While humanism in Italy during the Renaissance tended to focus on the retrieval, revival, and study of classical texts, generally of a secular nature, and primarily in Latin or Greek translations, the humanists of the Northern Renaissance were more involved in vernacular literary pursuits and the use of humanist literary techniques and methods to analyze religious texts, like the Bible, as in Erasmus of Rotterdam’s new edition of the Greek New Testament. They focused more on daily concerns, rather than the high culture of the Renaissance courts, and were interested more in the moral and political issues of the day; the art reflected this, as well, often depicting daily life of ordinary people, as well as religious themes and the portraits of the elites. Required source: Jonathan W. Zophy, A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe (Pearson, 4th Edition)
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