Pro Archia Poeta

Pro ArchiaPro Archia Poeta Oratio
Cicero came to his former teacher's defense at his trial in 62 BC, only months after delivering the famous Catiline Orations. The prosecution laid out four accusations in its case against Archias: Cicero argued in defense: Because of Archias' close association with Lucullus, the case was probably a political attack directed at the politician by one of his many enemies. Chief among his enemies, and one who would stand to gain much by disgracing Lucullus was Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, better known as Pompey the Great. Cicero divided the speech by following the formal structure of the dispositio: Cicero begins his speech by gaining the goodwill or benevolentia of the judges.

Collège de France

College de FranceCollège RoyalCollege of France
Professors, about 50 in number, are chosen by the professors themselves, from a variety of disciplines, in both science and the humanities. The motto of the Collège is Docet Omnia, Latin for "It teaches everything"; its goal is to "teach science in the making" and can be best summed up by Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phrase: "Not acquired truths, but the idea of freely-executed research" which is inscribed in golden letters above the main hall. The Collège has research laboratories and one of the best research libraries of Europe, with sections focusing on history with rare books, humanities, social sciences and also chemistry and physics.

History of science in the Renaissance

scienceRenaissance scienceRenaissance scientists
Humanists favoured human-centered subjects like politics and history over study of natural philosophy or applied mathematics. Others have focused on the positive influence of the Renaissance, pointing to factors like the rediscovery of lost or obscure texts and the increased emphasis on the study of language and the correct reading of texts. Marie Boas Hall coined the term Scientific Renaissance to designate the early phase of the Scientific Revolution, 1450–1630.

Ad fontes

original meaning
The phrase epitomizes the renewed study of Greek and Latin classics in Renaissance humanism. Similarly, the Protestant Reformation called for renewed attention to the Bible as the primary source of Christian faith. The idea in both cases was that sound knowledge depends on the earliest and most fundamental sources. This phrase is related to ab initio, which means "from the beginning". Whereas ab initio implies a flow of thought from first principles to the situation at hand, ad fontes is a retrogression, a movement back towards an origin, which ideally would be clearer than the present situation.


ProvençalProvence, FranceHaute-Provence
The coast of Provence has some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Europe. Primitive stone tools dating back 1 to 1.05 million years BC have been found in the Grotte du Vallonnet near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, between Monaco and Menton. More sophisticated tools, worked on both sides of the stone and dating to 600,000 BC, were found in the Cave of Escale at Saint Estėve-Janson, and tools from 400,000 BC and some of the first fireplaces in Europe were found at Terra Amata in Nice. Tools dating to the Middle Paleolithic (300,000 BC) and Upper Paleolithic (30,000–10,000 BC) were discovered in the Observatory Cave, in the Jardin Exotique of Monaco.


Protagoras of Abdera
Reportedly, in his lost work, On the Gods, he wrote: "Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing whether they exist or not, nor of what sort they may be, because of the obscurity of the subject, and the brevity of human life." According to Diogenes Laërtius, the outspoken, agnostic position taken by Protagoras aroused anger, causing the Athenians to expel him from the city, and all copies of his book were collected and burned in the marketplace. The deliberate destruction of his works also is mentioned by Cicero.


The first European translation of Thucydides (into Latin) was made by the humanist Lorenzo Valla between 1448 and 1452, and the first Greek edition was published by Aldo Manuzio in 1502. During the Renaissance, however, Thucydides attracted less interest among Western European historians as a political philosopher than his successor, Polybius, although Poggio Bracciolini claimed to have been influenced by him. There is not much evidence of Thucydides's influence in Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince (1513), which held that the chief aim of a new prince must be to "maintain his state" [i.e., his power] and that in so doing he is often compelled to act against faith, humanity, and religion.

Dark Ages (historiography)

Dark AgesDark Agethe Dark Ages
During the Reformations of the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants generally had a similar view to Renaissance Humanists such as Petrarch, but also added an Anti-Catholic perspective. They saw classical antiquity as a golden time, not only because of its Latin literature, but also because it witnessed the beginnings of Christianity. They promoted the idea that the 'Middle Age' was a time of darkness also because of corruption within the Roman Catholic Church, such as: Popes ruling as kings, veneration of saints' relics, a licentious priesthood, and institutionalized moral hypocrisy.

Leonardo da Vinci

Da VinciLeonardoLéonard de Vinci
Renaissance humanism recognised no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are sometimes considered as impressive and innovative as his artistic work. These studies were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy (the forerunner of modern science). They were made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo's life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him.

