The Education Revolution: Background information when reading Leonardo da Vinci

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Leonardo da Vinci

by Walter Isaacson

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson X
Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 624 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2018, 576 pages

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The Education Revolution

This article relates to Leonardo da Vinci

The term "Renaissance man" means a polymath, or someone who excels at many fields. Few people earned that moniker as brilliantly as Leonardo da Vinci, who actually lived during the height of the Italian Renaissance. Making his accomplishments even more remarkable is the fact that he didn't receive much in the way of a formal education. Leonardo was rightfully proud that he didn't "accept dusty Scholasticism or the medieval dogmas that had accumulated since the decline of classical science and original thinking," as Walter Isaacson explains in his biography of the Renaissance master.

But while Leonardo himself was working and discovering, education in the Renaissance was undergoing important changes, ultimately setting the stage for the study of liberal arts that we still recognize today. The program of Scholasticism, a method of study that dominated the Middle Ages, was being swept aside as European societies re-discovered works by ancient Greeks and Romans. During the fifteenth and...

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