Civic humanism



This entry examines the origins, key characteristics, and changing use of the concept of “civic humanism” by historians. The term originated in the work of twentieth-century historian Hans Baron and described the focus on the active life, republican political forms, and acceptance of vernacular writings that developed in Florence, Italy after 1402.  Historians after Baron challenged, supported, expanded, and changed this initial conception.  Most recently, a series of articles published in the early 1990s and two separate edited collections published in 2000 and 2015, respectively, have given the concept of civic humanism its current connotations.  In the current scholarship civic humanism has lost many of its original characteristics and instead focuses on a more general application of learned culture to the politics of pre-modern Europe.  Thus, the concept of civic humanism remains an important tool for historians, even as the historical understanding of it differs markedly from Baron’s original thesis.

Niccolo da Uzzano, bust of Donatello. Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, Italie.

Source : Civic humanism