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Italian Renaissance Humanism in the Mirror (Ideas in Context)

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Italian Renaissance Humanism in the Mirror (Ideas in Context)

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    Available in PDF Format | Italian Renaissance Humanism in the Mirror (Ideas in Context).pdf | English
    Patrick Baker(Author)
This important study takes a new approach to understanding Italian Renaissance humanism, based not on scholarly paradigms or philosophical concepts but on a neglected yet indispensable perspective: the humanists' understanding of themselves. Through a series of close textual studies, Patrick Baker excavates what humanists thought was important about humanism, how they viewed their own history, what goals they enunciated, what triumphs they celebrated - in short, he attempts to reconstruct humanist identity. What emerges is a small, coherent community dedicated primarily not to political ideology, a philosophy of man, an educational ethos, or moral improvement, but rather to the pursuit of classical Latin eloquence. Grasping the significance this stylistic ideal had for the humanists is essential to understanding both their sense of themselves and the importance they and others attached to their movement. For eloquence was no mere aesthetic affair but rather appeared to them as the guarantor of civilisation itself.

'His book will serve as a useful reference. He writes with verve, makes perceptive observations, and, when he translates from the Latin, he does so competently.' John Monfasani, Renaissance Quarterly

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Book details

  • PDF | 358 pages
  • Patrick Baker(Author)
  • Cambridge University Press (29 Sept. 2015)
  • English
  • 3
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

Review Text

  • By Artsreadings on 9 February 2017

    Obviously, this is a scholarly publication with all the features expected of an academic research. It is rich in original quotes from primary sources, and full of footnotes for referencing too.Baker's innovation by contrast with earlier scholarship on 15th-century Italian Renaissance is in looking at often overlooked primary sources published in the 1400s in Italy.In doing so, Baker focuses on these educated individuals who were interested in reconnecting with the classical past, and more specifically, with bringing back the features of classical Latin and the art of discourse and reasoning that it supported.The particular interest of Baker is in these individuals' self-conception or self-reflection: in other words, how these authors thought of themselves and their peers.

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