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Humanism and Renaissance

             The Renaissance began in the fourteenth century in Northern Italian cities. It began after people started to become more interested in the literature and ideas of ancient Greece and Rome. When the interest for those ideas rose many people started to reject the medieval practices. Northern Renaissance started a little later in the fifteenth century and had some minor differences. Renaissance is best described by the word humanism which was a cultural and intellectual movement that emphasized secular ideas as a result of the rediscovery and study of the literature, art, and civilization of ancient Greece and Rome.
             The Northern Renaissance was more integrated with Christianity. Learning of the Classical languages was used for better translating the Bible. People studied Classical literature in its relation to the Bible and art was predominantly focused on Christianity and its themes. The Northern Renaissance is more tied into Christianity than the Italian Renaissance.
             One of the productions of the Renaissance was literature, particularly letters. One letter shows how people used their own mind to write about different things and not only about religion. The letter, written by Petrarch in 1362 to his friend Boccaccio offered reassurance and responded to charges made against humanistic learning. "To desert our studies shows a want to self-confidence rather than wisdom, for letters do not hinder but aid the properly constituted mind which possesses them; they facilitate our life, they do not retard it". (Petrarch, pg. 272) From the quote one can see that the people started to use their own mind because they saw the beauty of learning. People liked the idea that they could write about things that do not have to be connected to the church. "While I know that many have become famous for piety without learning, at the same time I know of no one who has been prevented by literature from following the path of holiness".

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