So great were his writings that royalty treated him, the son of exiled nobles, like a king and in a letter to a friend he even goes as far as to say that he has caused his own plague to spread over Europe, one which has caused people to take up pen and paper and write and read.
And so ended the dark ages and the start of Humanism
2. Leonardo Bruni
Humanist, Florentine patriot and chancellor; Advocate of Ciceronian civil humanism. Wrote The New Cicero
Leonardo Bruni, in his Vite di Dante e di Petrarca, would praise Dante’s decision to become actively involved in matters of state over Petrarch’s preference for the life of seclusion. Although Petrarch’s choice may have been more prudent, he says, Dante’s life was of greater usefulness for the community. Was a pupil of the Byzantine Scholar Chrysoloras in learning Greek.
3. Lorenzo Valla The Elegances of the Latin Language. An effort to purify medieval Latin and restore Latin to its proper position over the vernacular.
4. Ficino and the Platonic Academy
Founder of Florence's Platonic Academy
In his Correggio villa, Ficino led the Platonic Academy of Florence, a circle of literary men and artists eager to learn from the man they nicknamed "alter Plato." His large "Platonica familia" included his student Lorenzo de' Medici, philosopher Pico della Mirandola, and poets Angelo Poliziano and Giovanni Cavalcanti, Ficino's dear friend. Throughout his life Ficino also corresponded with numerous prominent men of Europe, political and religious leaders as well as scholars.
Neoplatonism: Hierarchy of Substances and the theory of spiritual love
5. Pico della Mirandola Humanist who called Hermetic philosophy the "science of the Divine" If there is such a thing as a "manifesto" of the Italian Renaissance, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's "Oration on the Dignity of Man" is it; no other work more forcefully,...
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