Life was oriented around and organized toward people acting in groups. The ensuing political philosophy dictated that the smallest component of society was not the individual but the family. Christianity also encouraged this sense of community. (Ch 11, p.224). Within the context of a successful Christianity, economic changes in the 12th through the 14th centuries gave rise to a money economy and the development of a capitalist system. By the second half of the 14th century, economic changes were so pronounced in Italy, that a largely urban society began to develop, whose rich and secular spirit created new possibilities for the enjoyment of worldly things(Ch. 13. p. 407-8). This revived emphasis on individual ability became known as Humanism.Thisaper shall illustrate that the Humanist movement changed prevailing views of the idealized man and woman.
The Roots of Humanism
At the beginning of the 14th century, a literary movement among mostly upper class, educated writers and artists in northern Italian cities begat the Renaissance. These individuals attempted to emulate as closely as possible the percieved expertise of the literary figures of ancient Rome. Because the study of all things Roman was particularly important, a course of or the enjoyment of worldly things(Ch. 13. p. 407-8). This revived emphasis on individual ability became known as Humanism.This pre had been quashed by the prevailing group consciousness.
Humanism differed from the prevailing social ethos in three important areas. First, veneration and understanding of the (then)classical past. The study of Latin and ancient Greek languages, art, architecture, philosophy and literature became paramount. Almost by default, emphasis on all kinds of learning became a second defining feature of humanism. Again, because study and learning involved the individual, as opposed to the medieval emphasis on family or group, individual effort and Individualis...