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The Intellectual Struggle for FlorenceHumanists and the Beginnings of the Medici Regime, 1420-1440$
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Arthur Field

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791089

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791089.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 January 2022

Traditional Culture and the Critique of Radical Humanism

Traditional Culture and the Critique of Radical Humanism

(p.75) 3 Traditional Culture and the Critique of Radical Humanism
The Intellectual Struggle for Florence

Arthur Field

Oxford University Press

This is a lengthy analysis of the ideas and forms of discourse of those who endorsed cultural continuity, particularly the continuity of traditions related to the “three crowns” of Florence: Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. in reality, this traditional culture was the basis of the intellectual culture of the oligarchs. Most traditionalists, though not all of them, appreciated romantic and chivalric literature, cultivated the Italian language, and preferred Aristotle to Plato. Traditionalists attacked radical humanists such as Niccolò Niccoli (the humanist closest to Cosimo de’ Medici) as someone at best useless to society and at worst dangerous to it. The chapter introduces a theme that will be developed later in the book, namely that the Latin (or classical) culture—and not the vernacular culture—was the “popular culture” of the period.

Keywords:   humanist, chivalric literature, Dante, Niccolò Niccoli, popular culture, vernacular culture

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