It is curious to note that Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, schooled in the educational system of the ratio studiorum and a humanist in his own right, saw in the removing of the classical languages from public education the main obstacle to an educational reform that would meet the needs of the time. In Memoria sobre la educación pública he observes, «la razón señala desde luego (renunciar) a las lenguas muertas». By using the rare neologism «humanist» with a new and more inclusive meaning, much closer to the general concept of the term during the second half of the twenty century, he then asks,
«Por ventura no podrá formarse sin ellas un buen humanista?» (II, 70-71).
Judging by Ynduráin's references throughout his study, it is evident that he had read the historiographical accounts of several scholars who formed part of this group, especially Gilson, Pierre de Nolhac, Konrad Burdach and other scholars mentioned by Ferguson. For an up-to-date account of research until the 1960s, as well as an in-depth analysis of the changing interpretations of this historiographical period since its inception, see the much less consulted but enormously more informative work by Cesare Vasoli, Umanesimo e Rinascimento.
For an overview of these present trends in Renaissance studies, see Randolph Starn, «A Postmodern Renaissance?».
For a detailed discussion of da Signa's antagonism to classical imitation see Black, «The Origins of Humanism» 192; for Fava's preference for a plain vernacular style, see Witt 354ff.
For a schematic account of this scholarly focus, see Mark Jurdievic, «Hedgehogs and Foxes»; for a broader view of some of the new directions that scholars of Renaissance humanism are taking, see Angelo Mazzocco, Interpretations of Renaissance Humanism.
Though Garin was never a Marxist, he was one of the first historians of philosophy to call attention to Gramsci's social and moral thought. His essays on the philosopher are now collected in Con Gramsci. The work on which I base my remarks is Garin, «Politica e cultura in Gramsci (il problema degli intellettuali)». See also James Hankins, «Two Twentieth-Century Interpreters of Renaissance Humanism: Eugenio Garin and Paul Oskar Kristeller». Chapter 2 of Celenza, The Lost Italian Renaissance, is dedicated to an analysis of Garin's and Kristeller's thought.
The quotation is from Garin, Prosatori latini del Quattrocento; the original Latin quotation reads,
«Ego istum poetam tuum a concilio litteratorum seiungam, atque cum lanariis, pistoribus atque eius modi turbae relinquam» (70).
Baron's concept of «civic humanism», which he began to elaborate in the 1930s as a student in Germany, culminated in his study, The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance. The development of his historical thinking concerning Renaissance civic humanism from Petrarch to Machiavelli can be perceived in his collected essays, In Search of Florentine Civic Humanism, as well as in his previous collection, From Petrarch to Leonardo Bruni. For an illuminating analysis of Baron's scholarship, see Riccardo Fubini, «Renaissance Historian: The Career of Hans Baron».
Bruni, Laudatio florentinae urbis. I am using Benjamin Kohl's English translation, Panegyric to the City of Florence. Baron also found supporting evidence of republicanism in Bruni's Dialogi ad Petrum Paulum Histrum, as well as in some works of Salutati.
The list of scholars, too numerous to enumerate here, who have dealt with the dates of Bruni's early writings and their meaning has grown extensively in the last forty years. It began with Jerrold Seigel's 1967 refutation of Baron's interpretation («Civic Humanism or Ciceronian Rhetoric?»), followed by a rejoinder by Baron; Baldassari's 2000 critical edition of Bruni's Laudatio seems to have settled the debate over that work's date. Among the many studies that have been published in the intervening years, Fubini's «All'uscita dalla Scolastica medievale: Salutati, Bruni e i Dialogi ad Petrum Histrum» offers a reasoned analysis of the text and the issues surrounding this key work.