the Renaissance-versus-papacy theme, the book demonstrates the continued importance of humanistic and civic themes in the late Renaissance in Venice. Large and wide-ranging study.

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                                                                                                        • King, Margaret L. Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                          Major survey of the themes of Venetian humanism in the 15th century, with extensive bio-bibliographical information about ninety-two leading Venetian humanists. The starting point for study of Venetian humanism.

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                                                                                                          • King, Margaret L. Humanism, Venice, and Women: Essays on the Italian Renaissance. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2005.

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                                                                                                            Has twelve studies of Venetian and female humanists of the 15th century. Offers detailed investigations of the humanist Giovanni Caldiera and several female humanists.

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                                                                                                            Humanism in the Italian States

                                                                                                            Studies of humanism in the Italian cities outside of Rome (Roman Humanism), Florence (Florentine Humanism), and Venice (Venetian Humanism) demonstrate the similarity and diversity of Italian humanism. In Naples humanists developed notions of magnanimity and other social virtues within a princely context, as Bentley 1987 demonstrates, while Milanese humanists glorified their rulers; see Ianziti 1988. Bolognese humanism developed in the intersecting circles of the university and the Bentivoglio family, and made contributions in philology, as Raimondi 1987 and Beroaldo 1995 show.

                                                                                                            • Bentley, Jerry H. Politics and Culture in Renaissance Naples. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1987.

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                                                                                                              Examines the roles and views of Neapolitan humanists, especially Giovanni Pontano (b. 1426–d. 1503) in the Kingdom of Naples. Neapolitan humanism revolved around the court and articulated princely values to some extent.

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                                                                                                              • Beroaldo, Filippo, the Elder. Annotationes centum. Edited with introduction and commentary by Lucia A. Ciapponi. Binghamton, NY: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1995.

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                                                                                                                Reprints brief Latin philological studies of classical texts in which Beroaldo (b. 1453–d. 1505) used new humanistic techniques. Excellent introduction explains his method.

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                                                                                                                • Ianziti, Gary. Humanistic Historiography under the Sforzas: Politics and Propaganda in Fifteenth-Century Milan. Oxford: Clarendon, 1988.

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                                                                                                                  Studies the writing of humanistic historiography that praised the Sforza dukes of Milan.

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                                                                                                                  • Raimondi, Ezio. Codro e l’umanesimo a Bologna. Bologna, Italy: Il Mulino, 1987.

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                                                                                                                    Still the best study of Bolognese humanists, especially Filippo Beroaldo the Elder (b. 1453–d. 1505) and Codro (Antonio Urceo, b. 1446–c. 1500) and their scholarship. Originally published in 1950.

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                                                                                                                    German Humanism

                                                                                                                    Bernstein 1983 offers an excellent introduction to German humanism as a whole. Spitz 1957 studies the first important German humanist, and Spitz 1963 extends the analysis to others. Spitz 1996 surveys broader issues. Akkerman and Vanderjagt 1988 studies Rudolph Agricola. Rummel 2002 surveys a humanist-Scholastic clash, and Rummel 1995 looks at the broader reasons for the quarrels between humanists and Scholastics. Watts 1982 studies Nicholas of Cusa, an original and provocative thinker.

                                                                                                                    • Akkerman, F., and A. J. Vanderjagt, eds. Rodolphus Agricola Phrisius, 1444–1485: Proceedings of the International Conference at the University of Groningen, 28–30 October 1985. Leiden, The Netherlands, and New York: E. J. Brill, 1988.

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                                                                                                                      Excellent collection of studies, the majority in English, about the life and writings of Agricola, who studied in Italy and wrote an enormously influential humanist rhetoric manual first published in 1515, as well as other works.

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                                                                                                                      • Bernstein, Eckhard. German Humanism. Boston: Twayne, 1983.

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                                                                                                                        Excellent survey of German humanism from 1450 to 1530. Discusses origins, themes, major figures, and provides excellent bibliography. Does not take strong interpretive stances.

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                                                                                                                        • Rummel, Erika. The Humanist-Scholastic Debate in the Renaissance and Reformation. Cambridge, MA, and London: Harvard University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                          Surveys the sharp debates between humanists and Scholastic theologians, beginning in Italy and passing to Germany between roughly 1450 and 1550.

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                                                                                                                          • Rummel, Erika. The Case against Johann Reuchlin: Religious and Social Controversy in Sixteenth-Century Germany. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 2002.

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                                                                                                                            An attempt to destroy Hebrew books, which humanists defended as important for the correct interpretation of the Bible, became a struggle between humanists and Scholastics between 1509 and 1520. Includes a historical introduction and translation of key texts. Available in paperback.

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                                                                                                                            • Spitz, Lewis W. Conrad Celtis, the German Arch-Humanist. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957.

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                                                                                                                              Study of Celtis (b. 1459–d. 1508), the most important early German humanist, known for his poetry and for founding humanist societies.

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                                                                                                                              • Spitz, Lewis W. The Religious Renaissance of the German Humanists. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963.

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                                                                                                                                Studies three generations of German humanists, from Rudolf Agricola through Erasmus and Luther. Notes Italian influences, religious themes, and reformist tendencies. Helps explain why many German humanists supported Luther.

