Humanism in France

Humanism In France

Humanism in France

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Humanism in France found its way from Italy, but did not become a distinct movement until the 16th century was well on its way.

On the completion of the Hundred Years' War between France and England, the intellectual currents of humanism began to start. In 1464, Peter Raoul composed for the Duke of Burgundy a history of Troy. At that time the French still regarded themselves as descendants of Hector. If we except Paris, none of the French universities took part in the movement. Individual writers and printing-presses at Paris, Lyon, Rouen and other cities became its centres and sources. William Fichet and Robert Gaguin are usually looked upon as the first French Humanists. Fichet introduced "the eloquence of Rome" at Paris and set up a press at the Sorbonne. He corresponded with Bessarion and had in his library volumes of Petrarca, Guarino of Verona and other Italians. Gaguin copied and corrected Suetonius in 1468 and other Latin authors. Poggio's Jest-book and some of Valla's writings were translated into French. In the reign of Louis XI, who gloried in the title "the first Christian king", French poets celebrated his deeds. The homage of royalty took in part the place among the literary men of France that the cult of antiquity occupied in Italy.

Greek, which had been completely forgotten in France, had its first teachers in Gregory Tifernas, who reached Paris, 1458, John Lascaris, who returned with Charles VIII, and Hermonymus of Sparta, who had Reuchlin...
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