You should definitely consider becoming a polymath or a Renaissance person. And no, I’m not saying you should start dressing up like a Renaissance person and acting like a weirdo.
Polymath is a kind of well-rounded person who knows a lot of things from several areas of life. Academics, politics, health, pop culture, art… everything. In addition to knowledge, this person also has versed skills and talents.
It seems like a lot of work for a single person, doesn’t it? It is a lot of work, but it’s a mission that will definitely keep you engaged. Think about it: a polymath always has something to say in a conversation. They are never boring. And most importantly, they are never bored!
Sounds interesting? Here are a few tips that will help you become a polymath or a Renaissance person.
1. Learn Multiple Languages
Imagine meeting someone from Greece and greeting them in their own language. That’s what a polymath would do. We’re not saying you should learn every single language out there. However, you should definitely keep exploring languages. It would be great to know the basics and common vocabulary roots of the biggest language groups. When you get to that point, it will be easy for you to learn any language.
So how do you achieve this goal without devoting your entire life to learning languages? Just use any of the language learning apps which are easily available today. It will push you to invest at least 10 minutes a day into learning. You’ll be amazed by the things you can accomplish in 10 minutes per day if you keep making that effort every single day!
2. Learn How to Write
A polymath can definitely write. This is the kind of person that would write an impressive letter (or email if we try to keep things modern) for any occasion. They will choose the right words to send to their employer, a friend, or someone they want to get to know better.
How do you practice this skill? Believe it or not, it all starts with keeping a diary or a dream journal. Writing what’s on your mind will help you relieve stress and express negative emotions but will also boost your creativity. When you describe your feelings or situations that happened to you in written form, you stimulate the growth of new neural connections in your brain.
3. Be Artistic
Do you know how music works? Can you play a musical instrument? Do you know the classics? Do you have a sophisticated taste when it comes to contemporary music? If you want to become a polymath, you’ll have to answer yes to all these questions.
This is not that hard. Just start listening to some good music. Take some piano lessons. Take an online course to help you explore classical music in depth. Keep listening to great music and you’ll slowly polish out your taste.
Art is important, too. Get interested in the common techniques of drawing, painting, and sculpture. Maybe you don’t have the talent to become a great artist, but you should definitely know the great works of art. Explore different artistic eras and build on that knowledge. You’ll get to contemporary art, too.
4. Get Interested in Philosophy
Where do we come from? Where are we going? What’s the purpose of living? Philosophy may not have definite answers, but it definitely has interesting theories for you to explore.
A polymath has a great interest in philosophy. They know something about every major philosopher and theory. It’s a lot to learn, but you can certainly fit a bit of philosophy into your daily schedule. If you don’t know where to start, read Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. It will give you the foundational knowledge you can build on.
5. Learn Some Physics
Classical Physics is an absolute must for a polymath or a Renaissance person. You don’t have to get too advanced, but you certainly need some knowledge in the widely applicable theories.
Oh; there’s a subfield you should focus on: astronomy. It’s always been one of the biggest interests of humans. Now that you have access to NASA’s base of knowledge, it’s not that hard to learn about the phenomena in the Universe.
Astronomy is always an interesting matter of discussion, so you’ll create quite an image of yourself if you know some of its main concepts.
6. Explore History
Let’s say you’re having a conversation about the current president of a foreign state. Suddenly, you shine with an impressive argument: “Did you know that Czechoslovakia had a similar situation in the 1980s?” And then you start describing that situation and drawing links to today’s events.
Yes, you should definitely know a lot of history if you intend to be a polymath. History helps you understand the present. It gives you insights into human nature. Advanced knowledge may even help you predict the outcome of certain situations.
7. Read as Much as Possible!
No one says you should start reading everything that Paulo Coelho, Dan Brown, and Nicholas Sparks throw at you. Sure, someone may argue that knowing the works of popular authors is definitely important for a polymath. However, it’s more important to know the classics and the most powerful literature works from modern authors.
Focus on high-quality literature and don’t waste your time with worthless works. It’s okay to read them when you have extra time on your hands but get back to powerful literature right after an easy read.