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                                                                                                                                • Spitz, Lewis W. Luther and German Humanism. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Variorum, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                  A collection of articles arguing for strong Italian influence on German humanism, delineating the characteristics of German humanism, and assessing the importance of humanism in the German Reformation.

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                                                                                                                                  • Watts, Pauline Moffitt. Nicolaus Cusanus: A Fifteenth Century Vision of Man. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                    Nicholas of Cusa (b. 1401–d. 1464), churchman, speculative philosopher, and theologian, does not fit into any category, but had highly original thoughts about man and God.

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                                                                                                                                    French and Spanish Humanism

                                                                                                                                    Several key works have shaped current scholarship on French and Spanish humanism; all have extensive bibliographies. Stone 1969 provides an introduction to French humanism, while Kelley 1970, McNeil 1975, Lefèvre d’Étaples 1972, and Gundersheimer 1969 offer studies of major figures and themes. Bataillon 1991, originally published in 1937, is a monumental study of Spanish humanism that is still valuable.

                                                                                                                                    • Bataillon, Marcel. Érasme et l’Espagne. Texte établi per Daniel Devoto, édité per les soins de Charles Amiel. 3 vols. Geneva, Switzerland: Librairie Droz, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                      Fundamental study first published as a single volume in 1937 and subsequently expanded. Emphasizes the influence of Erasmus in Spain and the subsequent suppression of Erasmian humanism by the Inquisition.

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                                                                                                                                      • Gundersheimer, Werner L., ed. French Humanism, 1470–1600. London: Macmillan, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                        Collection of studies by well-known scholars on French humanism and humanists.

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                                                                                                                                        • Kelley, Donald R. Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship: Language, Law, and History in the French Renaissance. New York: Columbia University Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                          Broad study of the influence of humanism on French historiography and law. Traces the steps by which French humanists used historical techniques derived from humanism to understand French history and, in the process, developed a modern historical consciousness.

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                                                                                                                                          • Lefèvre d’Étaples, Jacques. The Prefatory Epistles of Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and Related Texts. Edited by Eugene F. Rice Jr. New York: Columbia University Press, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                            Historical introduction and prefatory letters in Latin and French to works by Lefèvre d’Étaples (b. c. 1455–d. 1536), an influential French biblical humanist.

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                                                                                                                                            • McNeil, David O. Guillaume Budé and Humanism in the Reign of Francis I. Geneva, Switzerland: Droz, 1975.

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                                                                                                                                              Study of Budé (b. c. 1467–d. 1540), a French humanist known for his studies of ancient law, coins, and Christianity.

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                                                                                                                                              • Stone, Donald, Jr. France in the Sixteenth Century: A Medieval Society Transformed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                Good introductory survey. After an introduction about the Renaissance and humanism, it provides succinct summaries of key figures and themes, organized around the reigns of French kings.

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                                                                                                                                                English Humanism

                                                                                                                                                Humanism became a significant intellectual force in England during the reign of Henry VIII (b. 1509–d. 1547). Hence, the history of English humanism is bound up with the Tudor monarchy and Henry’s religious policies. Hay 1952 studies a pioneering humanist. McConica 1965 and Mayer 1989 describe the growing influence of humanists at the court and the roles that they played in Henry VIII’s religious policies, while Gleason 1989 describes a non-humanist who founded a humanist school, and Surtz 1967 studies a humanist churchman who opposed Henry VIII and was beheaded. Thomas More (b. 1478–d. 1535) was the most accomplished and famous English humanist and Utopia (1516) his most famous work. Marius 1984 offers a comprehensive biography of More, while Hexter 1952 and Surtz 1957 analyze Utopia.

                                                                                                                                                • Gleason, John B. John Colet. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                  Study of Colet (b. 1467–d. 1519), a churchman and preacher who founded an important humanist school, although Colet himself was only partly influenced by humanism.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Hay, Denys. Polydore Vergil: Renaissance Historian and Man of Letters. Oxford: At the Clarendon, 1952.

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                                                                                                                                                    Study of Polydore Vergil (b. 1470–d. 1555), an Italian humanist who moved to England in 1502 and wrote the first humanist history of England and other works.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Hexter, J. H. More’s Utopia: The Biography of an Idea. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1952.

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                                                                                                                                                      Perceptive dissection of the book, indicating when and how it was written, the influence of Christian humanism, contemporary political and social conditions, and More’s prescriptions for improving society

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                                                                                                                                                      • Marius, Richard. Thomas More: A Biography. London: Dent, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                        A comprehensive but not particularly sympathetic biography of More that notes his harsh attitude toward heretics.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Mayer, Thomas F. Thomas Starkey and the Commonweal: Humanist Politics and Religion in the Reign of Henry VIII. Cambridge, UK, and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                          Starkey (b. c. 1495–d. 1538), a humanist and political thinker, was educated in Italy and contributed to the Anglican “middle way” between Catholicism and Protestantism.

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                                                                                                                                                          • McConica, James K. English Humanists and Reformation Politics under Henry VIII and Edward VI. Oxford: Clarendon, 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                            Important study detailing the growth of humanist influence at the English court and the links between humanism and the English Reformation.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Surtz, Edward. The Praise of Pleasure: Philosophy, Education, and Communism in More’s Utopia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957.

