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The Multiple Identities Of The Humanist: “Vates, medicus bonus, historicusque”

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses about the conflicted identity of the court humanist. The problem of ambitions follows from the conflicted identity of the court humanist. The paradoxical attitude of the intellectual to power entailed avoiding or denying any appearance of ambitiousness. The people we generally call humanists would hardly define themselves (or each other) as masters of the studia humanitatis. In constructing a humanist identity Sambucus embraced practices and social roles that were culturally codified as appropriate for the Renaissance intellectual. This codification was a long and open-ended process, influenced by examples of illustrious men of learning from both the past and present. Sambucus's stratified identity resulted from his broad curiosity, diverse loyalties, and ambition to be present on numerous scientific scenes and become an acknowledged member of the humanist society.

Keywords: conflicted identity; humanist; Renaissance



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