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Beyond the classroom: international interest in thestudia humanitatisin the university towns of Quattrocento Italy

Rundle, David (2013) 'Beyond the classroom: international interest in thestudia humanitatisin the university towns of Quattrocento Italy.' Renaissance Studies, 27 (4). pp. 533-548. ISSN 0269-1213

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Abstract

This article challenges two common misconceptions about ultramontani and Italian Renaissance education. The first is better known but still prevalent in some accounts: it is too often assumed that a visit to Italy needs must make a foreigner come under the influence of the studia humanitatis – but, in truth, many travelled without ever coming in contact with what we call humanism. The second misconception is less recognized: it is the assumption that travellers to Italy sought out specific teachers, in particular, Guarino da Verona, as a font of humanist learning. Even in the classic iconoclastic account of Grafton and Jardine, it is accepted that Guarino enjoyed an international reputation that attracted students to him. In truth, the claim tells us more about the self-conscious construction of Guarino's image by his students (sometimes under his own direction) than it does about their own experience. It is a reputation that has created a classic case of misdirection: modern scholars concentrate on what was or was not happening in his presence, at the risk of missing what was going on elsewhere. Despite their own rhetoric, Guarino's foreign students did not flock to Italy solely to sit at the pedagogue's feet: they submitted themselves to multiple educational stimuli, and continued their own studies away from their master. In other words, the students manufactured their own humanist experience, both within and outside educational establishments.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reginald Chichele; Ludovico Carbone; Ferrara; William Gray, Bishop of Ely; image creation; Janus Pannonius; peregrinatio studii; Rome; John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester; Guarino da Verona; Gaspare da Verona; Jan Vitez
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DG Italy
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > History, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2014 12:05
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10551

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