You’ll probably find this funny, but there’s a great list of works coming from a mainstream TV show: Gilmore Girls. Rory was reading some pretty cool stuff. You’ll see some modern works here and there, but she was mostly focused on great literature. It’s the kind of reading list a Renaissance person would have.
This Is a Lifetime Challenge!
It’s not easy to become a polymath or a Renaissance person. However, it’s a challenging journey that will fulfill your life. It will give a purpose and a meaning to each day you go through.
You won’t brag about this knowledge. You won’t become that annoying guy who acts like he knows a lot more than everyone else in the room. You’ll just be that interesting person who never stops learning and always has something interesting to add to a conversation. Cheers to that!
Five simple ways to channel your inner Da Vinci at college.
By Tim Philbin, College of the Holy Cross
College x August 12, 2016
How to be a Renaissance Man (or Woman) in the 21st Century
Five simple ways to channel your inner Da Vinci at college.
By Tim Philbin, College of the Holy Cross
Five simple ways to channel your inner Da Vinci at college.
By Tim Philbin, College of the Holy Cross
Leonardo Da Vinci was perhaps the original Renaissance Man.
It seemed there was nothing he could not do: Create a masterful work of art that would be studied for centuries? Did that. Produce startlingly accurate anatomical drawings hundreds of years ahead of everyone else? Did that. Design a tested, functional parachute 500 years before it could even be used? Did that.
I could go on of course. Leonardo’s accomplishments could fill a whole book. He was a true polymath. It’s easy to think that Leonardo was in some way superhuman, that his genius intellect far exceeds what we mere mortals could even dream of. After all, it’s impossible for you and me to do all of those impressive things, right? Well, yes and no.
As he once said himself, “Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” The truth is that Leonardo never went looking to be the greatest polymath in the Western Tradition; he simply indulged his curiosity without fear of the consequences.
This is an avenue that is open to everyone, not just supergeniuses. Not everyone can be Leonardo, but everyone can find some degree of happiness and fulfillment in pursuing the things that awaken their curiosity, no matter what they may be.
Too often, in an effort to identify with a group and fit in, college students deny themselves the opportunity to explore their own interests (which is a bit ironic considering that college exists for the very purpose of allowing students to do so). One may be an athlete, or a pre-med or a theatre nerd, but not all of the above.
I say forget that.
People aren’t that simple. You don’t have to be Leonardo Da Vinci to be interested in more than one thing.
So without further ado, here are five suggestions on how to channel your inner Renaissance Man or Woman.
1. Study Broadly
It’s easy to fall into the rut of identifying what you’re good at and sticking to it like glue, only expanding into other disciplines to fulfill graduation requirements. Try not to fall into this trap.
Obviously, you should major in something you enjoy and learn it inside and out, but don’t neglect your other interests.
College is likely the only chapter in your life when you’ll have time to dedicate to learning about things that interest you, so don’t spend your entire course load on accounting. Try something new and interesting every now and then; those are the classes that will stick with you for a lifetime.
2. Make Interesting Friends
Learning is not relegated to the classroom; in fact, most learning takes place outside of it. One of the extracurricular ways that one learns about the world is through friends.
He’s a conservative self-avowed member of the Tea Party movement, and if you let him, he will defend his beliefs for hours on end.
As I made friends with this person, I often discovered discrepancy in our beliefs, and so I was forced to engage with his viewpoints. Sometimes he convinced me, sometimes I convinced him, but either way we were both developing our political acumen. This is just one example.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about politics, basketball, basket weaving, or any number of other topics. The point is that finding friends who are deeply interested in something will develop your own astuteness in that area, and so will set you on the path to becoming a polymath.
3. Master the Art of Conversation
This suggestion goes hand in hand with my prior one. A necessary component of developing and maintaining healthy friendships is a firm grasp of the lost art of conversation.
In the age of social media, face-to-face contact is becoming increasingly undervalued, and as such people are losing the ability to be fully engaged and attentive during a conversation. How many times have you been in a room where everyone is on his phone ignoring the people right in front of him?
