Humanism and Culture of Renaissance Europe by Charles G. Nauert

The term "renaissance" is well-established in history jargon. (Nauert and Cambridge University Pres, 2012). With his 12th Century Renaissance, the great American medievalist Charles Homer Haskins helped to popularize that notion. In addition to the fact that this racial restitution was a direct precursor to every ongoing European development, Charles argued that the word ""resurgence"" in the sense of the advent of high principles, comprising substantial passion for traditional Latin poetry, was an observable characteristic of the 12th century. Others went further then demanded that the Renaissance, the actual one, the one that marked the necessary change of Europe from a regressive to a progressive development, happened not Italy in later 14th Century however in France in the 12th C Century (Nauert and Cambridge University Press, 2012) For a time in the late 1940s and 50s, the very concept of a Renaissance came under attack. The term and concept of Renaissance have subsisted, though still disputed. The paper will review humanism and culture of Renaissance Europe by Charles G. Nauert.

Nauert perceives humanism as European intellectual culture reorientations in which specific disciplines such as studia humanititis, were invigorated by an innovative history vision in which the recently coined Middle Ages had to be circumvented to bring ancient understanding into the present (Nauert, 2006). The book provided a synthesis of the key themes of the European Regeneration, among the most powerful racial rebellions in antiquity. Prof Nauret traced the origins of the humanist "movement" besides its growth in the political and social surroundings of the more comprehensive European setting. Nauret charted the major philosophical, educational, social, and intellectual problems of this humanist revolution, using biographical and art drawings of essential figures to illumine the discussion.

The humanism involved a particular philosophical program (per Kristeller), Nauert, however, asserted that its mind-set was pigeonholed by a turn from metaphysics to morals from hypothetical thought preparation for principled action in society. He retained Petrarch as the initiator of humanism whereas recognizing proto-humanists. He knew that civic republicanism thesis of Baron had been demystified; however, he still assumes pains wherever possible to draw a connection between prosperous republics and Italian humanism. Perhaps it would be better emphasize on the non-clerical and non-feudal culture of the cities of Italy than republicanism.

Northern humanism is primarily explained Italian culture diffusion, regardless of secluded traditionalists with other countries. He accredited that humanism assisted the Protestant Reformation without appealing that it unavoidably led there. Perhaps even more prominently, he showed that the Reformation did not execute humanism that suffused the educational institutions of the 16th Century without ever entirely relocating Aristotle or the elementary structures of the Medieval College. In the late "Late Renaissance" (no specific time provided) two drifts are emphasized: the development of qualified philosophical scholarship along with the diffusions of classical themes and texts into the dialect. Humanism diminishes as the fiasco to find harmony and truth in ancient texts led to increasing yesterday' s information than on the likelihood tomorrow's discoveries.

In the classic account version, Charles Nauert chart, the humanism rose as the distinctive as the intellectual, political, social and cultural elutes in Renaissance Europe. He traced the emergence of humanism in the particular cultural and social conditions of the 14th C Italy as well as its steady dissemination throughout the entire Europe. Regardless of discriminatory origin, Neuert indicated how humanism became a crucial force in the regular culture and the fine art of the sixteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the substantial impact it had on Catholic and Protestant Reformations (Nauert, 2006). He used biographical and art outlines of main facts to illumine the narrative and accomplishes with an account of the humanism limitations at the finale of the Renaissance Europe. The revised edition comprises a segment dealing with the place of females in humanistic values as well as a restructured bibliography. The classic account revised account would be essential for all Renaissance Europe students.

Nauert followed the work of Paul Oskar Kristeller in his persistence that humanism is not a philosophy that occurred to scuffle with scholasticism: it was not a philosophy at all, besides did not worry about the discipline. Instead, it was the advent of an innovative worldview; very imprecise and never retaining any cohesive or clear goals which aimed at revitalizing the world through the reawakening of a shadowy, perfect antiquity. In practice, this meant the denial of the old medieval disciplines of natural theology and science; disciplines based on inevitability and an encirclement of disciplines such as moral philosophy (Nauert, 2006), grammar and rhetoric. These subjects, not like their barbaric predecessors, were epitome for civic participation as well as for making the decision based on likelihood instead of conviction. Where a pedagogic education aimed to permit one to elucidate the working of the domain and spirituality, a humanistic education allowed an individual to make practical and favourable verdicts when faced with economic, social, and political problems. Owing to this, Nauert argued, it was not surprising that humanism initially took off in democrat Florence before changing into a philosophy that fit more happily in charitable courts. The work provided a version of the fifteenth century of Italian Neoplatonism and humanism before discovering the effect of the photogravure press, the steady trickle of humanism concepts over the Alps (specific attention was given to German humanists like Erasmus, Reuchlin, and Celtis, as well as how it transformed over the Reformation course. It ended with a thematic sector about the effect of the Reformation that stressed the conventional nature of humanists and underlined the fact that whereas humanists might have inadvertently flagged the way, the Scientific Revolution was not a humanism or Renaissance creature.

Evidently, a traditional history, by a specialist on northern Europe, primarily written for general and an undergraduate audience. A sound impression with tremendously reasonably and useful bibliographical thesis at the end, even though those seeking more comprehensive facts on Italy will want to look somewhere else. Females do not appear much in the book, either, but they should.


It is a great introduction book, besides the last and first chapters are especially useful. Humanism is typically a very fuzzily-defined realm, and this work is valuable for providing an excellent concept of what it is as well as what is not. Its middles section focusses on individual humanists in several areas, can sporadically feel a little jumbled or like a list of labels, and that is occasionally made of inferior quality by the fact that it lacked any primary source material. However, it does have a pretty decent guide and bibliography to further reading as well as covering an extraordinarily wide geographic array of such a small volume.


Nauert, C. G. (2006). Humanism and the culture of Renaissance Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Nauert, C. G., & Cambridge University Press. (2012). Humanism and the culture of Renaissance Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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