The spread of humanism in fifteenth-century Italy was extraordinarily rapid and complete, so much so that it could instill an uncritical complacency in its adherents and practitioners. By midcentury, humanist Latin had become the language of the Roman Curia, and it soon became the language of peninsular diplomacy. Humanists filled positions in the bureaucracies of princely courts and city-republics, and they took jobs as teachers and secretaries in the houses of the powerful. While humanists kept alive the bogeyman of the unlettered scholastic, whose barbarous Latin threatened a return to an age of gothic ignorance, there were, in fact, few obstacles which might slow down their cultural and professional advancement. The way to a career in the clerisy now began in the grammarian's classroom, and the successful humanist rarely cared to question the assumptions of the literary and educational movement to which he owed his livelihood.