The fact is that when you put your phone away and take the time to be focused and have a conversation with someone, you learn a very interesting thing: Everyone has a story to tell. Perhaps it sounds cliché, but the fact is it’s true. Each person has a unique trajectory to their life and a panoply of interesting stories to tell, and you will never hear any of them if you’re staring at your phone checking your e-mail for the tenth time. So put the phone in your pocket and listen closely. You might just learn something.
4. Travel Whenever Possible
The 5th century theologian Augustine of Hippo (who was a bit of a Renaissance man himself before there had even been a Renaissance) once said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
The value of travel in broadening one’s knowledge of the world is almost inestimable. In travelling to a new and foreign place, you get to expose yourself to a different culture, one with different values and customs than your own. You get to see what makes other people tick, and in doing so you learn both about them and about yourself. This experience can be invaluable in sparking curiosity, and curiosity is at the heart of what it is to be a Renaissance Man.
5. Pursue What Interests You
My final piece of advice is both the simplest to understand and yet the hardest to follow. At the end of the day, what made Leonardo Da Vinci who he was was his willingness to indulge his curiosity. He was not content to push such idle concerns to the backburner so that he could focus on his work, but rather he made his curiosity his work.
This is a luxury that most people cannot afford today, but we can all learn from Da Vinci’s spirit. Especially in college, a place specially designed to provide students with a venue to ask questions and learn as much as possible, let your curiosity take the wheel, and then maybe you’ll be on the road to become something of a 21st century Renaissance Man.
The definition of a Renaissance man or woman is a person who is well educated and sophisticated and who has talent and knowledge in many different fields of study. Leonardo da Vinci was considered a Renaissance man because he was a prolific inventor, painter, sculptor, and architect.
What was the ideal Renaissance man?
Renaissance man, also called Universal Man, Italian Uomo Universale, an ideal that developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most-accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72), that “a man can do all things if he will.” The ideal embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance …
What are the characteristics of a Renaissance man and Renaissance woman?
Characteristics of a “Renaissance man” were athletic, charming, an inventor, an artist, and a well educated, basically a universal man. Characteristics of a “Renaissance woman” are charming, classy, well educated but seek no fame.
What are three characteristics of a Renaissance man?
A Renaissance Man is a man who is skilled at all tasks he attempts and has wide-ranging knowledge in many fields. Top Renaissance Man characteristics include being highly educated, a gentleman, cultured in the arts and charismatic. On top of this, he must do all of these things effortlessly.
Who is a modern renaissance man?
James Franco, Modern-Day Renaissance Man James Franco doesn’t just spend his time acting in the movies. The star of Milk, Howl and the forthcoming 127 Hours is also an accomplished writer and graduate student.
Is it possible to be a renaissance man today?
Becoming a renaissance man in 2020 is still possible. Even though the variation of possible skills you can learn is more extensive, the fundamentals stay the same. A burning desire to learn new things and a never-ending curiosity for life.
How is Steve Jobs a Renaissance man?
Steve Jobs is sure to fit the definition of a “renaissance man” because he truly has pushed the limits of art, science, and technology. With Paul, Steve use to take apart electronics and reassembled them with his dad instilling confidence on young Jobs through out his whole life (“Steve Jobs Biography”).
At the most recent Cre8Camp (September 2010) I got to facilitate a conversation about what it means to be a modern renaissance person. Good conversation overall.
We talked about what it meant to be a renaissance man historically, how modern renaissance people differ from the historical model, peoples personal experiences as ‘renaissance’ types in the modern world, what it means and how to enact it. One of the things I find most interesting is that it’s impossible to really be a renaissance person because the renaissance is long past. In another few hundred years they will look back upon our time and see a few geniuses and label them something…but it probably wont be ‘renaissance person’.
