The history of the term is complex but enlightening. It was first employed (as ) by 19th-century German scholars to designate the Renaissance emphasis on classical studies in . These studies were pursued and endorsed by educators known, as early as the late 15th century, as —that is, professors or students of Classical literature. The word derives from the , a course of classical studies that, in the early 15th century, consisted of grammar, , were held to be the equivalent of the Greek . Their name was itself based on the Latin , , and . The , an educational and political ideal that was the intellectual basis of the entire movement. Renaissance humanism in all its forms defined itself in its straining toward this ideal. No discussion of humanism, therefore, can have validity without an understanding of .