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                                                                                                                                                              A detailed study of the combination of humanism and communism in the Utopia. Helpful in indicating the classical and Christian sources used, how More used them, and his sense of irony.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Surtz, Edward. The Works and Days of John Fisher: An Introduction to the Position of St. John Fisher (1469–1535), Bishop of Rochester, in the English Renaissance and the Reformation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                                Comprehensive study of a major English churchman and humanist who was executed for refusing to accept Henry VIII’s assertion of supremacy over the Church of England.

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                                                                                                                                                                English Humanist Texts

                                                                                                                                                                A few works played large roles in spreading humanist ideas in England and winning public approval for humanism. Ascham 1967 offers a precise humanist educational guide, including which classical texts to read, while Elyot 1992 combines a humanistic educational program with advice to rulers. The works of Thomas More (b. 1478–d. 1535) ranged from history and poetry to the Utopia and are indispensable for understanding English humanism. See More 1963–1997.

                                                                                                                                                                • Ascham, Roger. The Schoolmaster (1570). Edited by Lawrence V. Ryan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Ascham (b. 1515/16–d. 1568) was a humanist scholar and tutor to Princess (later Queen) Elizabeth. The Schoolmaster, published in 1570, described an education based on humanist principles, and was widely reprinted.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Elyot, Thomas. A Critical Edition of Sir Thomas Elyot’s The Boke Named the Governour. Edited by Donald W. Rude. New York: Garland, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Elyot (b. c. 1490–d. 1546) was an English humanist who in this book (published in 1531) described the appropriate humanist education for members of the governing class and the virtues that they needed to display. Like Ascham 1967, the book was often reprinted.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • More, Thomas. The Complete Works of Thomas More. 15 vols. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1963–1997.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Excellent critical edition with English translations from Latin when necessary, prepared by a distinguished team of scholars. All volumes have extensive historical introductions which provide much information about England and English humanism. Volume 4 (Utopia) is particularly good.

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                                                                                                                                                                      Humanism and Religion

                                                                                                                                                                      Previous scholarship held that humanism was a secular philosophy that excluded religion. The scholarship of Charles Trinkaus (b. 1911–d. 1999) establishes beyond doubt that the humanists were intensely concerned with God and man, but that they saw the relationship differently than medieval Scholastics. Trinkaus 1970 is a massive study of the religious writings of Italian humanists, while some of the studies in Trinkaus 1983 and Trinkaus 1999 extend the analysis to Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and Thomas More.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Trinkaus, Charles. In Our Image and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist Thought. 2 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                        In nearly a thousand pages, and analyzing a vast array of manuscript and printed primary sources, Trinkaus studies the religious writings of Italian humanists from Petrarch through Giovanni Pico. The work is particularly strong in its analysis of lesser-known humanists. Also available in paperback from the University of Notre Dame Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Trinkaus, Charles. The Scope of Renaissance Humanism. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                          A collection of studies dealing with free will, the dignity of man, and other topics. Includes essays on Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, and Thomas More.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Trinkaus, Charles. Renaissance Transformations of Late Medieval Thought. Aldershot, UK, and Brookfield, VT: Ashgate/Variorum, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                            A group of studies, including four on Lorenzo Valla, that continue Trinkaus’s emphasis on how humanists approached intellectual, moral, and theological issues by transforming medieval thought. Argues for the influence of Augustine, Quintilian, Plato, and Plotinus, while seeing the humanists as turning away from Aristotle to some extent.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Biblical Humanism

                                                                                                                                                                            Biblical criticism was one of the most important and far-reaching effects of humanism in both Protestant and Catholic Europe. Biblical humanists used their philological skills to study the texts of the Bible in the original languages. They then corrected the standard Latin translation (known as the Vulgate) and strongly criticized traditional biblical scholarship. This led to more reliable editions of the Bible and better Latin translations, but also to sharp conflicts with conservative theologians who clung to medieval Scholastic methodology. Bentley 1983 looks at three key developments, while the articles in Rummel 2008 chronicle some of the bitter fights between humanists and Scholastics. Jenkins and Preston 2007 mentions other figures.

                                                                                                                                                                            • Bentley, Jerry H. Humanists and Holy Writ: New Testament Scholarship in the Renaissance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Focuses on Lorenzo Valla, Erasmus, and the Completensian polyglot Bible prepared in Spain. Argues that humanist biblical scholars produced a thorough reorientation of Western scholarship on the New Testament by insisting that it be based on the original Greek text.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Jenkins, Allan K., and Patrick Preston. Biblical Scholarship and the Church: A Sixteenth-Century Crisis of Authority. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Studies the biblical humanism of Erasmus, Thomas More, William Tyndale, and Tommaso de Vio Cajetan, and conservative reactions to them.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Rummel, Erika, ed. Biblical Humanism and Scholasticism in the Age of Erasmus. Leiden, The Netherlands, and Boston: Brill, 2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Thirteen articles by experts on biblical humanism across Europe. Up-to-date information on the major quarrels between humanists and Scholastics over biblical scholarship in Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Humanism as Rhetoric

