The Renaissance

Start Free Trial

What is Renaissance Humanism?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Renaissance humanism was a movement that began in Italy with a "rebirth" of classical learning. There were three simultaneous sources of thus rebirth. First, scholars such as Petrarch were combing monastic libraries for old manuscripts and palimpsests. Second, with the Crusades and Fall of Constantinople, Byzantine scholars were bringing over the Latin West knowledge and many Latin texts that had falling into desuetude in the West. Third, in Spain, especially Toledo, Europeans were encountering classical works preserved in Arabic translations and important Arabic commentaries (a factor that influenced the 12th century Renaissance and continued to influence humanism). The printing press led to wide dissemination of the new humanist learning. The included a new focus on the areas now called the humanities as worthy of study at advanced levels, rather than just as preliminary to theology.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial