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Biersack, Martin (2019): The Adoption of Humanism in Catholic Spain (1470-1520). In: Reformation and Renaissance Review, Vol. 21, No. 1: pp. 27-46
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Abstract

This article re-evaluates the role and impact of Italian humanism in Spain, where scholars trained in Italy occupied the most important teaching posts of Latin in universities and schools from the 1470s. As a result, within one or two generations the entire educational system in Spain had been transformed by humanism. By reconstructing what humanism meant for different groups in society, its successes, as well as its limitations, are explained. Latin was important for the academic and governing elites. Additionally, humanism provided them with a cultural code, which – primarily in its aesthetic dimension – enabled them to differentiate themselves from others. However, the humanists’ aspiration to be on a par with nobles and equal in authority to lawyers and theologians was rejected. Noble blood, traditional legal attitudes and religious orthodoxy stood firm against a culture based on classical language and letters. Theologians in particular rejected the humanists’ interest in pagan mythology.