                                                                                                                                                                                  Humanists put great store in a classicizing rhetoric in order to spread their messages on a variety of topics. Hence, scholars have studied humanistic primary rhetoric (speech or oratory) and secondary rhetoric (written words, especially letters and other prose treatises) extensively. McManamon 1982 describes the beginning of Renaissance classicizing rhetoric, while McManamon 1989 and D’Elia 2004 study how Italian humanists used rhetoric to promote secular values using different rhetorical genres. The articles in Murphy 1983 sample the rich field of scholarship on humanistic rhetoric across Europe.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • D’Elia, Anthony F. The Renaissance of Marriage in Fifteenth-Century Italy. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2004.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Demonstrates how humanists used orations at marriage ceremonies as an opportunity to exalt the value of marriage as a secular value.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • McManamon, John M. “Innovation in Early Humanist Rhetoric: The Oratory of Pier Paolo Vergerio the Elder.” Rinascimento 22 (1982): 3–32.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      Emphasizes that Vergerio (b. c. 1369–d. 1444) was a pioneer in applying classical techniques to Latin oratory in the Renaissance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • McManamon, John M. Funeral Oratory and the Cultural Ideals of Italian Humanism. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Uncovers hundreds of humanist funeral orations and shows how they followed classical norms and promoted secular and religious ethical values.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        • Murphy, James J., ed. Renaissance Eloquence: Studies in the Theory and Practice of Renaissance Rhetoric. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Twenty-three essays on Renaissance rhetoric in France, Italy, Germany, England, Spain, and the Netherlands, with much additional bibliography.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          Cicero and Imitation

                                                                                                                                                                                          Humanists who desired to write good classical Latin had to decide which ancient writer, if any, they should take as a model. The European-wide debate focused on Cicero, the most esteemed and prolific ancient Latin author: should humanists model their prose on that of Cicero, or should they strive for a more eclectic style? The debates were important, because classical Latinity influenced content. Scott 1991 and Della Neva 2007 explain the controversy and provide translated texts. D’Amico 1983 points out that Roman humanists were strong Ciceronians, while Erasmus subjected Roman and Italian Ciceronians to satirical criticism and preferred an eclectic Latin style; see Erasmus 1986. McLaughlin 1995 surveys imitation in both Latin and Italian writing. D’Amico 1984 studies various forms of Latinity in Italy.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • D’Amico, John F. Renaissance Humanism in Papal Rome: Humanists and Churchmen on the Eve of the Reformation. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Chapter 5, pp. 115–143, 283–291, describes how Roman humanists embraced Ciceronianism. Roman humanists emphasized the links and continuity between ancient Rome and papal Rome. This was a way of integrating contemporary religion and classical culture.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            • D’Amico, John F. “The Progress of Renaissance Latin Prose: Case of Apuleianism.” Renaissance Quarterly 37 (1984): 351–392.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Charts the schools of eclectic, Ciceronian, and archaistic Latinity in the Italian Renaissance. Reprinted in D’Amico, Roman and German Humanism, 1450–1550. Edited by Paul F. Grendler. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Variorum, 1993.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Della Neva, JoAnn, ed. Ciceronian Controversies. English translation by Brian Duvick. The I Tatti Renaissance Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                Provides Latin text and English translation of texts by Angelo Poliziano, Paolo Cortesi, Gianfrancesco Pico, Pietro Bembo, Giambattista Giraldi Cinzio, Celio Calcagnini, Lilio Gregorio Giraldi, and Antonio Possevino on the Ciceronian controversy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Erasmus Desiderius. Collected Works of Erasmus. Vol. 28, The Ciceronian: A Dialogue on the Ideal Latin Style. Translated and annotated by Betty I. Knott. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  An excellent translation, with extensive notes, of Erasmus’s devastating and hilarious attack on Italian, and especially Roman, Ciceronians. Along the way Erasmus provides a great deal of information about humanism and humanists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • McLaughlin, Martin L. Literary Imitation in the Italian Renaissance: The Theory and Practice of Literary Imitation in Italy from Dante to Bembo. Oxford: Clarendon, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    Follows the debates on imitation from Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio in the 14th century to Pietro Bembo in the early 16th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Scott, Izora. Controversies over the Imitation of Cicero in the Renaissance: With Translations of Letters between Pietro Bembo and Gianfrancesco Pico on Imitation; and a Translation of Desiderius Erasmus, The Ciceronian (Ciceronianus). Davis, CA: Hermagoras, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Despite its age, it is still useful, not least because of the 124-page essay by Scott on the controversy in Italy and northern Europe. Originally published in 1910.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                      Humanist Historiography

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Humanism changed the writing of history. Humanist historians had a better understanding of the use of sources than their medieval predecessors, and they followed classical models. Above all, they saw history as the story of the actions of men in their political contexts. Wilcox 1969 studies Florentine humanistic history writing in the 15th century, while Zimmermann 1995 and McCuaig 1989 study two important 16th-century historians.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • McCuaig, William. Carlo Sigonio: The Changing World of the Late Renaissance. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        Study of Sigonio (b. 1523–d. 1584), who used modern historical methods to study ancient Roman history and the Italian Middle Ages.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Wilcox, Donald J. The Development of Florentine Humanist Historiography in the Fifteenth Century. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          Demonstrates how the Florentine humanists brought a new humanistic perspective to the writing of history. Analyzes the historical works of Leonardo Bruni, Poggio Bracciolini, and Bartolomeo Scala.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Zimmermann, T. C. Price. Paolo Giovio: The Historian and the Crisis of Sixteenth-Century Italy. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Study of the humanist historian Giovio (b. 1486–d. 1552), who wrote a very influential history of his own era, as well as other works.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            Consolatory Literature

