Essay about The Italian Renaissance

797 Words Apr 17th, 2015 4 Pages
Humanism The Italian Renaissance (1330-1550) was a period of great cultural change and achievement that is often characterized by the philosophy of humanism and an increasingly secular outlook. Humanism was a distinct movement that broke away from the previous belief that humans had no control over their destiny. Humanists believed that human beings could make meaningful choices about their lives and destiny, and most importantly, that humans were inherently good. During the Renaissance, literature and the arts became increasingly important. Humanist artists and writers focused on worldly, secular themes rather than strictly religious themes. Renaissance humanist ideals included the belief in an education that covered a wide array of history and in human free will. Renaissance Man himself, Niccolò Machiavelli, illustrates the increasingly secular and humanistic ideals of the Renaissance in The Prince. The Prince exemplifies the increasing importance of education and secularism. Machiavelli advises princes to be well-rounded in a wide range of subjects; essentially, he urges princes to be Renaissance Men. He believes that princes should have diverse skills in many subjects. Most importantly, he affirms that an extensive knowledge of history is essential in order to learn from the mistakes of the past: “[T]he prince must read history, studying the actions of eminent men…to discover the reasons for their victories or their defeats, so that he can avoid the latter and imitate…

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