Natural rights and legal rights

natural rightslegal rightsnatural right
Of fundamental importance to the development of the idea of natural rights was the emergence of the idea of natural human equality. As the historian A.J. Carlyle notes: "There is no change in political theory so startling in its completeness as the change from the theory of Aristotle to the later philosophical view represented by Cicero and Seneca.... We think that this cannot be better exemplified than with regard to the theory of the equality of human nature." Charles H.

Byzantine Empire

ByzantineEastern Roman EmpireByzantines
During the 12th century, the Byzantines provided their model of early humanism as a renaissance of interest in classical authors. In Eustathius of Thessalonica, Byzantine humanism found its most characteristic expression. In philosophy, there was resurgence of classical learning not seen since the 7th century, characterised by a significant increase in the publication of commentaries on classical works. In addition, the first transmission of classical Greek knowledge to the West occurred during the Komnenian period. Manuel's death on 24 September 1180 left his 11-year-old son Alexios II Komnenos on the throne.

Pliny the Younger

PlinyPliniusyounger Pliny
He was also known as a notable orator; though he professed himself a follower of Cicero's, Pliny's prose was more magniloquent and less direct than Cicero's. Pliny's only oration that now survives is the Panegyricus Traiani. This was delivered in the Senate in 100 and is a description of Trajan's figure and actions in an adulatory and emphatic form, especially contrasting him with the Emperor Domitian. It is, however, a relevant document that reveals many details about the Emperor's actions in several fields of his administrative power such as taxes, justice, military discipline, and commerce.


Humans have a rational soul. The human soul incorporates the powers of the other kinds: Like the vegetative soul it can grow and nourish itself; like the sensitive soul it can experience sensations and move locally. The unique part of the human, rational soul is its ability to receive forms of other things and to compare them using the nous (intellect) and logos (reason). For Aristotle, the soul is the form of a living being.


Basel, SwitzerlandBasleBâle
In 1543, De humani corporis fabrica, the first book on human anatomy, was published and printed in Basel by Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564). There are indications Joachim Meyer, author of the influential 16th-century martial arts text Kunst des Fechten ("The Art of Fencing"), came from Basel. In 1662 the Amerbaschsches Kabinett was established in Basel as the first public museum of art. Its collection became the core of the later Basel Museum of Art. The Bernoulli family, which included important 17th- and 18th-century mathematicians such as Jakob Bernoulli, Johann Bernoulli and Daniel Bernoulli, were from Basel.


Counter ReformationCounterreformationCatholic Reformation
The Catholic Church responded to these problems by a vigorous campaign of reform, inspired by earlier Catholic reform movements that predated the Council of Constance (1414–1417): humanism, devotionalism, legalism and the observantine tradition. The council, by virtue of its actions, repudiated the pluralism of the secular Renaissance that had previously plagued the church: the organization of religious institutions was tightened, discipline was improved, and the parish was emphasized. The appointment of bishops for political reasons was no longer tolerated.

De rerum natura

On the Nature of ThingsOn the Nature of the UniverseDe natura rerum
Martin Ferguson Smith notes that Cicero's close friend, Titus Pomponius Atticus, was an Epicurean publisher, and it is possible his slaves made the very first copies of De rerum natura. If this were the case, then it might explain how Cicero came to be familiar with Lucretius's work. In c. AD 380, St. Jerome would contend in his Chronicon that Cicero amended and edited De rerum natura, although most scholars argue that this is an erroneous claim; the classicist David Butterfield argues that this mistake was likely made by Jerome (or his sources) because the earliest reference to Lucretius is in the aforementioned letter from Cicero.

Ancient Greece

Greekancient Greekancient Greeks
Following the Renaissance in Europe, the humanist aesthetic and the high technical standards of Greek art inspired generations of European artists. Well into the 19th century, the classical tradition derived from Greece dominated the art of the western world. Religion was a central part of ancient Greek life. Though the Greeks of different cities and tribes worshipped similar gods, religious practices were not uniform and the gods were thought of differently in different places. The Greeks were polytheistic, worshipping many gods, but as early as the sixth century BC a pantheon of twelve Olympians began to develop.


Titus Lucretius CarusLucretianLucreti
Lucretius challenged the assumption that humans are necessarily superior to animals, noting that mammalian mothers in the wild recognize and nurture their offspring as do human mothers. Despite his advocacy of empiricism and his many correct conjectures about atomism and the nature of the physical world, Lucretius concludes his first book stressing the absurdity of the (by then well-established) spherical Earth theory.