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Another humanistic genre was the literature of consolation. McClure 1991 and King 1994 show how the humanists used classical rhetorical devices and models to develop a more secular literature of consolation than that of their medieval predecessors.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • King, Margaret L. The Death of the Child Valerio Marcello. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              When an eight-year-old boy, the son of a prominent Venetian patrician, died in 1460, humanists responded with an outpouring of consoling letters, orations, treatises, and poems. This work analyzes expressions of personal emotions at the death of a child and the humanistic literature of consolation in the Venetian political context.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              • McClure, George W. Sorrow and Consolation in Italian Humanism. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                Broad study analyzing how Italian humanists used ancient philosophical sources to develop a more secular literature of consolation, with psychological insights, rather than that of Scholastic Christian theology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                The Transmission of Greek and Latin Learning

                                                                                                                                                                                                                If the humanists were to re-create and imitate ancient Greek and Latin learning, they had to find and transcribe the works of ancient authors. Hence, beginning with Petrarch in the 14th century, Italians—and, later, northern Europeans—searched for manuscripts of ancient works. Many of them were not “lost;” they could be found in monastic libraries if one knew where to look. Then the manuscripts needed to be copied, edited, and diffused, tasks that became easier after the invention of printing. The great Italian scholar Remigio Sabbadini (b. 1850–d. 1934) did pioneering work on the recovery of manuscripts of ancient works that is still valuable; see Sabbadini 1967. The Catalogus Translationum (Kristeller 1960–2003) is a learned extension of his research. Reynolds and Wilson 1974 is a good starting survey for students and beginning researchers, while Bracciolini 1974 illustrates the excitement of the search for manuscripts. Pade 2007 is a superb study of the diffusion and influence of a major ancient work, while Kallendorf 1989 studies how humanists used Virgil. Italians had to learn ancient Greek but lacked teachers until a number of Greek scholars came to Italy in the 15th century. Wilson 1992 provides an overview of this migration, and Monfasani 1976 studies an important Greek emigré scholar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bracciolini, Poggius. Two Renaissance Book Hunters: The Letters of Poggius Bracciolini to Nicolaus de Niccolis. Translated from the Latin and annotated by Phyllis Walter Goodhart Gordan. New York: Columbia University Press, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Poggio Bracciolini (b. c. 1380–d. 1459) was an inveterate searcher for manuscripts of ancient texts who left no stone unturned in his quest to find them. He wrote numerous letters to his friend Niccolò Niccoli (b. c. 1364–d. 1437) chronicling his successes and failures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kallendorf, Craig. In Praise of Aeneas: Virgil and Epideictic Rhetoric in the Early Italian Renaissance. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Study of how five 15th-century Italian humanists understood and used Virgil’s Aeneid.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Kristeller, Paul Oskar, ed. Catalogus Translationum et Commentariorum: Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries; Annotated Lists and Guides. 8 vols. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1960–2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Lists and describes the manuscripts and printed works of Latin editions of ancient Latin and Greek authors up to the year 1600. Each volume contains articles on individual Greek and Latin writers, with a brief history of the author and his works, plus a comprehensive listing of manuscripts and printed editions, along with information on the editors and/or translators, as well as excerpts from prefaces, usually in Latin.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Monfasani, John. George of Trebizond: A Biography and a Study of His Rhetoric and Logic. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 1976.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Study of George of Trebizond (b. 1395–d. 1472/3), the most important of the Greek scholars who came to Italy and wrote a widely used rhetoric textbook.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Pade, Marianne. The Reception of Plutarch’s Lives in Fifteenth-Century Italy. 2 vols. Copenhagen, Denmark: Museum Tusculanum Press and the University of Copenhagen, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Exemplary study of the influence, editions, translations, and uses of Plutarch’s Lives, which was much used and loved by humanists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Reynolds, L. D., and N. G. Wilson. Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature. 2d rev. and enlarged ed. Oxford: Clarendon, 1974.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent guide that briefly charts the survival of ancient literature in the Middle Ages, plus the rediscovery of some major texts in the Renaissance and beyond.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Sabbadini, Remigio. Le scoperte dei codici latini e greci ne’ secoli XIV e XV. 2 vols. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Florence, Italy: G. C. Sansoni, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Pioneering and still useful work on the recovery of manuscripts of ancient works. Includes Sabbadini’s additions and corrections to his original work, and an analysis of Sabbadini’s scholarly contributions by Garin. First published 1905–1914.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Wilson, N. G. From Byzantium to Italy: Greek Studies in the Italian Renaissance. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Surveys the rediscovery and growing influence of classical Greek learning in Italy from the 14th century to the beginning of the 16th century.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pedagogical Humanism and Humanists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Humanist pedagogues tirelessly promoted a curriculum based on the classics and taught it in their schools. Grendler 1989 describes the development of the humanistic curriculum, while McManamon 1996 studies the career and works of a major humanist pedagogical theorist. For readers with knowledge of Latin, an excellent way to follow the origins and development of humanistic schooling is through the correspondence in Vergerio 1969 and Guarini 1967.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Grendler, Paul F. Schooling in Renaissance Italy: Literacy and Learning, 1300–1600. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Part 2 (pp. 111–271) describes the origins of humanist pedagogy through its most important figures and then analyzes the curriculum, authors, and methodology of the humanistic curriculum in practice through the teaching of grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, moral philosophy, and Greek.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Guarini (Guarino da Verona). Epistolario di Guarino Veronese. 3 vols. Edited by Remigio Sabbadini, Turin, Italy: Bottega d’Erasmo, 1967.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Guarino da Verona (b. 1374–d. 1460) was a major humanist teacher and scholar with wide influence. This edition of his letters, which he always wrote in Latin, shows how Guarini viewed humanism, his pedagogical principles, and his relations with princes, parents, and former students. Originally published 1915–1919.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • McManamon, John M. Pierpaolo Vergerio the Elder: The Humanist as Orator. Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1996.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Monograph on Vergerio (b. c. 1369–d. 1444), emphasizing his originality as a reforming pedagogical humanist who wanted moral philosophy, history, and rhetoric based on the classics to be taught.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Vergerio, Pier Paolo. Epistolario di Pier Paolo Vergerio. Edited by Leonardo Smith. Turin, Italy: Bottega d’Erasmo, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Letters of Vergerio, who wrote a widely read treatise on humanistic education. Originally published in 1934.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Italian Humanists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The humanist movement embraced the insights of many individual humanists, especially Italians, whose criticism of medieval culture and scholarship and bold pronouncements concerning man, classical studies, philosophy, history, and religion created Renaissance humanism. Italian humanists played the primary roles, which is reflected in the concentration on Italy in this entry. Humanists elsewhere in Europe followed their lead, and added their own insights, especially after the invention of printing accelerated the diffusion of ideas. Scholars have long recognized the contributions that individual humanists made, and some humanists have drawn a great deal of attention. The works in this section offer a sampling of studies on individual Italian humanists.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lorenzo Valla

