Increasingly we become aware of the medieval background of the Italian Renaissance. The secular, worldly spirit, associated with the Renaissance and always existing in the practical life of men, was already finding abundant intellectual, rationalizing expression in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. ‘L'esprit laïque’ flourished among the legists at Bologna and the legal advisers of kings, leading through theories of public law and the state to the extreme ‘statism’ of Machiavelli and recent times. Following the revival of Roman law and the rise of national states, the new study of Aristotle and the extreme Aristotelianism of the later thirteenth century contributed to the political secularism of the fourteenth century (William Ockham and Marsiglio of Padua), as it did to a secular emphasis on morality. Not to mention many manifestations of a worldly appreciation of nature in the literature and art of the twelfth and the following century, the naturalistic treatment of love condemned at Paris in 1277 is strikingly similar in spirit to ideas in Lorenzo Valla's De voluptate. And classical humanism of the kind associated with Petrarch and his followers, rather than with the humanism of the twelfth century (John of Salisbury), although there is much common to both kinds, was beginning to appear in the thirteenth century among the ‘civil servants’ (notaries and secretaries) of the Italian communes.