Pliny the Younger defined it as the capacity to win the affections of lesser folk without impinging on greater (Ep. IX, 5).
During the Age of Enlightenment in Germany the term "Humanität" in the philosophical sense of humanity, was used for "a better human being" or Humanism. It is used for example by Johann Gottfried Herder in his "Briefe an die Humanität" and by Friedrich Schiller.
It is a theme of the philosophy of freemasonry. Some orders of freemasonry are called "Humanitas".