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Valla (b. 1406/7–d. 1457) was an immensely important mid-15th-century humanist known for his iconoclastic views about medieval learning, rhetoric, dialectic, history, papal political claims, and his pioneering scholarship on the text of the New Testament. Although there is no comprehensive study of Valla in English, a special issue of the Journal of the History of Ideas, “Lorenzo Valla: A Symposium” 1996, provides an introduction, and Trinkaus 1970 has good relevant chapters. Gaeta 1955, Di Napoli 1971, and Camporeale 1972 are good studies in Italian. Valla 1977, Valla 1985, and Valla 2007 provide English translations of some of his most important and controversial works. The ultimate iconoclast, Valla attacked traditional ideas in scholarship, history, and religion. Hence, modern scholars have paid considerable attention to his works and his influence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Camporeale, Salvatore I. Lorenzo Valla: Umanesimo e teologia. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1972.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sees Valla as an advocate of Pauline theology—that is, emphasizing the themes found in the Epistles of St. Paul, including free will, faith, and salvation in God, in contrast to late medieval Scholastic theology.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Di Napoli, Giovanni. Lorenzo Valla: Filosofia e religione nell’umanesimo italiano. Rome: Edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1971.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Good survey of Valla’s thought, with particular reference to philosophy and theology. It offers balanced assessments without emphasizing one particular interpretive theme.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Gaeta, Franco. Lorenzo Valla: Filologia e storia nell’umanesimo italiano. Naples, Italy: Istituto italiano per gli studi storici, 1955.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Early attempt to assess Valla’s contribution to humanism; emphasizes his philology and historical sensibilities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lorenzo Valla: A Symposium. Special Issue, Journal of the History of Ideas 57 (1996): 1–86.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Articles by William J. Connell, Salvatore I. Camporeale, Charles Trinkaus, Ronald K. Delph, and Riccardo Fubini on Valla’s works on the Donation of Constantine, the Trinity, and other topics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Trinkaus, Charles. In Our Image and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist Thought. 2 vols. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  See chapters 3, 12, 13, and 14 for Valla’s thought about ethics, the Bible, the status of the religious, and the Eucharist.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Valla, Lorenzo. On Pleasure: De voluptate. Translated by A. Kent Hieatt and Maristella Lorch. New York: Abaris, 1977.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Latin text and English translation of Valla’s important defense of earthly and heavenly joy, derived in part from Epicurus, but more so from St. Augustine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Valla, Lorenzo. The Profession of the Religious and the Principal Arguments from the Falsely-Believed and Forged Donation of Constantine. Translated and edited by Olga Zorzi Pugliese. Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Inexpensive paperback edition of English translations of Valla’s attack on the religious life and key parts of his attack on the Donation of Constantine.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Valla, Lorenzo. On the Donation of Constantine. Translated by G. W. Bowerstock. The I Tatti Renaissance Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Valla demonstrated his brilliant rhetorical and philological expertise in proving that the Donation of Constantine, which awarded political authority over the Western Empire (and by extension, Europe) to the pope, was a medieval forgery rather than an authentic work of Emperor Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337). Latin text and English translation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Giovanni Pico (b. 1463–d. 1498) is famous for his Oration on the Dignity of Man, in which he celebrated man’s potential. Pico also attempted to find agreement on some propositions among a very wide range of Christian, pagan, ancient, medieval, and Renaissance sources. Garin 1937 and Kristeller 1964 are good starting points, while Di Napoli 1965 and L’Opera e il pensiero di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola nella storia dell’umanesimo 1965 introduce the reader to the many facets of Pico’s thought. Pico della Mirandola 1965 provides English translations of three of Pico’s works.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Di Napoli, Giovanni. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola e la problematica dottrinale del suo tempo. Rome: Desclée, 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive study that surveys all of Pico’s works in a balanced way.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Garin, Eugenio. Giovanni Pico della Mirandola: Vita e dottrina. Florence, Italy: Felice le Monnier, 1937.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Garin sees Pico as the quintessential Renaissance philosopher for his emphasis on man. Despite its age, this is still a standard work on Pico.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Chapter 4, pp. 54–71, is an excellent and balanced introduction to Pico that emphasizes his syncretism, universality, and conception of man’s freedom.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Istituto nazionale di studi sul Rinascimento. L’opera e il pensiero di Giovanni Pico della Mirandola nella storia dell’umanesimo. Convegno internazionale (Mirandola: 15–18 Settembre 1963). 2 vols. Florence, Italy: Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento, 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thirty-two articles, the majority in Italian, on Pico and his influence, by Garin, Kristeller, and others. Many articles discuss Pico’s intellectual sources and his influence on other Renaissance figures.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni. On the Dignity of Man, On Being and the One, and Heptaplus. Translated by Charles Glenn Wallis, Paul J. W. Miller, and Douglas Carmichael. Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Translation of three major works by Pico.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Marsilio Ficino and Renaissance Platonism

