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Humanism


            Humanism is going back to the classics. Humanism isn't just the study of Literature and Philosophy it also includes many other aspects such as architecture and music. Anything that is studying "classic works" to extend human knowledge is considered Humanist. Humanists studied ancient things so that they could use the examples for their own work. The classical works were pre-Christianity and used reason to explain things. By studying how humanists before them used reason instead of religion to explain things they learned from it. In the Italian Classical period Humanism was more the study of human values and human activities as opposed to religious belief. The Northern Christian Renaissance was a mix between the old and the new way of doing things and it focused more on Christianity.
             The Italian Classical Period was more focused on learning about humans rather than secular things. However, they were not ignoring religion in any way. The Classical humanism began in Italy during the mid 14th century. The late medieval Italian writers Dante, Boccaccio, and Petrarch contributed very much to the finding of classical works. Petrarch began to research earlier writers, for example, Cicero. Petrarch was referring back to the classics, the early humanists, and he was learning from them. After Petrarch studied the humanists before him, he began to write great sonnets and he was known to be the "father of humanism". Petrarch wrote lyric poetry dealing with individuals; he wanted to share knowledge for the public good. This was certainly a newer way of life. He started a library of the classics where he translated them for everyone to read. He believed reading to be very important. He used his money to buy and save the books. Dante was around from 1265 to 1321. Dante definitely shows signs of the beginning of change through his epic poem, The Divine Comedy. This book was very religious because every line and every canto was related to the trinity, number 3.


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