Renaissance Transformations of Late Medieval Thought: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Renaissance Transformations of Late Medieval Thought

1st Edition

By Charles Trinkaus


386 pages

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Hardback: 9780860788119
pub: 1999-11-02
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Charles Trinkaus can be counted among the eminent intellectual and cultural historians of the Renaissance. This new collection of his articles brings together pieces published since 1982. The studies are concerned with Italian Renaissance humanists and philosophers who tended to affirm human capacities to shape earthly existence, despite the traditional limitations proposed by some scholastics and astrologers. Professor Trinkaus holds that, without abandoning their Christian faith, or their acceptance of physical influences from the cosmos, these writers, in their stress on human capacities, were responding to the vigorous activism of their contemporaries in all aspects of their existence. The final four papers also provide a series of reflections on the modern historiography of the Renaissance.


'… this volume provides a major prespective on the thought of the Renaissance… This is a collection that students and scholars will need to examine…' Calvin Theological Journal, Vol. 35 'Deeply learned and carefully argued, these articles evidence Trinkaus's extraordinary gift for explicating the complex theological and philosophical arguments of leading humanists and setting them in intellectual context…. through his intense focus on ideas, Trinkaus has greatly enhanced our ability to distinguish the original from the traditional in Renaissance thought, as well as our understanding of the contemporaneous intellectual currents that leading humanists reacted against and, at times, transcended.' Renaissance Quarterly Vol. 54/3

Table of Contents

Contents: Studies: Italian humanism and scholastic theology; Antiquitas versus Modernitas: an Italian humanist polemic and its resonance; Humanistic dissidence: Florence versus Milan or Poggio versus Valla?; From the twelfth-century Renaissance to the Italian: three versions of ’the dignity of man’; Lorenzo Valla on the problem of speaking about the Trinity; Lorenzo Valla as instaurator of the theory of humanism; Coluccio Salutati’s critique of astrology in the context of his natural philosophy; Lorenzo Valla’s anti-Aristotelian natural philosophy; The astrological cosmos and rhetorical culture of Giovanni Gioviano Pontano; Cosmos and man: Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico on the structure of the universe and the freedom of man; Marsilio Ficino and the ideal of human autonomy; L’Heptaplus di Pico della Mirandola: compendio tematico e concordanza del suo pensiero; Commentary: Humanism, religion, society: concepts and motivations of some recent studies; Renaissance reasoning; Renaissance semantics and metamorphoses; Renaissance ideas and the idea of the Renaissance; Index.

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 / General