The Success of Education During the Renaissance

All societies regulate their foundational beliefs and doctrines through their education system. One of the most successful education systems in history came from the Italian Renaissance, which lasted into the 20th-century. The Renaissance was a rebirth of the education systems of previous civilizations. Humanists during the Renaissance believed that education was the most effective way of transforming people’s beliefs and making them mindful of their responsibilities to the community. Educators during the Renaissance primarily taught the humanities, including:

There are different theories about who created the Renaissance. Most experts theorize the movement began with the Moors in Spain.

The Renaissance and Latin Grammar

Education and Challenging Texts

The Renaissance and Authors of Questionable Morals

Teenaged boys studied the more morally ambiguous authors once they could distinguish what morally acceptable behavior was. Ovid’s Metamorphoses was one of the most popular books, and the stories were easy for younger readers to learn. The literary work inspired many poets and artists, containing more than 1200 lines of poetry and more than 250 myths to inspire imagination.

Science and Mathematics

Although some branches of science were taught, they were not as useful as mathematics, or so it was thought. Unless a boy was going into the healing arts or winemaking or sailing, science was generally thought of as a subject of minor import. During the late years of the Renaissance, when great minds began to assert that the Earth was round and not flat, science became very important for proving this new line of thought. It would take a couple hundred years for it to become a widely accepted fact that the Earth was round, but when it was taught early on to young boys the idea led to greater world exploration.

As you have seen, typically only male children of wealthy families had formal education up until the Renaissance. Slowly, education for girls and women came into play. However, education was still thought of as predominantly a male right since men were expected to conduct business and rule their houses with the education they had received. Education, regardless of who received it, was only as successful as the subjects taught and learned.

Originally published at

Florida-based attorney Jorge J. Perez is a history buff occupied by many hobbies. Learn more at!