Humanism and Renaissance Civilization: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Humanism and Renaissance Civilization

1st Edition

By Charles G. Nauert


356 pages

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The essays collected in this volume represent many years of Professor Nauert's research and teaching on the history of Renaissance humanism, and more particularly on humanism north of the Alps. Much of the early work involved the significant but often-overlooked history of humanism at the University of Cologne, notoriously the most anti-humanist of the German universities. Later essays deal with the most famous humanist of the early sixteenth century, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and natural philosophy, a broad term covering many subjects now associated with natural science, is the topic of three of the pieces published here. Taken as a whole, the book presents a detailed study of intellectual development among European elites.


'… a welcome republication of articles, some of which first appeared in journals or collections that are not easy to find, and which represent the fruits of over fifty years of original research.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Part I Scholastic Doctors and Humanist Challengers: The clash of humanists and scholastics: an approach to pre-Reformation controversies; Humanist infiltration into the academic world: some studies of northern universities; Humanism as method: roots of conflict with the scholastics; The humanist challenge to medieval German culture; Peter of Ravenna and the 'obscure men' of Cologne: a case of pre-Reformation controversy; Graf Hermann von Neuenahr and the limits of humanism in Cologne; Humanists, scholastics, and the struggle to reform the University of Cologne, 1523-1525. Part II Erasmus and the Conflict over Humanism: 'A remarkably supercilious and touchy lot': Erasmus on the scholastic theologians; 'The articular disease': Erasmus' charges that the theologians have let the Church down. Part III 'Christian Humanism' in Renaissance Culture: Rethinking 'Christian humanism'; Marguerite, Lefèvre d'Etaples, and the growth of Christian humanism in France. Part IV Science in the Renaissance: Natural and Occult: Humanists, scientists, and Pliny: changing approaches to a classical author; Magic and skepticism in Agrippa's thought; Agrippa in Renaissance Italy: the esoteric tradition. Part V Directions in Renaissance Intellectual Life: The mind; Index.

About the Author

Charles G. Nauert (1928-2013) was Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Modern / 17th Century