MED12 Renaissance and Humanism

Faculty of Arts
Spring 2010
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 3 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
Mgr. Lenka Češková (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
doc. Mgr. Katarina Petrovićová, Ph.D.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Contact Person: Jitka Erlebachová
Thu 11:40–13:15 A31 stara
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 13 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
At the end of this lecture, students will obtain the overview of main historical events, philosophical thoughts, scientific improvements, language and literature, architecture and fine arts of the period form the fall of the 14th to the 16th century, the period formed by so called renaissance humanism. The lectures aim at the renaissance Italy and its main cultural personalities (Leon Battista Alberti, Poggio Bracciolini, Leonardo Bruni, Flavio Biondo, Francesco Filelfo, Cristoforo Landino, Coluccio Salutati, Niccolò Niccoli, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Lorenzo Valla, Giulio Cesare della Scala, Marsilio Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Angelo Poliziano, Ennea Silvio Piccolomini, cardinal Bessarione and others). A special emphasis will be put on the efforts of Italian humanists to get back to the Antiqity (e. g. their recognition of the ancient masterpieces of literature, fine arts and architecture and the restoration of their principals in the contemporary culture). Several lectures will be devoted to the reception of the Italian humanism in the rest of Europe and the specifics of the post-Alpine humanism.
  • 1. Predecessors of the Renaissance Humanism in the Middle Ages, Renaissance of the 12th Century AD.
  • 2. Beliefs and Philosophy (ad fontes, ie. new interest in the classical literature and scholarship, emphasis on Man and his dignity); Neo-Platonism (Marsilio Ficino a New Academy in Careggi; Cristoforo Landino).
  • 3. Renaissance Popes (Eugene IV, Nicolas V, Pius II, Sixtus IV) and Rome of their time; the Donation of Constantine and the critique of Lorenzo Valla.
  • 4. Court Culture in Renaissance Italy (Florence, Mantua, Ferrara, Urbino, Milan).
  • 5. „Studia humanitatis“; Scouring of Monastic Libraries for Lost Texts, Editing and Translating of "Classics" (Poggio Bracciolini and his findings in course of the Council of Constance); Rediscorery of Greek Texts and New Interest for Greek (Manuele Crisolora, Francesco Filelfo); Renaissance Latin, Latin x Volgare (Leonardo Bruni); Italian Renaissance Literature (Giovanni Boccaccio, Francesco Petrarca).
  • 6. „Uomini illustri“ in Literature and Fine Arts (Vespasiano da Bisticci, Paolo Giovio).
  • 7. Italian Humanists – Antiquarians, Reconstruction of the Ancient Rome (Leon Battista Alberti, Flavio Biondo); Raffael, Bramante and the First "Professional" Excavations in Rome; Pirro Ligorio.
  • 8. Renaissance Architecture in Italy (Filippo Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti).
  • 9. Renaissance Sculpture and Painting in Italy (Donatello; Pisanello, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca); "paragone"; "ekfrasis".
  • 10. Renaissance and Humanism "Behind the Alps": Philosophy, Literature, Philology (Nicolas Cusanus, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Philip Melanchthon, Johann Reuchlin).
  • 11. Humanism, Renaissance and Reformation in the Czech Lands (Jan Blahoslav).
  • 12. Transalpine Renaissance Fine Arts (Francie, Germany; Poland; Lands of the Bohemian Crown during the Reign of Ladislaus Jagiellon, Hungary under Matthias Corvinus).
  • JOHNSON, Paul. Dějiny renesance. Translated by Jiří Svoboda. 1. vyd. Brno: Barrister & Principal, 2004. 149 s. ISBN 8086598683. info
  • Renesanční člověk a jeho svět. Edited by Eugenio Garin. Vyd. 1. Praha: Vyšehrad, 2003. 279 s. ISBN 8070216530. info
  • BURKE, Peter. Italská renesance : kultura a společnost v Itálii. Vyd. 1. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1996. 319 s. ISBN 8020405895. info
  • HLOBIL, Ivo and Eduard PETRŮ. Humanismus a raná renesance na Moravě. Photo by Prokop Paul. Vyd. 1. Praha: Academia, 1992. 274 s. ISBN 8020003851. info
Teaching methods
The course is taught as both lectures on the topics given by syllabus, and seminars, where the students present their seminar works. Therefore, attendance and participation in the course (min. 75%) is required.
Assessment methods
Seminar work: writte essay on the given topic. Final knowledge test (75% correct answers to succeed).
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024.
  • Enrolment Statistics (Spring 2010, recent)
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