The definition of a humanist is a person who specializes in the humanities, the study of grammar, rhetoric, history, and poetry. During the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Age of Exploration, humanists flourished throughout Europe. During the Renaissance, people were once again intrigued by classical Greek and Latin studies which made humanists popular during this time. During the Reformation, humanists questioned the Roman Catholic Church's spirituality. The Scientific Revolution was a time that many humanists discovered that the Greek and Roman manuscripts were not something the humanist completely agreed with. Humanists revolutionized a way of thinking that led to new ideas and values taking hold in Europe.
The Renaissance was a period during the 1300s to the 1600s when knowledge and intelligence played an important role in life. Humanists were people that focused their studies on the humanities. Humanists emphasized on education and individual achievement, and believed greatly in leading a fulfilled life. One of the first humanists during the Renaissance was Francesco Petrarch from Italy. Petrarch studied classical writings of the Romans and Greeks because Petrarch thought the people of the Greek and Roman times could best be explained through studying the writings. Petrarch called this "classical education because of the use of the classical writings. He also was a poet. Petrarch wrote many poems and sonnets to Laura, his imaginary perfect woman. Petrarch brought new ideas of thinking by using the "classical education to teach others about the Greeks and Romans. Another important humanist during the Renaissance was NiccolÃ² Machaivelli. Machaivelli wrote the book, The Prince, which was about how the government should be run in his opinion. Machaivelli used politics in ancient Rome as a model for his book. Machaivelli wasn't like most of the humanist