Liberty (personification)

LibertyGoddess of LibertyLady Liberty
In a highly political gesture, a temple for her was raised in 58 BC by Publius Clodius Pulcher on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero's house after it had been razed. When depicted as a standing figure, on the reverse of coins, she usually holds out, but never wears, a pileus, the soft cap that symbolised the granting of freedom to former slaves. She also carries a rod, which formed part of the ceremony for manumission. In the 18th century, due to antiquarians misunderstanding the shape, the pileus turned into the similar Phrygian cap carried on a pole by English-speaking "Liberty" figures, and then worn by Marianne and other 19th-century personifications, as the "cap of liberty".

Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius AntoninusMarcusMarc Aurel
Marcus told Fronto of his reading – Coelius and a little Cicero – and his family. His daughters were in Rome with their great-great-aunt Matidia; Marcus thought the evening air of the country was too cold for them. He asked Fronto for 'some particularly eloquent reading matter, something of your own, or Cato, or Cicero, or Sallust or Gracchus – or some poet, for I need distraction, especially in this kind of way, by reading something that will uplift and diffuse my pressing anxieties.' Marcus' early reign proceeded smoothly; he was able to give himself wholly to philosophy and the pursuit of popular affection. Soon, however, he would find he had many anxieties.

Early modern period

early moderncolonial eraearly modern era
With the adoption of large-scale printing after 1500, Italian Renaissance Humanism spread northward to France, Germany, Holland and England, where it became associated with the Protestant Reformation. Developing during the Enlightenment era, Renaissance humanism as an intellectual movement spread across Europe. The basic training of the humanist was to speak well and write (typically, in the form of a letter). The term umanista comes from the latter part of the 15th century. The people were associated with the studia humanitatis, a novel curriculum that was competing with the quadrivium and scholastic logic.

Francis Bacon

Sir Francis BaconBaconLord Bacon
Francis Bacon was born on 22 January 1561 at York House near the Strand in London, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon (Lord Keeper of the Great Seal) by his second wife, Anne (Cooke) Bacon, the daughter of the noted Renaissance humanist Anthony Cooke. His mother's sister was married to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, making Burghley Bacon's uncle. Biographers believe that Bacon was educated at home in his early years owing to poor health, which would plague him throughout his life. He received tuition from John Walsall, a graduate of Oxford with a strong leaning toward Puritanism.


Publius Terentius AferTerrenceTerentius
One famous quotation by Terence reads: "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto", or "I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me." This appeared in his play Heauton Timorumenos. Terence's date of birth is disputed; Aelius Donatus, in his incomplete Commentum Terenti, considers the year 185 BC to be the year Terentius was born; Fenestella, on the other hand, states that he was born ten years earlier, in 195 BC. He may have been born in or near Carthage or in Greek Italy to a woman taken to Carthage as a slave. Terence's cognomen Afer suggests he lived in the territory of the Libyan tribe called by the Romans Afri near Carthage prior to being brought to Rome as a slave.

Platonism in the Renaissance

Renaissance NeoplatonismRenaissance Neo-PlatonismNeoplatonic
Although he was a product of the studia humanitatis, Pico was constitutionally an eclectic, and in some respects he represented a reaction against the exaggerations of pure humanism, defending what he believed to be the best of the medieval and Islamic commentators (see Averroes, Avicenna) on Aristotle in a famous long letter to Ermolao Barbaro in 1485. It was always Pico’s aim to reconcile the schools of Plato and Aristotle, since he believed they both used different words to express the same concepts. It was perhaps for this reason that his friends called him Princeps Concordiae ("Prince of Harmony"), a punning allusion to Concordia, one of his family’s holdings.

Outline of humanism

Humanist Manifesto. Amsterdam Declaration 2002. A Secular Humanist Declaration. Greek roots. Democracy. Free thinking. Greek philosophy. Renaissance humanism. 1853 - Humanistic Religious Association formed in London. 1900 to the 1930s – New Humanism developed by the American scholar Irving Babbitt and the scholar and journalist Paul Elmer More. It was an influential strand of conservative thought up to the 1930s. 1929 - First Humanist Society of New York. 1930 - Humanism: A New Religion published. 1933 - Humanist Manifesto published. 1941 - American Humanist Association founded. By region. Humanism in Germany. Humanism in France. Agnosticism–. Atheism–. Evolution–.