Career Advice from the Renaissance

“To decide which is the most suitable career to himself, a man must take two things into account: the first is his own intelligence, his mind and his body, everything about himself; and the second, the question requiring close considerations, is that of outside supports, the help and resources which are necessary or useful and to which he must have early access, welcome, and free right of use if he is to enter the field for which he seems more suited than for any other.” Leon Battista Alberti, On the Family in Perspectives from the Past: Primary Sources in Western Civilizations, Vol. 1. 5th Ed. (Norton: New York, 2012), p. 391.

Leon Battista Alberti exemplified the ideals of the Italian Renaissance in the fifteenth century.  His writings on painting and architecture revolutionized these fields and laid the foundation for other great masters. (Alberti on arts and learning)   He also embodied humanism rooted in the classical and Christian tradition.  However, in this work Alberti examines the ideal Renaissance family.  Here he gives advice on how to decide on one’s career.

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