How were Ideas from Classical Philosophy applied to Renaissance Government?

What are Renaissance and Classical Philosophy? Who were Notable Classical Philosophers? Which Humanist Idea affected the Renaissance, and What were its Features? What was the Major Work by Machiavelli during the Renaissance?
How were Ideas from Classical Philosophy applied to Renaissance Government
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The Renaissance was a period of change for everyone. It was an uprising to win the freedom of thought and expression. People of that time were no longer ready to accept the orthodox beliefs and were ready to question their credibility. Many artists, writers, painters, sculptors, etc., were involved in speeding up the Renaissance with their works. They were art lovers. So, which humanist idea affected the Renaissance Society? Well, this period witnessed a classical philosophy. You must be wondering how were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government. In this article, we will discuss these topics along with what was a major Renaissance work by Machiavelli and others.

1. What is meant by Renaissance?

The intense period of European artistic, cultural, economic, and political rebirth after the Middle Ages is known as the Renaissance. It is said to have happened between the 14th century and 17th centuries. It was the age of rediscovery of classical philosophy along with art and literature. In the upcoming segments, you will see how were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government. (See Fall of Constantinople Effects)

2. What is meant by Classical Philosophy?

A set of beliefs, assumptions, and analyses of experiences, along with the intellectual and complex set of beliefs that were forced upon the people before the Middle Ages is known as Classical Philosophy. These beliefs and assumptions were challenged by the ancient philosophers, the Greeks, especially Aristotle who helped in shaping classical philosophy. The period of classical philosophy extended for more than 2500 years. It was a long time and philosophy underwent many changes over the years, with some unchanged underlying ideas being an exception. (See Why is Philosophy important Today?)

3. How were Ideas from Classical Philosophy applied to Renaissance Government?

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Since classical philosophy was composed of various aspects, it led to an overall change in the system prevailing then. But the most influential change came when these ideas were applied to the Renaissance Government. Mainly the ideas from classical philosophy were used to improvise the structure of the government along with its organization. These ideas reduced the influence of the government on the public. This is your answer to the question how were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government. (Also read What is the One Factor that led to the Emergence of Romanticism?)

4. Who were Notable Classical Philosophers?

How were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government is a separate issue, however, the concept of classical philosophy was logically understood by ancient Greeks. The most notable philosopher of that time was Socrates, who became the most influential philosopher of all time. Other philosophers were Plato and Aristotle.

  • Socrates: He developed the Socratic Method, which was a process of intellectual inquiry in a dialectic dialogue. It was developed by him through the process in which people asked him questions and the attempted answers given by him. The answers were an attempt to reach universal truths. 
  • Plato: He was the student of Socrates, who understood the true objective of reality, which later came to be known as metaphysics, a branch of philosophy. He developed the Theory of Forms and in this work, he argued that the true essence of the true form of material objects also exists in another realm, the non-material realm. The information ahead is more interesting after you get to know about how ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government. 
  • Aristotle: He was a Greek philosopher and a polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He was taught by Plato, and he later founded the Peripatetic School of Philosophy. He taught various subjects like mathematics, zoology, metaphysics, music, meteorology, geology, government, etc. 

5. Which Humanist Idea affected the Renaissance Society?

The followers and supporters of humanism were called humanists. They spread the message and ideas of humanism and encouraged people to work on their thinking. Now, let us see which humanist idea affected the renaissance society. The Renaissance Society was highly affected by the humanist idea which states that people are basically good at their core. According to Wilde, humanism enables man to master nature rather than developing religious piety. Now people were not blindly following the pre-set rules of the Catholic Churches in the name of God’s Plan. This is an interesting fact in addition to how were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government. (See What is Human Existence In Philosophy?)

6. What is Humanism?

An intellectual movement was very prominent in the Renaissance, and it was Humanism. This was guided by the principles that were laid down by the humanists. Humanism spreads the message that humans are the center of their own universe, and they should embrace their achievements. The remarkable versatility and creativity in classical arts, literature, science, and education must be embraced. (See What does the Confucianism Symbol mean?)

7. What were the Main Features of Humanism?

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The most prominent idea that emerged from Classical Philosophy was Humanism. The logic behind how were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government is the prominence of humanism that lies in the main features mentioned below:

  • Individual Skills: According to humanism, every individual possesses more than one skill and such a person have been referred to as a Renaissance Man. It led to an increase in the belief in the potential of an individual. With this, the town was now being recognized by its citizens and their skills. 
  • Naturalism: The term naturalism means the philosophical belief that everything arises from natural properties and causes. Everyone has to return to nature and any supernatural or spiritual explanation was excluded from this theory. Before humanism, the church was the supreme leader. With the emergence of Renaissance and humanism, the 900 years of the supremacy of the Church came to an end. Humanism believed in naturalism (getting close to nature) and it is anti-ethical to the beliefs of Christianity.
  • Artistic Education: Earlier, the only education that was being imparted was formal. But humanism changed the form of education and now architecture, art, and books related to the ideas of humanism were the source of education. People were able to express themselves through realistic paintings and human sculptures. Now sculptors and painters were relying more on anatomy, geometry, and physics to recreate the ever-prevailing reality. 
  • Ended Dark Ages:  The term Dark Ages was used to refer to the Early Middle Ages in Europe, probably between the 5th century and 14th century, because during this period, there was no scientific or cultural development. The philosophers thought that humanism was the only way to revive civilization. As more and more people put their belief to be a part of the individual concept of humanism, soon the Dark Ages came to an end and the Renaissance witnessed some of the finest pieces of work. 
  • Revived Classical Greek Literature: With the expansion of humanism, the works of great philosophers like Plato and Aristotle were translated, and rich Greek literature reached various places. It was seen that other subjects like chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, political science, etc. were also added to the college curriculums. 

8. What was a Major Renaissance Work by Machiavelli?

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Niccolò Machiavelli was born in Florence, Italy, and was a Renaissance political philosopher and statesman, and the secretary of the Florentine republic. His works earned him the title of the father of modern political philosophy and political science. He has written comedies, songs, and carnival songs, but his most notable work of the Renaissance was The Prince and Discourses on Livy.

  • The Prince: The Prince was the best-known book written by Niccolò Machiavelli. It contains several maxims concerning politics, and it strains on the possibility of a new prince and not the hereditary one. The book was written in 1513. Here Machiavelli tried to show and guide political actions through his personal experience as a foreign secretary in Florence as well as by giving examples from history. 
  • Discourses on Livy: It was a series of 10 books written somewhere around 1517. He presents his thoughts on the Republican government. It served as the main base of modern republicanism and scholars considered it more comprehensive than The Prince. 

How were ideas from classical philosophy applied to renaissance government? It is by expressing freedom of thought through art and literature. And, which humanist idea affected Renaissance Society? It was the belief in the power of an individual person and his creativity. Hope you liked this blog and if you do, share it with your friends and let them know about it. (Also read How would you Explain the Rise of Napoleon?)

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