Humanism, the Renaissance and Russian Culture between the 15th and 17th Centuries: Preliminary Thoughts
From Firenze University Press Book : Essays on the Spread of Humanistic and Renaissance Literary Civilization in the Slavic World (15th-17th Century)
Marcello Garzaniti, University of Florence
This topic is vast to the point of making it impossible to approach it within the confines of a brief contribution essay. Therefore, we restrain ourselves to summarizing a few preliminary observations by offering practical examples while we wait for future research developments. We find this approach useful to map out a few ideas and suggestions for study, especially in view of the creation, in the future, of an atlas mapping the relevance of Humanism and the Renaissance in the Slavic world.
When it comes to this topic, studies generally focus on Central-Eastern Europe, on the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and its eastern territories in particular, or on the relationships between the Western world and Muscovy where medieval culture would have been maintained its dominant position until the Baroque period.
Based on the most current research, we will try rather to introduce new perspectives in interpretation showing how the entire East Slavic world — albeit in different ways — participated in European cultural transformations from the very start, and not just by sharing some of this new trend’s characteristics, but by building a new identity in tune with the changes of the times.
The following reconstruction sheds light on a fundamental phase in the process of assimilation of the Mediterranean culture within the Slavic world, and at the same time tries to define more consistently the very dynamics within European Humanism and the Renaissance.
A unified panorama of these historical processes will emerge, within which the participation of the Slavic world will be re-evaluated.
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