The group offered these characteristics of the original renaissance men:
- They had patrons
- Multiple or spectrum of talents
- They spanned what we now define as arts and science
- Outside the box
Then the group added these characteristics for the modern ‘renaissance’ person
- Risk taker
- Cutting/bleeding edge
- Culturally curious
- Well connected
- Specialist in 3 to 4 fields
- Jack of all trades (variety of box oriented things)
- Understanding their capacities
After hearing stories from many of the audience members some themes showed up about being a modern creative (possible renaissance type person)
- Corporate structure is detrimental
- Some people are able to get more done and sleep less (this is an advantage)
- We are aggressive learners and like to be constantly stimulated; which is great and dangerous in a world where information is endless and fascinating (both an advantage and a disadvantage simultaneously) and runs the risk of keeping you from ever producing anything because we spend our time learning everything.
- It’s challenging to sell “new” (just learned and good) skills when people expect expertise only from years of experience
- We are able to identify a huge list of things we don’t want to, or can’t, learn
- It’s so easy to dabble in many things how do you differentiate yourself as a skillful modern renaissance person?
- We are largely sole proprietors and entrepreneurs…some by choice and some because there is no other way to function in the world
- It’s challenging to sell yourself when you have a non-traditional skill set mix
The finale of the conversation was determining how to be effective as a modern renaissance person
- Find a balance between intake (learning) and output (creating)
- PASSION is KEY in everything you do
- 2-4 areas of high level specialized skill based on your passion (with the understanding that some skill sets will become obsolete or outdated and may need to be replaced)
- Don’t be too humble…you got to get your stuff (whatever it is) out there for people to see…get a portfolio
In the end I believe that the title is unimportant. What is important is that you CREATE, CREATE, CREATE. Once you have mastered some skills well enough to execute them effectively use them to make stuff. Then cross pollinate your skill sets and make stuff that others haven’t made before.
To all who were involved in the conversation, Thank you. It was most enjoyable.
Since this blog is focused on renaissance men and renaissance living, I thought it might be a good idea to establish exactly what a Renaissance Man is.
First, let’s start with the term Polymath. This term was the predecessor of “Renaissance man” and means the following:
During the Renaissance, Baldassare Castiglione, in his guide The Book of the Courtier, wrote about how an ideal courtier should have polymathic traits. Castiglione’s guide stressed the kind of attitude that should accompany the many talents of a polymath, an attitude he called “sprezzatura”. A courtier should have a detached, cool, nonchalant attitude, and speak well, sing, recite poetry, have proper bearing, be athletic, know the humanities and classics, paint and draw and possess many other skills, always without showy or boastful behavior, in short, with “sprezzatura”. The many talents of the polymath should appear to others to be performed without effort, in an unstrained way, almost without thought [Source: Wikipedia article on Polymath].
Second, the term Renaissance Man itself evolved out of the Renaissance era (14th-17th Centuries). Wikipedia goes into the following appropriate description:
The terms Renaissance man and, less commonly, homo universalis (Latin for “universal man” or “man of the world”) are related and used to describe a man (or woman, as “Renaissance woman”) who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. The idea developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–72): that “a man can do all things if he will.” It embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance Humanism which considered man empowered, limitless in his capacities for development, and led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. Thus the gifted men of the Renaissance sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments and in the arts.
What characterizes a “Renaissance Man” from your regular, run of the mill man on the street? I believe according to the definitions given above, there are six primary characteristics that distinguish these individuals:
- Intelligent. This probably goes without saying, but renaissance individuals are highly intelligent. They are deep thinkers and have very analytical, highly developed brains. They function at a higher level than the majority of the world’s population.
- Knowledgeable. These people have a lot of knowledge in a wide variety of fields. They are voracious readers and absorb a lot of information from a variety of sources. They use this storehouse of information to their advantage as they live out their lives.
- Artistic. Renaissance individuals seem to have an artistic bent at some level. They can sing, play a musical instrument, write, paint, sculpt, dance, or express themselves in some way through the fine arts.
- Physical. These people are athletic. They are in good physical shape. They know how to move their bodies in an almost free, effortless manner. Perhaps they play some type of sport(s).
- Social. Renaissance people have excellent social skills and graces. They are not socially “backward” in their dealings with others. They know how to communicate well with people. They have solid business relationships. They have strong personal friendships and romantic relationships.
