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    Petrarch, Italian Poet and Early Humanists  
Francesco Petrarca, commonly anglicized as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar and poet in Renaissance Italy, and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch's rediscovery of Cicero's letters is often credited for initiating the 14th-century Renaissance...
 
    Giovanni Boccaccio, Italian Author and Poet  
Giovanni Boccaccio was a Italian author and poet, the greatest of Petrarch's disciples, an important Renaissance humanist in his own right and author of a number of notable works including On Famous Women, the Decameron and his poems in the vernacula...
 
    Leon Battista Alberti, Humanist Polymath  
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer and general Renaissance humanist polymath. Although he is often characterized as an "architect" exclusively, as James Beck has observed...
 
    Lorenzo Valla, Donation of Constantine  
Lorenzo Valla was an Italian humanist, rhetorician, and educator. He is best known for his textual analysis that proved that the Donation of Constantine was a forgery. The Donation of Constantine suggests that Constantine I "donated" the whole of...
 
    Regiomontanus, Astronomer / Mathematician  
Johannes Müller von Königsberg, today best known by the Latin epithet Regiomontanus, was a German mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, translator, instrument maker and Catholic bishop. He was born in the Franconian village of Unfinden, now part...
 
    Aldus Manutius, Founder Aldine Press  
Aldus Pius Manutius, the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldin...
 
    Peter Martyr d'Anghiera, Historian  
Peter Martyr d'Anghiera was an Italian-born historian of Spain and its discoveries during the Age of Exploration. He wrote the first accounts of explorations in Central and South America in a series of letters and reports, grouped in the original Lat...
 
    Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Philosopher  
Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was an Italian Renaissance philosopher. He is famed for the events of 1486, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for whic...
 
    Gattinara, Chancellor of Charles V  
Mercurino Arborio marchese di Gattinara was an Italian statesman and jurist. Gattinara was a Christian, humanist, imperialist, and conservationist. He was made a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in 1529. Gattinara initially served as the legal a...
 
    Desiderius Erasmus, Humanist  
Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Dutch humanist and theologian. Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a "pure" Latin style. Although Erasmus remained a Roman Catholic throughout his lifetime, he harshly criticised what he considered exces...
 
    Niccolò Machiavelli, Author of The Prince  
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in dip...
 
    Bartolomé de Las Casas, Missionary  
Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish historian, social reformer and Dominican friar. He became the first resident Bishop of Chiapas, and the first officially appointed "Protector of the Indians". His extensive writings, the most famous b...
 
    Sir Thomas More, Author Utopia  
Sir Thomas More, known to Catholics as Saint Thomas More since 1935, was an English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman, and noted Renaissance humanist. He was an important councillor to Henry VIII of England and was Lord Chancellor from Oc...
 
    Ulrich Zwingli, Reformer  
Ulrich Zwingli was a leader of the Swiss Reformation. While Germany struggled under the political and religious consequences of Luther's reform movement, the movement itself quickly spilled out of the German borders into neighboring Switzerland. At t...
 
    Rabelais, Writer Gargantua & Pantagruel  
François Rabelais, French writer, priest, humanist, doctor. His fame rests on the five comic novels (one of doubtful authenticity) known collectively as Gargantua and Pantagruel, including the masterpieces Pantagruel (1532) and Gargantua (1534) as we...
 
       
 
             
         
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