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‘Humanitas Renata’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the narrower association of the Renaissance with the rebirth of classical Antiquity. This, after all, has always been central to ideas of the Renaissance. Much of what follows concerns a clutch of letters that Petrarch wrote to classical authors . It tells about the Italian revival associated with his name. As Erwin Panofskys discussion of the Renaissance includes a comparison of Italy with Northern Europe, which he sees as having persisted in a predominantly medieval mindset. There is a brief concluding reference to Erasmus as the pre-eminent representative of humanism in the North. Distinctions not made by Panofsky are also drawn between the revivals of Latin and of Greek. Humanitas was very much a Latin phenomenon, a fact reflected in the use of the term for departments of Latin in our ancient Scottish universities.

Keywords: Erwin Panofsky; Europe; Greek; Humanitas; Petrarch; Renaissance

10.1163/ej.9789004183346.i-370.11
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004183346.i-370.11
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