In Venice Crichton met and vanquished all disputants except Giacomo Mazzoni, was followed from place to place by crowds of admirers, and won the affection of the humanists Lorenzo Massa and Giovanni Donati.
Robertson, Modern Humanists (1891); D.
Thus while among his own colleagues he seemed merely a hypocritical and arrogant priest, in his relations with his brother humanists, such as Cosimo de Medici, he appeared as the student of classical antiquities and especially of Greek theological authors.
To dwell upon such literary infamies would be below the dignity of the historian, were it not that these habits of the early Italian humanists imposed a fashion upon Europe which extended to the later age of Scaliger's contentions with Scioppius and Milton's with Salmasius.
He was a man of exemplary life and a friend of Erasmus and the humanists, besides being a persona grata at the court of Louise of Savoy and Francis I.
At this time, in association with the keen humanists Conrad Mutian, Crotus Rubeanus and Eoban Hess, he was of sceptical tendency; moving to Wittenberg in 1519, he became evangelical under the teaching of Melanchthon and the preaching of Luther.
The movement of reform started, of necessity, with scholars rather than practising physicians - more precisely with a group of learned men, whom we may be permitted, for the sake of a name, to call the medical humanists, equally enthusiastic in the cause of letters and of medicine.
Nearly all medieval medical literature was condemned under this name; and for it the humanists proposed to substitute the originals of Hippocrates and Galen, thus leading back medicine to its fountain-head.
- Contemporary with the school of medical humanists, but little influenced by them, lived in Germany a man of strange genius, of whose character and importance the most opposite opinions have been expressed.
On the other hand, he spoke with respect of Hippocrates, and wrote a commentary on his Aphorisms. In this we see a spirit very different from the enthusiasm of the humanists for a purer and nobler philosophy than the scholastic and Arabian versions of Greek thought.
There is no record of Paracelsus' knowledge of Greek, and as, at least in his student days, the most important works of Greek medicine were very imperfectly known, it is probable he had little first hand acquaintance with Galen or Hippocrates, while his breach with the humanists is the more conspicuous from his lecturing and writing chiefly in his native German.
The distinction was never a scientific one, even in the sense in which the word science can be used of the middle ages; it originated in social conceits and in the contempt for mechanical arts which came of the cultivation of "ideas" as opposed to converse with "matter," and which, in the dawn of modern methods, led to the derision of Boyle by Oxford humanists as one given up to "base and mechanical pursuits."
Yet on the whole, even from the beginning, the revolt was useful in that it shook the position of the "learned physician," who took a literary, fastidious and meditative rather than an experimental interest in his profession, and, as in great part a descendant of the humanists, was never in full sympathy with experimental science.
He holds a high place in the history of humanism by the foundation of the College de France; he did not found an actual college, but after much hesitation instituted in 1530, at the instance of Guillaume Bude (Budaeus), Lecteurs royaux, who in spite of the opposition of the Sorbonne were granted full liberty to teach Hebrew, Greek, Latin, mathematics, &c. The humanists Bude, Jacques Colin and Pierre Duchatel were the king's intimates, and Clement Marot was his favourite poet.
Still the humanists effected a delivery of the intellect from what had become the bondage of obsolete ideas, and created a new medium for the speculative faculty.
Machiavelli had formed for himself a prose style, equalled by no one but by Guicciardini in his minor works, which was far removed from the emptiness of the latinizing humanists and the trivialities of the Italian purists.
At the same time that the Neo-Platonists, like Ficino and Pico de la Mirandola, and the pantheists, whose God was little more than a reverential conception of the universe at large, and the purely worldly humanists, like Celtes and Bebel, were widely diverging each by his own particular path from the ecclesiastical Weltanschauung of the middle ages, Ulrich von Hutten was busy attacking the Curia in his witty Dialogues, in the name of German patriotism.
A few of the humanists became Protestants - Melanchthon, Bucer, Oecolampadius and others - but the great majority of them, even if attracted for the moment by Luther's denunciation of scholasticism, speedily repudiated the movement.
The class of humanists which had grown up in Italy during the 5th century, and whose influence had been spreading into Germany, France and England during the generation immediately preceding the opening of the Protestant revolt, represented every phase of religious feeling from mystic piety to cynical indifference, but there were very few anti-clericals among them.
Then most of the humanists were clerics, and in Italy they enjoyed the patronage of the popes.
In the annals of classical learning Erasmus may be regarded as constituting an intermediate stage between the humanists of the Latin Renaissance and the learned men of the age of Greek scholarship, between Angelo Poliziano and Joseph Scaliger.
He did not worship, imitate and reproduce the classics, like the Latin humanists who preceded him; he did not master them and reduce them to a special science, as did the French Hellenists who succeeded him.
In his literary spirit he is a precursor of the humanists of the Renaissance.
In the study of Latin the principal aim of the Italian humanists was the imitation of the style of their classical models.
