The influence of humanism on English social structures through the actions of Thomas Linacre and John Colet
Master of Arts (MA)
When the Renaissance was in its full bloom in Italy, England was just beginning to show awareness of this ‘new learning’- humanism. In the mid- 1400s English scholars traveled abroad to Italy and collected books, knowledge, and learned the Greek language. Thomas Linacre and John Colet were part of a younger generation that benefited from this previous experience and both men travelled to Italy to continue their scholarly pursuits. Linacre arrived in Florence during the height of humanist scholarship. While there he came under the influence of medical humanists, devoted to the translation of ancient medical texts from Greek into Latin with the hopes that this purified knowledge would improve medical practice and education. John Colet travelled to Italy only six years after Linacre, but during those six years the political, religious, and scholarly atmosphere of Italy had changed a great deal. This affected the type of humanism that Colet experienced. He was a devout Christian and he was deeply influenced by the Christian humanism that was being expounded in Florence; this was concerned with returning to the purity of the original church fathers and spreading their message of true faith. In this thesis I examine the different humanist influences that these men came under and how they affected their later efforts to reform England. Linacre and Colet found a way to take the examples and lessons they had experienced in Italy to facilitate a practical application of humanist values onto the English framework through enacting changes to education, medical regulations, translations, and Latin grammars.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Halloran, Erin Michelle, "The influence of humanism on English social structures through the actions of Thomas Linacre and John Colet" (2011). LSU Master's Theses. 2474.