How Did Plato Influence The Renaissance

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The Italian Renaissance was a reawakening of literature and art, as well as many of the ideas of previous cultures (“The Impact,” 2016). Although they were not the only ideas to be revived, Greco-Roman Classical beliefs were perhaps the most prominent. The revivification of ideas such as humanism and Platonism and their effects on art make the influence of the Greco-Roman Classical period blatantly obvious in the philosophy of the Renaissance period. One of the most obvious revivals is the revisiting of philosophy from the Classical period, such as the ideas of Athenian philosopher, Plato (Hooker 1997). Neo-Platonism, meaning “new Platonism”, sought to take the ideas of Plato and combine them with other philosophies that were prominent at the time, such as Stoicism and Aristoteleanism (Hooker 1997) Philosophers of the Renaissance period breathed new life into old philosophies, and then combined the ancient beliefs to create something else entirely. In this way, the Renaissance philosophers and artists “rivaled rather than reproduced, the accomplishments of …show more content…
For instance, both Plato and Renaissance philosophers shared the belief that the universe is made up of two realms: the divine and the physical (Hooker 1997). Both understood the material world to be a reflection of the divine one (Sayre 2008). For Plato, this meant a constant pursuit of the divine realm, which he called the realm of Forms or Ideas (Sayre 2008). Renaissance philosophers and artists, in contrast, did not discard the worth of the physical universe as Plato did, instead deeming it worthy of copying and observing to the best of their abilities because they believed it to be a reflection of the divine universe (Sayre 2008). These beliefs contributed to an increasing interest in naturalism, the pursuit of imitating reality as it appears (Sayre

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