Humanism for Sale | Newberry

Humanism for Sale

Terentius cum tribus com[m]entis by Terence, 1501.

Terentius cum tribus com[m]entis by Terence, 1501.

This digital resource examines the ways books were written, designed, printed, and marketed for schools in Renaissance Italy.

During the fifteenth century, Europeans witnessed the triumph of the cultural movement we call humanism. Very soon thereafter, however, the educational program of the humanists began to decline in status from a cultural near-monopoly into a strongly held but increasingly minority point of view. These events transpired almost entirely in print; they represent a struggle that played out in publishing houses and bookstores as well as in classrooms. Humanism for Sale relates a small but important part of the humanist adventure, the story of how the humanists sold their program to the public through educational publishing in Italy across the long sixteenth century (ca.1450 to ca.1650).