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Renaissance man

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The "Vitruvian man" by Leonardo da Vinci is a study of how a human figure can be fitted into two geometric shapes, the circle and the square.

The term Renaissance man or woman or polymath is used for a very clever person who is good at many different things. The idea comes from a time of history called the Renaissance which lasted from about 1400 to about 1600. One of the most famous people alive during this time was Leonardo da Vinci. He was most famous as a painter, but he was also a scientist, engineer and mathematician. Leonardo is called a "Renaissance man".[1] Another "Renaissance man" was Michelangelo, who was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet.[2]

When the term "Renaissance man/woman" is used, it does NOT mean that the man/woman really lived in the Renaissance. It can be used for anyone who is very clever at many different things, no matter when that person lived. Albert Schweitzer was a 20th century "Renaissance man" who was a theologian, musician, philosopher and doctor.[3] Benjamin Franklin was a "Renaissance man" who lived in the 18th century (1700s) and was an author and printer, politician, scientist, inventor and soldier.[4]

List of polymaths

References and notes

  1. BBC: Science & Nature
  2. John Addington Symonds, "The Renaissance Man", The Life of Michelangelo Buonarroti, Kindle Edition
  3. Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
  4. Benjamin Franklin: Early American Renaissance Man
  5. Richard Covington, "Rediscovering Arabic Science", Saudi Aramco World, May/June 2007.
  6. Charles F. Horne (1917), ed., The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East Vol. VI: Medieval Arabia, pages 90–91. Parke, Austin, & Lipscomb, New York. (cf. Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (973–1037): On Medicine, c. 1020 CE, Medieval Sourcebook.)
  7. Top 100 Events of the Millennium, Life magazine.
  8. Caroline Stone, "Doctor, Philosopher, Renaissance Man", Saudi Aramco World, May-June 2003, p. 8–15.
  9. Johnston, Robert K.; J Walker Smith (2003). Life Is Not Work, Work Is Not Life: Simple Reminders for Finding Balance in a 24-7 World. Council Oak Books.  "...the prodigious polymath of the Italian Renaissance. Painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, philosopher, humanist."p. 1
  10. Elmer, Peter; Nicholas Webb, Roberta Wood (2000). The Renaissance in Europe: An Anthology. Yale University Press.  "The following selection... shows why this famous Renaissance polymath considered painting to be a science..."
  11. Elmer, Peter; Webb, Nick; Wood, Roberta (2000). The Renaissance in Europe: An Anthology. p. 180. ISBN 0-300-08222-3 . 
  12. Freud, Sigmund (1999). Leonardo Da Vinci: A Memory of His Childhood. Routledge. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-415-21089-8 . 
  13. Johnston, Robert K.; J Walker Smith (2003). Life Is Not Work, Work Is Not Life: Simple Reminders for Finding Balance in a 24-7 World. Council Oak Books.  p. 1
  14. Garreth Dottin (Nov 17, 2016). "Einstein's Violin: The Hidden Connections between Scientific Breakthroughs and Art". Retrieved 2019-03-10. 
  15. Tahiat Mahboob (March 14, 2017). "Albert Einstein: 10 things you might not know about his love for music". Retrieved 2019-03-10. 

Further reading

  • Polymath: A Renaissance Man
  • Polymath -Citizendium
  • "History", "Mathematic", "Polymath" and "Polyhistor" in one or more of: Chamber's Dictionary of Etymology, The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories, The Cassell Dictionary of Word Histories