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Scholars disagree on whether Marsilio Ficino (b. 1433–d. 1499) was a humanist or a philosopher, but most agree that he was the most important Platonist of the Renaissance. His translation of works of Plato into Latin and his Platonic Theology (published in 1482) and other works influenced many. He believed that Platonism and Christianity were compatible and was also interested in theology, magic, medicine, and astrology. Kristeller 1964 remains a comprehensive account of Ficino’s Platonic philosophy, while Allen 1984 and Allen 1998 present important aspects of Ficino’s thought. Hankins 1990 offers a synoptic account of Renaissance Platonism in 15th-century Italy. Ficino 2001–2008 is a Latin and English text of his most important work, while Ficino 1975–2003 translates his letters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Allen, Michael J. B. The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino: A Study of his Phaedrus Commentary, its Sources and Genesis. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An introduction to Ficino’s Platonism by means of his Phaedrus commentary, in which Ficino advances the myth of the winged charioteer as a way of explaining man’s soul.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Allen, Michael J. B. Synoptic Art: Marsilio Ficino on the History of Platonic Interpretation. Florence, Italy: Leo S. Olschki, 1998.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Ficino’s views on ancient theology, Socrates, Platonic dialectic, and other topics.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Ficino, Marsilio. Platonic Theology. 6 vols. Edited by James Hankins and William Bowen. Translated by Michael J. B. Allen and John Warden. The I Tatti Renaissance Library. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001–2008.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Latin text with English translation of Ficino’s most important work, in which he sets forth his view of Platonic philosophy and sees it as compatible with Christianity. Love is a major theme.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Ficino, Marsilio. The Letters of Marsilio Ficino. 7 vols. Translated from the Latin by the members of the Language Department of the School of Economic Science, London. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1975–2003.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ficino’s wide correspondence reveals many aspects of his scholarship, influence, and contacts with other scholars and humanists.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Hankins, James. Plato in the Italian Renaissance. 2 vols. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1990.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A comprehensive study of how 15th-century Italians received and interpreted Plato. Volume 2 consists of appendices and texts. A paperback edition of volume 1 is also available.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Kristeller, Paul Oskar. The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino. Translated by Virginia Conant. Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1964.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Focuses on Ficino’s Platonic Theology, his largest and most important work. Analyzes Ficino’s philosophy in relation to Christianity but pays little attention to his interests in magic and other topics. Originally published 1943.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Filelfo, Perotti, and Sadoleto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Robin 1991, Douglas 1959, and Res Publica Litterarum 1981 offer good scholarship on three other Italian humanists who were influential in their own times: Francesco Filelfo, Jacopo Sadoleto, and Niccolò Perotti. They are little known today because their views were not as arresting or interesting to modern scholars; hence, they have been less studied.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Douglas, Richard M. Jacopo Sadoleto, 1477–1547: Humanist and Reformer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1959.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Study, not yet superseded, of the life and works of a cardinal and humanist. Sadoleto combined an influential career in Rome with humanistic biblical studies and an attempt to find some common ground with moderate Protestants.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Robin, Diana. Filelfo in Milan: Writings, 1451–1477. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Study of the writings and career of Francesco Filelfo (b. 1398–d. 1481), a controversial humanist who both defended and criticized his princely patrons.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Studies in the Classical Tradition. Special Issue, Res Publica Litterarum. Vol. 4. Lawrence: University of Kansas, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    A special issue of Res Publica Litterarum with seventeen studies in Italian, English, French, and German on Niccolò Perotti (b. 1429–d. 1480), who wrote several important grammatical works based on ancient texts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Erasmus

