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What is the Origin of a Renaissance Man?

What is the meaning of a Renaissance Man?

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If you are knowledgeable about different disciplines or fields, then you can consider yourself a polymath or a renaissance man. This origin of this description can be found in 1450 CE or the period known as the European Renaissance. A lot of scholars and artists in this era became experts in several fields. In fact, Leonardo Da Vinci is one of those brilliant people. He was not only skilled in making portraits but he was also knowledgeable in the field of anatomy, engineering and a few more disciplines.

Actually, most of the educated men during that period have set their minds to be Renaissance men in the future. It was somehow expected of them because of the great influence of the earlier courtiers and knights of the Middle Ages and even of the knowledgeable writers and philosophers of the Greeks on their studies.

You might wonder why there are more Renaissance men than women. That is because females were not given the opportunity to study during that era. In our present generation, modern Renaissance women would rather be called as polymaths. As for the Renaissance men of today, they still need to maintain their physical prowess for them to maintain their title and not be labeled as polymaths instead.

Polymath came from the Greek word “polymathe” which means “having learned much” and it is actually the first term given to the type of people mentioned above.

According to a famous polymath who is Aristotle, people who wish to be considered as renaissance men or women should make rhetoric study as the foundation of their goal for it can make them more knowledgeable and be better speakers.

Archimedes was actually a polymath as well. He was an expert in the field of engineering, philosophy, physics and math.

All renaissance men are geniuses but not all geniuses are renaissance men. Let’s take Itzhak Perlman as an example. This individual is an expert in music for he plays the violin exceptionally well but because of his concentration in one field alone, he can never be considered as a renaissance man.

Polymaths and Renaissance men have truly not gone extinct. They can still be found in different colleges for some students choose to have several majors to enrich their knowledge.

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