Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: May 06, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412958660 | Print ISBN: 9781412958653 | Online ISBN: 9781412958660| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Civic humanism is rooted in the theory that a branch of republican political philosophy developed in Florence and spread throughout the Italian city-states toward the end of the fourteenth century. It emphasized a return to a Roman ideal of the citizens' reciprocal relationship to the state, which had lain dormant since the end of the fourth century CE. To the extent that it remains viable today, it is seen as a precursor to the republican ideals developed in France, America, and England in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that led to the formation of the modern secular democratic state. The cornerstone of the republic for the civic humanist was the citizen or cittadino and his relationship to his fatherland or patria. Citizenship conferred rights of community and livelihood in exchange for accepting a series of obligations, such as undying fealty to the patria and its needs during times of cittadino ...