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (b. 1467–d. 1536) was the most important non-Italian humanist of his own times and afterwards. He edited ancient texts, promoted humanism and humanistic education, criticized medieval Scholastic scholarship, advocated a biblically based Christianity, and excoriated the sins of churchmen and princes. Although an avowed pacifist, Erasmus participated in every major intellectual and religious controversy in Europe from 1500 until his death. Bainton 1969, which views Erasmus as a religious figure, marks a major shift in scholarship, as previous studies saw him as a somewhat skeptical and detached pre-Enlightenment intellectual. Augustijn 1991 continues this reevaluation. Sowards 1975 is an excellent introduction to the works of Erasmus for the beginning researcher. The best way to understand Erasmus is to read his highly accessible works, which Collected Works of Erasmus (Erasmus 1974–) makes possible for readers lacking knowledge of Latin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Augustijn, Cornelis. Erasmus: His Life, Works, and Influence. Translated by J. C. Grayson. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1991.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sees Erasmus primarily as a religious reformer who wanted to renew the church and theology on the model of the Christian Church of the first centuries. First published in German in 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bainton, Roland H. Erasmus of Christendom. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1969.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Classic biography that emphasized Erasmus as humanist, scholar, and religious reformer who steered a middle road between Catholic and Protestant. Many reprints and paperback editions.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Erasmus (Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam). Collected Works of Erasmus. 50 vols. published to date of a projected 86 vols. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1974–.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          English translation, by an international team of scholars, of almost all of Erasmus’s works, including the works that he edited. All works are heavily annotated, with extensive cross-referencing. The introductions provide a running history of Erasmus’s life, the development of humanism, and the spread of religious controversy across Europe.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sowards, J. Kelley. Desiderius Erasmus. Boston: Twayne, 1975.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Excellent brief introduction to the major works of Erasmus.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Battles and Influence

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Recent scholarship emphasizes Erasmus as a humanist, religious scholar, and sharp critic of his times and traces his broad influence. Rummel 1985 assesses Erasmus as a humanist translator and editor of the classics, while Rummel 1986 and Rummel 1989 show Erasmus battling conservative theologians and scholars in the midst of the Reformation. Tracy 1978 looks at Erasmus’s political views. Seidel Menchi 1987 studies the diffusion of Erasmus’s religious views in Italy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Rummel, Erika. Erasmus as a Translator of the Classics. Toronto and Buffalo, NY: University of Toronto Press, 1985.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Assesses the approaches, abilities, and goals of Erasmus as a Latin translator of Greek classics and the Greek New Testament.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rummel, Erika. Erasmus’ Annotations on the New Testament: From Philologist to Theologian. Toronto and London: University of Toronto Press, 1986.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Traces Erasmus’s development as a New Testament scholar in the midst of controversy.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Rummel, Erika. Erasmus and His Catholic Critics. 2 vols. Nieuwkoop, The Netherlands: De Graaf, 1989.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A chronological account of Erasmus’s many battles with conservative Catholic theologians who opposed his humanist approach to religious texts.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Seidel Menchi, Silvana. Erasmo in Italia, 1520–1580. Turin, Italy: Bollati Boringhieri, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Brilliant study of Erasmus’s influence on Italian religious dissenters and the reaction of church authorities.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Tracy, James D. The Politics of Erasmus: A Pacifist Intellectual and His Political Milieu. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1978.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Demonstrates that Erasmus had a thorough knowledge of contemporary politics and that he did not hesitate to express his opinions on political events. To some extent he reflected political views current in his native Low Countries.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Humanism and the Protestant Reformation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      What influence did humanism have on the founder of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther, and the development of the Protestant Reformation? Moeller 1982 offers a comprehensive answer. Although Luther scholars do not generally view the mature Luther as a humanist, they do see him using humanistic techniques; see Dost 2001. Rummel 2006 discusses how Protestant and Catholic controversialists used humanism for their own purposes. Philip Melanchthon (b. 1497–d. 1560) was the most humanistic of the major Protestant reformers; see Kuropka 1999 for an English introduction. Bouwsma 1987 argues for a humanistic Calvin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Bouwsma, William J. John Calvin: A Sixteenth-Century Portrait. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A psychological portrait stressing Calvin’s humanist tendencies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Dost, Timothy P. Renaissance Humanism in Support of the Gospel in Luther’s Early Correspondence: Taking All Things Captive. Aldershot, UK, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Argues for a strong humanist influence on the young Luther in the years 1507 to 1522.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Kuropka, Nicole. “Melanchthon between Renaissance and Reformation: from Exegesis to Political Action.” In Melanchthon in Europe: His Work and Influence beyond Wittenberg. Edited by Karin Maag, 161–172. Carlisle, UK: Paternoster, 1999.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An introduction to Melanchthon as humanist, with an extensive German bibliography. Sees Melanchthon as a Christian civic humanist.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Moeller, Bernd. “The German Humanists and the Beginnings of the Reformation.” In Imperial Cities and the Reformation: Three Essays. By Bernd Moeller. Edited and translated by H. C. Erik Midelfort and Mark U. Edwards Jr., 19–40. Durham, NC: Labyrinth, 1982.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              English translation of “Die deutschen Humanisten und die Anfänge der Reformation” (1959). Pioneering study arguing that without humanism there would not have been a Reformation, because Luther’s earliest and strongest followers were humanists. English translation originally published in 1972.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Rummel, Erika. The Confessionalization of Humanism in Reformation Germany. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Argues that Protestant and Catholic partisans took from humanism what was useful for their causes, transformed what was unsuitable, and suppressed the humanistic rhetoric of doubt.

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