Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Both the Renaissance and humanism have anachronistically taken on meanings today that betray their historical reality. Emerging from the peculiar lay professional culture of medieval Italy, humanism joined in the Renaissance with other elements of medieval Italian culture to dominate the educated world of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. The Renaissance humanists constituted, in the words of Paul Oskar Kristeller, “a characteristic phase in what may be called the rhetorical tradition in Western culture.” Renaissance humanism created not an ideology or philosophy, but a dynamic set of educated interests and methods dominated by rhetorical and literary interests and focused on imitation of classical eloquence and literature. The humanists would in time powerfully reshape European learning, education, and, ultimately, self-conception. A non-trivial residue of Renaissance humanism is our understanding of the disciplines that make up the humanities and that we view as essential to educated culture.

Keywords: humanism, Renaissance, ars dictaminis, classical tradition, rhetorical tradition, Roman script, Francis Petrarch, Poggio Bracciolini, Lorenzo Valla, Erasmus of Rotterdam

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.