The imitation of Cicero was carried on with varying degrees of success by humanists such as Gasparino da Barzizza (d.
The term has also been applied to the Italian humanists of the Renaissance, and in modern times, somewhat vaguely, to thinkers who have based their speculations on the Platonic metaphysics or on Plotinus, and incorporated with it a tendency towards a mystical explanation of ultimate phenomena.
Significant also is the foothold gained at this time in the Curia itself by the humanists - Poggio, Bruni and others.
Numerous humanists were appointed to the Chancery, and the Romans were loud in their praise of the papal regime.
At Florence the pope came into closer contact with the humanists, and to this circumstance is due the gradual dominance which they attained in the Roman Curia - a dominance which, both in itself, and even more because of the frankly pagan leanings of many in that party, was bound to awaken serious misgivings.
Rome became the scene of a chronique scandaleuse among these scholars, there was something unnatural in the predominance of the humanists in the Curia.
But, though illuminated by the rays of art, and loaded with the exuberant panegyrics of humanists and poets, the reign of the first Medicean pontiff, by its unbounded devotion to purely secular tendencies and its comparative neglect of the Church herself proved disastrous for the See of St Peter.
Robertson, Pioneer Humanists (1907); J.
Without being so forward as the rival city of Augsburg to embrace the architectural fashions of the Italian renaissance - continuing, indeed, to be profoundly imbued with the old and homely German burgher spirit, and to wear, in a degree which time has not very much impaired even yet, the quaintness of the old German civic aspect - she had imported before the close of the 15th century a fair share of the new learning of Italy, and numbered among her citizens distinguished humanists like Hartmann Schedel, Sebald Schreier, Willibald Pirkheimer and Conrad Celtes.
In his own country, all orders of men, from the emperor Maximilian down, delighted to honour him; and he was the familiar companion of chosen spirits among the statesmen, humanists and reformers of the new age.
The young Humanists would have gladly welcomed him into their select band.
The people also saw his position and rallied round him; and the Humanists discerned in him a champion against the old intolerance against which they had been revolting in vain.
Overlooking the differences which separated the humanists from the eristics, and both of these from the rhetoricians, and taking no account of Socrates, whom they regarded as a philosopher, they forgot the services which Protagoras and Prodicus, Gorgias and Isocrates had rendered to education and to literature, and included the whole profession in an indiscriminate and contemptuous censure.
1, 1), swordsmanship, and forensic argumentation, implies that they came to eristic not from the sophistry of Socrates, but from that of the later humanists, polymaths of the type of Hippias; (2) that the fifth and sixth definitions of the Sophist, in which " that branch of eristic which brings pecuniary gain to the practitioner " is opposed to the " patience-trying, purgative elenchus " of Socrates, indicate that contemporary with Socrates there were eristics whose aims were not his; (3) that, whereas the sophist of the final definition " disputes, and teaches others to dispute, about things divine, cosmical, metaphysical, legal, political, technical, in fact, about all things," we have no ground for supposing that the Megarians and the Cynics used their eristic for any purpose except the defence of their logical heresies.
But more than this: whereas in the nomenclature of Plato's contemporaries Protagoras, Gorgias, Socrates, Dionysodorus and Isocrates were all of them sophists, Plato himself, in his careful investigation summarized above, limits the meaning of the term so that it shall include the humanists and the eristics only.
Which reminds us of the Italian humanists in the 15th century.
Robertson, Pioneer Humanists (1907); P. Sakmann, Bernard de Mandeville and die Bienenfabel-Controverse (Freiburg i/Br., 1897), and compare articles Ethics, Shaftesbury, Hobbes.
The humanists which it produced, interested only in its splendid revelations, forgot or ignored the achievements of the period which intervened between Cicero and Petrarch.
Then, after the indifference of humanists and Protestant polemic, came the disgust of men of science at the scholastic philosophy - an attitude best exhibited in Bacon's Advancement of Learning.
At the same time the new learning introduced by the earlier humanists awakened free thought, encouraged curiosity, and prepared the best minds of Europe for speculative audacities from which the schoolmen would have shrunk, and which soon expressed themselves in acts of cosmopolitan importance.
The humanists, or professors of that branch of knowledge, became a class of the highest dignity.
The humanists effected a deeply penetrating change in social manners.
Equilibrium was maintained by diplomacy, in which the humanists played a foremost part, casting a network of intrigue over the nation which helped in no small measure to stimulate intelligence and create a common medium of culture, but which accustomed statesmen to believe that everything could be achieved by wire-pulling.
It would be difficult to draw any comparison between German and Italian humanists to the disparagement of the former.
Those of the French humanists who did not proclaim Huguenot opinions found themselves obliged with Muretus to lend their talents to the Counter-Reformation, or to suffer persecution for heterodoxy, like Dolet.
Distinguished humanists might sneer at him as "a garrulous sophist"; but from this time his ambition was not only to be the greatest scientific authority in Germany but also the champion of the papacy and of the traditional church order.