If the Augustinian Order was not the cradle of Italian humanism, then certainly it provided some of its very first allies, men such as those named above who eagerly explored new scholarly vistas for the study of
The one most attributed for introducing humanism to the Middle Ages was Petrarch. He was born Francesco Petrarca (1304-1374). He is called the father of humanism, and therefore probably merits to be called the father of the Renaissance as well.
He was an Italian who accepted minor orders in the Church, but never became a priest.
He had connections with the Order of Saint Augustine all his life.
The rising wave of humanism found a first love in the thought and writings of Saint Augustine of Hippo.
Augustine then cast a spell on Petrarch, such that the way of thinking of Petrarch was "Augustinian," although it was based on Petrarch's view of a very humanistic Augustine, i.e., the "Augustine the humanist" that Petrarch wanted to see.
Petrarch was born in 1304 at Arezzo, northern Italy. He spent his early childhood in the village near Florence, and the rest of his early life at Avignon in France, where Popes dwelt in 1309-1378.
He studied at Montpelier (1316-1320) and Bologna (1320-1326), where he was primarily interested in writing and Latin literature.
In 1326, Petrarch returned to Avignon, where he worked in numerous clerical offices. This work gave him much time to devote to his writing.There be began - but never finished - his first large scale work, Africa, an epic in Latin about the great Roman general Scipio Africanus.
Disturbed by the transfer of the papal residence from Rome to Avignon, Petrarch came to view the Pope in Avignon as the Antichrist, and the Avignon Papacy as being the Babolyonian Captivity of the Church. Petrarch saw avarice as the culprit, the tool of Satan that had infected the Church.
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