Humanism, as advocated by Petrarch, was a vision of educational reform for the Italian elites. The elites were to become more cultivated and less directed to vocational studies. This was to be done by redirecting the educational focus towards studying Latin literature and rhetoric. The elites should learn how to use language in a sophisticated way, both in term of poetry and rhetoric. Cicero was the best orator and rhetorician the ancient Rome ever had and one of its best prose stylist. Therefore, Cicero was seen as a beacon for the king of education the humanist advocated and a benchmark for achieving the highest educational achievement.
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Cicero’ influence on the Latin language was so big that the history of prose both in Latin and European languages up to the 19th century was said to be a reaction against or a return to his style