Over the centuries, the meaning of the term humanism has shifted from a certain literary and even moral sensibility, to a loosely defined philosophical movement, a particular kind of education and a proxy for secular values. An early expression of humanism gained visibility during the Italian quattrocento (the 1400s) and was used to mark a break with a certain canon of medieval education. This humanism was a precursor of the Renaissance, which was understood as a revival of some of the cultural traditions that were alive in ancient Greece and Rome, but whose centrality had been superseded by the educational scholasticism within monastic orders. The intellectual movement that ensued, heterogeneous as it was, gained salience thanks to the development of novel trends in the arts, ...

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