In the XIV-XV centuries. among the intellectuals of Italy, the fascination with the culture of the ancient Greeks and Romans was growing, by that time almost forgotten. She attracted them, above all, her respect for man. Zealous admirers of ancient culture were later called humanists. With the efforts of the Humanists, this culture was born anew, became the basis of a new culture, which was called the Renaissance.
Recall: the medieval church first recognized man as a sinful being, and labor as a punishment for God’s sins. Such an attitude towards man and work humanists considered unfair. Man is doomed to suffer? No, he is godlike and intelligent and deserves love and honor. Labor is the punishment of the Lord? No, he ennobles a person, is God-pleasing.
Humanists defended human rights. A person has the right to enjoy nature, love, glory. Nevertheless, he has duties to God and society. He must be fair, decent, industrious, to sacrifice personal gain for the sake of public interests. Humanists believed that a person should not spend an age in a monastic cell. Creative work and education – that’s what distinguishes him from the animal. The humanists remembered the wise remark of the Roman writer and philosopher Seneca: “Nothing worthy of greater praise than the human soul.” In comparison with its greatness, nothing is great. “
This is how humanists treated human beings. And how did they see the perfect society? There will
Humanists united in circles, which appeared in the cities of Italy. The center of the humanistic movement was Florence.
Bold, new ideas of humanists fascinated many. They were interested in grandees, city patricians, rich merchants, seniors, even churchmen. Humanists were readily invited to teach philosophy, history and other Humanities in schools and universities.
The founder of humanism in literature was the Florentine Francesco Petrarca. In his “Book of Songs” he sang his love for Laura. Petrarch condemned the scholasticism for her idle philosophizing, was fond of the humanities. He was fascinated by ancient culture, he did not use rude medieval Latin, which he compared with a withered tree without leaves and fruits, but with a rich, flexible classical Latin language, the language of Roman poets and orators.
Petrarch’s adherent was Giovanni Boccaccio – author of the collection of narrations “Decameron.” He valued in man not his origin, but his mind, courage, decency. Boccaccio mocked the saints, so he provoked the wrath of the church.
Another outstanding Italian humanist of the XV century. Lorenzo Valla advocated that the church deal exclusively with questions of faith and not interfere in worldly affairs.
In the Italian art of the XIV-XV centuries. the ideals of the Renaissance and humanism were embodied by sculptor Donatello, painter Mazaccio, and others.
Humanists – philanthropists, those who believed a man of the highest value, defended his right to freedom and happiness.
Humanitarian – addressed to a person, society.