Leon Battista Alberti or Leone Battista Alberti (February 14, 1404 – April 25, 1472) was an Italian author, poet, linguist, architect, philosopher, cryptographer, and general Renaissance polymath. In Italy, his first name is usually spelled Leon. Alberti’s life was described in Giorgio Vasari’s Vite (Lives of the Artists). Alberti studied canon law at the University of Bologna, took Holy Orders, worked for the papal curia and as a canon, but his greatest interest was in mathematics, art, and classical architecture.
Alberti wrote I Libri della famiglia, a discussion of education, marriage, household management, and money, in the Tuscan dialect. The work was not printed until 1843. Like Erasmus decades later, Alberti stressed the need for a reform in education. He noted that “the care of very young children is women’s work, for nurses or the mother,” and that at the earliest possible age children should be taught the alphabet. With great hopes, he gave the work to his family to read, but in his autobiography Alberti confesses that “he could hardly avoid feeling rage, moreover, when he saw some of his relatives openly ridiculing both the whole work and the author’s futile enterprise along it.”
How far back?
2020 | Present