Classics
   Some familiarity with the literary works of ancient Rome continued from late antiquity throughout the Middle Ages, but even well-educated medieval scholars were familiar with only those parts of Latin literature that seemed germane to their own society, and they knew at first hand almost none of the literary masterpieces of ancient Greece. In addition, medieval thinkers often understood the works of ancient authors in ways that impress modern students as strangely anachronistic. The work of Petrarch revived interest in rediscovering the whole corpus of ancient Latin literature—that is, the "classics"— because he and his followers identified Roman literature with the sophisticated, highly civilized society that had produced it, and longed to restore familiarity not only with that literature but also with the values reflected in it. Thus the classics became "the classics" because they were thought to be markers of high civilization. The Petrarchan dream of restoring the power and culture of ancient Rome was closely linked to enthusiasm for discovering, diffusing, and learning from the writings of the ancient authors — that is, from the classics.
   This reverence for ancient literature was one of the principal characteristics of the Italian Renaissance, and while it began to mature only with the lifetime of Petrarch, evidence of its growth in northern Italy can already be found in the writings of a number of influential authors of the late 13th century. Beginning with the work of Petrarch himself, the classicizing humanist scholars of the 14th and 15th centuries rediscovered unknown works even of classical Latin authors who had been relatively well known in the Middle Ages, such as Cicero, while works of other ancient Latin authors whose works were virtually unknown, such as Livy and Quintilian, were brought to light by Petrarch's successors. The restoration of a knowledge of Greek language by the teaching of Manuel Chrysoloras at the turn of the 15th century opened the way to a parallel rediscovery of Greek classical literature. The invention of printing in the mid-15th century diffused the rediscovered Latin and Greek classics (along with other books) among the educated classes of all of western and central Europe.

Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. . 2004.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Classics IV — Classics IV, 1968. Background information Origin Jacksonville, Florida, U.S …   Wikipedia

  • Classics — ist ein französisches Jazz Plattenlabel aus Paris, das sich auf die Wiederveröffentlichung von lizenzfreien Aufnahmen spezialisiert hat. Es werden jeweils die Originaltakes, die von einer Session veröffentlicht wurden, unter dem Namen des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Classics II — Album par Era (Era) Sortie 18 octobre 2010 Enregistrement 2010 Durée 38 min 47 Genre New Age Producteur …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Classics 3 — Compilation album by Jerusalem Released 1995 Recorded Shr …   Wikipedia

  • classics — n. pl. the branch of learning concerned with study of the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Classics — puede referirse: Al álbum de Aphex Twin Al álbum de C.C. Catch Al álbum de Era Al álbum de Sarah Brightman Esta página de desambiguación cataloga artículos relacionados con el mismo título …   Wikipedia Español

  • Classics — For other uses, see Classics (disambiguation). Classical literature redirects here. For literature in classical languages outside the Graeco Roman sphere, see Ancient literature. Classicist redirects here. For the art movement, see Classicist… …   Wikipedia

  • Classics IV — The Classics IV war eine US amerikanische Popgruppe der 1960er Jahre. Gegründet wurde das Quintett 1967 von Dennis Yost in Detroit/Michigan, USA. Schon im selben Jahr bekamen sie einen Schallplatten Vertrag bei Imperial Records und hatten mit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Classics — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Classics, un album de musique électronique de Richard D. James. Classics, le 5e album du groupe Era. Catégorie : Homonymie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • classics — noun study of the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome (Freq. 1) • Derivationally related forms: ↑classicist • Hypernyms: ↑literary study * * * plural of classic * * * classics UK [ˈklæsɪks] US …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”