- Cool. This is the final piece of the puzzle. These type of individuals take the top five characteristics and pull them off with ease. They are smooth and sophisticated, without coming off as arrogant jerks. They are comfortable with who they are and don’t feel the need to boast of their superiority.
What Characteristics Do You Possess?
After reading through this list of six characteristics, which do you possess – one, some, all? Do you possess a lot of one or two of these characteristics and then maybe some in the other areas? Do you think you can grow in your weaker areas?
In a world that seems to value extreme specialization and focus, is it even a good idea to aspire to the Renaissance Man/Polymath ideal as laid out in the post? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the topic.
Resources: The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione.
You probably heard the term "Renaissance man" for the first time in high school history class while daydreaming about fast cars and the pretty girl sitting next to you.
Here you are, seeing the term again — but we’re not trying to teach you about Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The modern Renaissance man doesn’t have to be a master sculptor or an accomplished poet. Rather, he should embrace all opportunities as they come and be as knowledgeable, sociable and cultured as possible.
Your friends are taking a trip to Southeast Asia? Go ahead, book that flight and join them for the adventure. The girl you’re dating wants to sign up for salsa classes? Don’t be shy.
Show her your moves and make all the guys in the room wish they were in your shoes. Don’t be cocky about it, though; your actions and body language will speak louder than your words.
There are many ways to be a modern Renaissance man, but the following specific 10 examples will give you a boost and get you thinking about how you can constantly improve yourself and the world around you.
It’s all about the culture and the people. Travel whenever you have the opportunity and make as many friends abroad as you can.
A great way to travel is to talk with the locals and find out where they like to go. Sure, visiting tourist attractions is nice, but the real way to experience a new city is to wander off the beaten path.
Walk as much as you can, slow down and wander away.
Learn A Language
This goes hand-in-hand with traveling. Study up before you go to a new country and make sure you know – at the very least – some key words and phrases.
A language crash course is now more accessible than ever, given resources like Rosetta Stone. Use the language as much as you can; you’ll make mistakes and stumble on words, but that’s all part of the learning process. Locals will be impressed and show you respect for trying.
They’ll even teach you some new phrases and curse words to boot. (One thing we’ve noticed is that no matter what country you’re visiting, locals always want to teach the tourists how to curse.)
Play An Instrument
Music is a language and by learning to play music, you’ll notice that other intellectual tasks will become easier. Sign up for lessons, grab that guitar from your roommate’s closet and go to town.
Want to throw a curve ball at your friends? Learn how to play the tuba. Once you’ve got it under your belt, join the New Orleans-style soul band that plays at the bar down the street.
The key here is being healthy. A strong mind needs a strong and healthy body in order to reach its full potential.
Join a basketball league with your coworkers or friends, start running in the morning before work or take up yoga (bonus: girls in yoga pants). Running isn’t your thing? Find your local pool and swim laps, instead.
Don’t make excuses for yourself. Excuses are just a way to hide from what you don’t know or haven’t yet experienced.
Get Involved In Your Community
Give back and improve the world around you. Not everyone is as fortunate as you are, so take some of your valuable time and give back to your community.
Volunteer at the community garden, become a tutor or mentor or coach some youngins’ in a soccer league. You’ll do something great for your community, feel great about it and learn a bit about yourself.
Organize Social Gatherings
Being a modern Renaissance man isn’t just about knowledge, skills and staying in shape. The social aspect also plays a big role.
Organizing events with friends from different circles can take a lot of time, but make sure you’re the one who gets friends together and organizes events. Set up a dinner at a restaurant, a fun day at the park or a trip to the beach.
Your friends will respect and admire you for taking the time to get everyone together.
Learn A Few Signature Dishes
This one ties in knowledge and some social aspects of being a modern Renaissance man. Take some time to learn a few new signature dishes and then, invite friends or a date over for dinner.
You’ll get to learn some new recipes and/or cooking techniques and will have some fun at the same time.
The big bonus here is that you get to eat your delicious food — unless you end up burning your meal.
You’re a busy guy and there’s a lot going on upstairs. The only way to remember your thoughts and ideas is to write them down. Ever notice that you think the most clearly when going to sleep? Or maybe, you’re more of a morning person? Either way, put a journal next to your bed or have your notepad phone app quick on the draw.
