Witt gives pride of place to two Paduans ... Doyen of what he calls the "first generation of humanists" was a lawyer, Lovato de' Lovati (d.1309) whose poetry, most of it now lost, was to win the only praise Petrarch ever gave to a Latin poet between antiquity and his own time. Lovato's disciple, Albertino Mussato (d.1329) became a doyen of the "second generation". Mussato has long been known for his claim that the classics were as divinely inspired as theology.This is the really interesting part, I think:
Aficianados of Erich Auerbach's Mimesis will find special interest in the argument that Mussato's revival of classical Latin refined public perceptions of space and time, especially time ... we learn how, by poring for years on the tenses, moods, pronouns and clauses of classical historians, Mussato was able to conceive more precisely the temporal relations in and between events. It seems he was the first European since antiquity known to have celebrated his own birthday.Very cool.