Explain why have most scholars prior to Witt been skeptical of Giovanni Villani’s claim that there were 8,000 to 10,000 young students in Florence in 1338?

1) Why have most scholars prior to Witt been skeptical of Giovanni Villani’s claim that there were 8,000 to 10,000 young students in Florence in 1338? What is Witt’s argument for Villani’s statement being accurate?
2) Scholars disagree about the basic curriculum of primary education in Florence in the 14th century. Most, like Robert Black, believe that only Latin reading was taught in Florentine schools. Others, such as Paul Gehl and Paul Grendler, believe that students were also taught to read and write (leggere e scrivere) in the vernacular (volgare), the local Tuscan Italian dialect. Summarize the case for the two positions and why Witt agrees with Gehl and Grendler.
3) In your final paragraph or two, tell me why you think the answers to these two questions are important in terms of our bigger discussion about the Renaissance. This will require some critical thinking on your part, putting together your reading and, perhaps, your lecture notes. I should mention that I don’t think there’s only one right answer to this. I’m more interested seeing how you understand the connection between smaller questions and bigger theories.

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