Polymath is one of those words more likely to show up on the SAT than in everyday conversation. Think people like Leonardo da Vinci artist and helicopter designer , Benjamin Franklin founding father, inventor, and all-around lady-killer , Paul Robeson scholar, athlete, actor, and civil rights activist , and even Steve Jobs engineer, businessman extraordinaire, and marketing mastermind. But why? If you study it, and you put reasonable intelligence and reasonable energy, reasonable electricity to it, you can do that. You may not become Max Roach on the drums. But you can learn the drums. Polymath status is accessible to just about anyone with a modem, a library card, and the desire to learn. Khan Academy teaches people everything from beginning algebra to cosmology. My company iFixit teaches people how to repair their electronics — no prior experience necessary. And these types of free online learning institutions are more the rule than the exception these days.
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OTHER WORDS FROM polymath
The earliest recorded use of the term in English is from , in the second edition of The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton ;  the form polymathist is slightly older, first appearing in the Diatribae upon the first part of the late History of Tithes of Richard Montagu in In Western Europe, the first work to use polymathy in its title De Polymathia tractatio: integri operis de studiis veterum was published in by Johann von Wowern , a Hamburg philosopher. Polymaths include the great scholars and thinkers of the Islamic Golden Age , the period of Renaissance and the Enlightenment , who excelled at several fields in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and the arts. In the Italian Renaissance , the idea of the polymath was expressed by Leon Battista Alberti — in the statement that "a man can do all things if he will". Embodying a basic tenet of Renaissance humanism that humans are limitless in their capacity for development, the concept led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. This is expressed in the term Renaissance man , often applied to the gifted people of that age who sought to develop their abilities in all areas of accomplishment: intellectual, artistic, social, physical, and spiritual. Leonardo da Vinci has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". These polymaths had a rounded approach to education that reflected the ideals of the humanists of the time.
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