The word “Renaissance” designates a historical period only since the 19th Century; but it’s in the 14th Century, especially after Petrarch, when the idea of a Latin rebirth should be dated through removing it from the asperitas of Scholastic and restoring the studia humanitatis by a return to the Ancients. And even if nowadays we tend to forget it, humanism played a crucial role in the historical developpement of the notion of Europe. The humanist dream of regenerating culture and civilization gave way to a feeling of unity that was not only religious, also cultural. This article is a “panoramic journey” to the origins of both a moral and a political Europe that slowly took conscience of itself in Alterity. The analysis, at the same time literary, political and historical, flows through four main channels and reconstitutes “the birth of the idea of Europe,” from the taking of Constantinople to the great discoveries.
The “Renaissance”, Humanism, European awareness, Uniformism vs Diversity, Discoveries