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Humanism in the Renaissance The renaissance started in the 14th century in cities of Northern Italy During this time the social elite became more interested in the literature and ideas of ancient Greece and Rome People started to reject some of the ideas and practices of medieval civilization and turned to the idea of humanism Humanism was a new concern with people as powerful creative individuals in a dynamic secular world During the Renaissance humanistic attitudes and cultural productions consisted of the rediscovery of classical sources freedom of the individual a new concern for the present instead of the life after death and the new discovered pleasure of classical literature and books Religion during the Renaissance was not at all forgotten and instead emphasis was placed on learning classical languages to improve translations of the Bible and studying classical literature for its relation to Christian ideals and life In the early Renaissance literary humanism and a movement to receive classical literature and the values expressed in classical writings was central The focus turned from people as religious beings to include the problems of people and nature in the human world People started to read his love Sonnets and other classical works that dealt with ideas other than religion For example Florentine Francesco Petrarch was well known for love sonnets and other classical translations In one letter to a friend Petrarch defends humanistic learning and its accusations that it diverts people away from religion Petrarch writes no one has been prevented by literature from following the path of holiness6 By this statement Petrarch is saying that literature has never prevented people from learning or diverted people away from religion Another way people rediscovered classical sources was through visual paintings For example Raphaels painting The School of Athens was a great tribute to Greek philosophy which played an important role in the Italian Renaissance The painting depicts different philosophers arranged in-groups according to their philosophical
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