Challenge Yourself At Work
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and take on that big project your boss keeps talking about. Many times, people fall into ruts at work because they feel too comfortable and end up getting bored.
Keep things exciting by challenging yourself. If you don’t feel challenged, speak to your boss and see what changes you can make.
If your boss doesn’t have anything to offer you, it’s time to start looking for a new job that will challenge you.
Be A Yes Man
Just to be clear, we don’t mean you should say “yes” to each and every thing that comes your way (like Jim Carrey did in that movie). In fact, when it comes to business and everyday life, there are clearly times when you should say “no.”
What we mean is that you should embrace all opportunities as they come your way. Don’t say “no” to going out with friends just because you’re not in the mood or are feeling a little blue.
Make sure you overcome the desire to keep things easy and status quo. Be spontaneous and experience the world.
Always remember to be as knowledgeable, cultured, healthy and sociable as possible — that’s what it takes to be a modern Renaissance man.
If you cringed as you read the question and thought to yourself “I love constantly shifting between both modes of thought“, then you’re on the polymath path.
According to Epstein ,
“The two systems have unique disadvantages as well as advantages. Thus, the rational system, although superior to the experiential system in abstract thinking, is inferior in its ability to automatically and effortlessly direct everyday behavior, and the experiential system, although superior in directing everyday behavior is inferior in its ability to think abstractly, to comprehend cause-and-effect relations, to delay gratification, and to plan for the distant future. Since each system has equally important advantages and disadvantages, neither system can be considered superior to the other system.”
A large body of research by Epstein and others, including a hot-off-the-press article in the Journal of Personality , supports the importance of harnessing both modes of thought. In Epstein’s latest research, an experiential thinking style (System 1), but not a rational thinking style (System 2) was positively associated with performance measures of creativity, humor, aesthetic judgment, and intuition, as well as self-report measures of empathy and social popularity. A rational thinking style was associated some measures of adjustment, and both thinking styles were positively related to personal growth. Interestingly, what people reported about their own thinking style tended to agree with other people’s observations of their thinking style.
Heavily influenced by the important work of Epstein and many other psychologists investigating the dual-process nature of the human mind , I make a distinction between “goal-directed” and “spontaneous” thought in my Dual-Process (DP) Theory of Human Intelligence . According to my theory, both goal-directed (which consumes limited attentional resources) as well as more spontaneous forms of cognition (which are freer of a central executive) are important contributors to nearly every intelligent behavior (in differing degrees depending on the behavior). According to the theory, neither mode of thought is absolutely more important, and neither mode is intelligence. Instead, the key to intelligence is the ability to flexibility switch between mode of thought depending on the task demands.
To see how each mode of thought comes with both advantages and disadvantages, here is a summary of a number of findings over the years showing both the positive and negative attributes associated with each thinking style:
What a terrific list of positive attributes to have! It would be nice to have all of the positive attributes, while minimizing the negative effects of each, no? As Epstein told me in personal communication,
“people who are high in both thinking style are Renaissance people. They have the brains of scientists and the sensibilities of poets. In other words they have the positive features of both thinking styles and do not have their negative features because they are kept under control by the other thinking style.”
If only everyone, regardless of gender, learned to harness and appreciate both forms of thinking, we could minimize instances where people seem to just be talking past each other. Many, many years of psychological research has shown quite convincingly (to me, at least) that each mode of thought is fundamentally different from the other and when we are in a particular mode of thought we actually perceive everything around us differently and use different information to make decisions. Those who are open to experiencing both analytical thought and experiential thought and are flexible enough to switch between the two depending on the task demands have the greatest chances of not only changing the world for the better, but also forming deep, empathic connections with others.
It’s not easy being a polymath these days. Knowledge is being generated and transmitted at light speed. The sheer quantity of knowledge required to become an expert in almost any domain is phenomenal, with barely any time left to master additional domains.
So want to be a Renaissance person? First step: start thinking like one.
 Epstein, S., & Norris, P. (in press). An experiential thinking style: Its facets and relations with objective and subjective criterion-measures. Journal of Personality.
