People were traveling to lands like Jerusalem or Egypt, the Greek Islands and to cities like Barcelona, Lisbon or Bruges. Merchandise and aliens were bringing along traditions and civilizations different from their own. Another factor that influenced a cultural unity in Italy during the Renaissance was according to Welch the claim of being the inheritor of Rome every major Italian city had.
The culture of the antiquity, Latin or Greek had a major contribution not only in shifting theological and education views of the middle Ages from scholasticism to the humanistic views brought from philosophers like Cicero, Quintilian, Augustine, Plato and Aristotle.
Two major scholar figures in the "humanization" of the educational field were Guarino Veronese and Vittorino da Feltre.
They created a new model of teaching to students, based on the learning of Latin and Greek and the study of Aristotle, Cicero and Plato and their model became the source of inspiration for scholars throughout the whole period of the Renaissance. Like Petrarca and Coluccio, they put a high meaning on accent the cultivation of eloquence. The students were taught about the importance of properly using language in order to achieve the maximum degree of expressing one's ideas. Persuasion of the audience was the final goal of these teaching as being the whole purpose of putting one's ideas to the service of public good. In this respect, students learned grammar and rhetoric, two objects of study that allowed them to make sentences with meaning and to deliver them to the audience through the right arguments and tone.
According to Nicola Abbagnano, there were two opposed views on the Italian humanism: from the point-of-view of the rebirth of classical culture, humanism was not specific to the renaissance period, but it was a continuation of what started in the Middle Ages. Moreover, there are views that are even counter arguing the evolutionary role humanism had in the birth of modern science. In this respect, Abbagnano mentions Hiram Haydn's theory from his book the Counter-Renaissance. He also mentions several other authors, like M.C. Clagett, John H. Randall, Jr. who are also in favor of a current opposing the main role humanism had in the development of modern science. The question Abbagnano chooses to answer is: "has this humanism made a decisive contribution to the history of the ideas that still today constitute the patrimony of western civilization, and in what does this contribution consist?" The studies of Lorenzo Valla who sought and succeeded in proving or disapproving the authenticity of the classical writings is used as an example in favor of a positive answer.
Humanism was also present in the Italian Renaissance in the form of a "civic humanism." Two of its promoters were Leonardo Bruni and Battista Alberti. Both of them sustained that the best form of government was a republic following the Florentine example. Their main reasons of arguing for this form of republic were based on the definition of the citizen in relationship to his family and the state. Their conclusions when it came to the things that are putting things in motion on the evolutionary scale were thus related the self-interest that made men interested in reaching their goals and contributing to the development of the society they lived in.
The humanism in the Italian Renaissance helped did not come between the scientist world and that of the arts, but helped find a common point-of-view between these two worlds on the way of putting human dignity above everything else.
Abbagnano, N. Dictionary of the History of ideas. Renaissance Humanism. 2003. Retrieved: Jul 26, 2008 at http://etext.virginia.edu/cgi-local/DHI/dhi.cgi?id=dv4-19
Burckhardt, J. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Retrieved: Jul 26, 2008 at http://www.boisestate.edu/courses/hy309/docs/burckhardt/3-4.html
Harris, J. Byzantium. Byzantines in Renaissance Italy. 2002. Retrieved: Jul 26, 2008 at http://www.the-orb.net/encyclop/late/laterbyz/harris-ren.html
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Welch, E. Art in Renaissance Italy, 1350-1500: 1350-1500, p. 9
Burckhardt, J. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Itlay. Part Three.
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