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Humanism Notes

History Notes > General History III: 1400–1650 (Renaissance, Recovery and Reform) Notes

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GIII Revision Notes.


1. Who were the humanists?
- Humanism really grew from around 1400.
- They saw classical society as having had the highest cultural achievements, and thus focused on renewing classical approaches.
- Language was a focus for humanists - grammar, rhetoric, poetry (e.g. de Nebrija).
- Their work impacted on science (e.g. Muller). Erasmus:
- "The apogee of reformist humanism" (C G Nauert).
- Focused on Christian antiquity, inspired by early visits to Eng from

1499. - Did not want to abandon trad relig acts completely, but stressed need for connection to right internal attitude. Johannes Muller:
- Focus on classical soc: called himself Regiomontanus as it was a classicised version of his hometown of Konigsberg.
- Lectured on maths (e.g. in Padua, 1464). Nicolaus Copernicus:
- Follower of Muller.
- 'De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium' (1543) = revival of Greek astronomy. E.g. 'I found in Cicero that Hicetas supposed the Earth to move'.
- Worked at uni of Krakow in 1490s (humanist centre). Andreas Vesalius of Brussels:
- Pub'd 'De humani corpicus fabrica' in 1543 (on the fabric of the human bod).
- Taught at Louvain, Paris, Padua.
- Worked on medical authority of Greek Galen.
- Aimed at restoring Galen's kind of med, not just regurgitating his works.E.g. Advocated return to hands on anatomical research - did not presume Galen always to be right but followed methods. Lasted after he left at Padua.
- Organised De Fabrica according to the principles of Galenic philosophy, not those of his own time.

2. What was scholasticism and how did it differ from humanism? Could they be co-existent?
- P Dear argues that the relat between humanism and scholasticism is characterised by "co-existence rather than conflict".

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