 Evans, J., & Frankish, K. (Eds.). In Two Minds: Dual Processes and Beyond. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press.
Francis The 1 Of France was born on September 12, 1494, in Cognac, France. Francis 1 and his sister, Marguerite, were raised by their mother, Louise of Savoy, who was widowed at the age of 20 years old. Francis 1 has always been intrigued by romance, songs and violent, yet classical studies, such as, hunting, tennis and masquerades . When Francis 1 was 18 years old, Louis X11 sent him to the frontiers, which had Just been attacked. During this period of time, he learned about warfare, self sufficiency, and how to govern the state, and himself.
Shortly after, Robert De lenoncourt crowned Francis 1 on January 1, 1515, leading him to become the first Renaissance king of France. Overall, Francis 1 was a Renaissance person because he greatly affected france during the renaissance. Not only did he influence the French arts and architecture, but also, he spread Roman Catholic religion , supported French expeditions to the new world, and was liked among the people of France. Therefore, I believe Francis 1 should have been known as a Renaissance influencer during his monarchy.
The renaissance was the golden age and time of cultural and economic prosperity for Europe after the devastating Black Death. Throughout the Renaissance, which took place from 1350-1600, many rulers have come into power to make europe better. These rulers are known as “Renaissance people”. According to Baldassare Castiglione’s excerpt from, “The Book Of The Courtier”, to be considered a Renaissance person, you must be well rounded. Castiglione considers a renaissance person to be graceful, Intelligent, artistic, literate, and politically knowledgeable. Francis 1 meets the criteria for three of these five ideas. Castiglione’s excerpt states, “Yet he must use good judgment to see he never appears foolish ”(Courtier line 6).
Francis 1 exemplifies incredible judgement throughout his life. For example, he built a court for poets, musicians, and educated men to become friendly with the nobles from provinces. During this era, women weren’t much involved and appreciated in the world, but, Francis 1 believed that women should be invited to these events. Francis had a saying for this idea…”A court without women is a year without spring and a spring without roses”. This shows that Francis was thinking ahead and had good judgement by supporting the advancement of women in the world by involving them in activities, such as the courts, that they wouldn’t normally be invited to.
The excerpt also says, “ Our Courtier should know how to paint and draw”(Courtier line 24). Although Francis 1 did not physically paint or draw, he did in fact dedicate his time to supporting the French art. Francis 1 not only encouraged the renaissance style of art in France, but also, architecture in France expanded under his rule. Francis 1 brought many artist from Italy and imported works of art from Italy as well. Under Francis’ rule, buildings such as the Chenonceaux, the Azay Le rideau, Valencay, and Villandry, are several of the most famous and flourishing pieces of architecture works in France.
Aslo, Francis built numerous châteaus, supported many well known artists, built a library that included every book ever sold in France, and helped achieve the start for the prestigious College De France in Paris. The college taught Hebrew, Greek, Latin, mathematics, and humanism ideas. According to the text,”i would have the courtier know literature, in particular those studies known as humanities. He should be able to read and speak Greek and Latin. Let him read and know the roman and greek poets, orators, and historians”(Coutier line 11).
A Renaissance man should be educated in literature, as well as aware of Roman and Greek philosophers, and bilingual in Greek and Latin. Francis 1 was tutored by François Desmoulins de Rochefort, who taught him Latin, and Christophe de Longueil, who taught him Humanist values. Both of these men influenced Francis 1 to pursue an education in studies such as, arithmetic, geography, grammar, history, reading, spelling, and writing . Francis 1 was fluent in Hebrew, Latin, Italian and Spanish, and was interested in the poetry of Clement Marot, which was his favorite one.
Francis 1 died on March 31, 1854, at Château De Rambouillet. Although Francis 1 is taken as a lightweight in the Renaissance influential time period, i believe he should be considered an impact to this era. Overall, Francis 1 was a Renaissance person, because he immensely affected France during the Renaissance, by increasing the worth of French architecture, spreading religion, being a supporter of the arts, solving political and religious problems, and waging campaigns.