Humanism In The Florentine Chronicle

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If Humanism is the application of classical thought to intellectual and social culture, then it must be acknowledged that objectively there is an expression of humanism within the Florentine Chronicle. Towards the start of book eight, Villani addresses his reasons for writing the chronicle and alleges that he was directly inspired by the Roman jubilee of 1300 whereupon, “beholding the great and ancient things therein, and reading the stories and the great doings of the Romans, written by Virgil, and by Sallust, and by Lucan, and Titus Livius, and Valerius, and Paulus Orosius, and other masters of history” he saw the need for Florence to have a similar recorded history. Here, Villani has directly referenced his classical inspiration and intent…show more content…
This may be a dangerous statement because, as I stated previously, the definition of the word has many senses and remains a contentious issue. However, its meaning comes into focus when contrasted to the supernatural or to appeals to authority. The work of later, Renaissance humanists aimed to celebrate and elevate the individual and human aspect of existence. They turned away from the rigid dogmatic restrictions of the church. Villani was not one of these writers. The Florentine Chronicle, far from forming a new philosophical outlook, retains a concept of moral philosophy that has lead historian, Kenneth Bartlett to note that in contrast to his Renaissance-era successors, "his reliance on such elements as divine providence links Villani closely with the medieval vernacular chronicle tradition. This is most evident in Villani’s three basic assumptions about morality that underlie his historical interpretation in the chronicle. Villani takes historical events and forces them to conform to recurring patterns of significance. This morality comes in the following form: Firstly, excess will bring disaster. This means whenever possible, Villani emphasised that greed will ultimately bring about a fall, as was the case with Ugolino. Secondly, Villani believed in a sweeping, medieval Christian outlook wherein history is governed by a celestial, omnipresent struggle between right and wrong. For every anecdote or tale Villani tells us, he is attaching an overarching emphasis on the religious binary judgement of the story and that its meaning is inherently a moral one, rather than an event significant for its historical value alone. Thirdly, Villani appears to associate his writings deeply with a conviction in the idea that there is an exact correspondence between the natural and supernatural halves of existence. With this, Villani’s view of history believes in a Divine Will and that all occurrences of significance are

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