Title page for ETD etd-04272011-102751

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Halloran, Erin Michelle
URN etd-04272011-102751
Title The Influence of Humanism on English Social Structures Through the Actions of Thomas Linacre and John Colet
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stater, Victor Committee Chair
Kooi, Christine Committee Member
Marchand, Suzanne Committee Member
  • College of Physicians of London
  • William Lily
  • Erasmus Desiderius
  • Thomas More
  • medical humanism
  • St. Paul's School
Date of Defense 2011-03-22
Availability unrestricted
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.

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