Few historians are comfortable with the triumphalist and western Europe-centred image of the Renaissance as the irresistible march of modernity and progress.
Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, philosophy, art, music, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th centurywho had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences, philosophy and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts.
Portrait of a Young Woman c. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla and Erasmuswould help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation.
Well after the first artistic return to classicism had been exemplified in the sculpture of Nicola PisanoFlorentine painters led by Masaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. A critical contribution to Italian Renaissance humanism Giovanni Pico della Mirandola wrote the famous text "De hominis dignitate" Oration on the Dignity of Man, which consists of a series of theses on philosophy, natural thought, faith and magic defended against any opponent on the grounds of reason.
In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, Renaissance authors also began increasingly to use vernacular languages; combined with the introduction of printingthis would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible. Some scholars, such as Rodney Stark play down the Renaissance in favor of the earlier innovations of the Italian city-states in the High Middle Ageswhich married responsive government, Christianity and the birth of capitalism.
This analysis argues that, whereas the great European states France and Spain were absolutist monarchies, and others were under direct Church control, the independent city republics of Italy took over the principles of capitalism invented on monastic estates and set off a vast unprecedented commercial revolution that preceded and financed the Renaissance.
Italian Renaissance View of Florencebirthplace of the Renaissance Many argue that the ideas characterizing the Renaissance had their origin in late 13th-century Florencein particular with the writings of Dante Alighieri — and Petrarch —as well as the paintings of Giotto di Bondone — Some writers date the Renaissance quite precisely; one proposed starting point iswhen the rival geniuses Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi competed for the contract to build the bronze doors for the Baptistery of the Florence Cathedral Ghiberti won.
Yet it remains much debated why the Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Accordingly, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins.
During the Renaissance, money and art went hand in hand. Artists depended entirely on patrons while the patrons needed money to foster artistic talent. Wealth was brought to Italy in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries by expanding trade into Asia and Europe. Silver mining in Tyrol increased the flow of money.
Luxuries from the Eastern world, brought home during the Crusadesincreased the prosperity of Genoa and Venice. Please improve the article or discuss the issue. June Coluccio Salutati In stark contrast to the High Middle Ageswhen Latin scholars focused almost entirely on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and mathematics,  Renaissance scholars were most interested in recovering and studying Latin and Greek literary, historical, and oratorical texts.
Ancient Greek works on science, maths and philosophy had been studied since the High Middle Ages in Western Europe and in the medieval Islamic world normally in translationbut Greek literary, oratorical and historical works such as Homer, the Greek dramatists, Demosthenes and Thucydides were not studied in either the Latin or medieval Islamic worlds; in the Middle Ages these sorts of texts were only studied by Byzantine scholars.
One of the greatest achievements of Renaissance scholars was to bring this entire class of Greek cultural works back into Western Europe for the first time since late antiquity.
Arab logicians had inherited Greek ideas after they had invaded and conquered Egypt and the Levant. Their translations and commentaries on these ideas worked their way through the Arab West into Iberia and Sicilywhich became important centers for this transmission of ideas.
From the 11th to the 13th century, many schools dedicated to the translation of philosophical and scientific works from Classical Arabic to Medieval Latin were established in Iberia. Most notably the Toledo School of Translators. This work of translation from Islamic culture, though largely unplanned and disorganized, constituted one of the greatest transmissions of ideas in history.
Social and political structures in Italy A political map of the Italian Peninsula circa The unique political structures of late Middle Ages Italy have led some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence.
Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller city states and territories: Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanised areas in Europe.
Linked to this was anti-monarchical thinking, represented in the famous early Renaissance fresco cycle Allegory of Good and Bad Government in Siena by Ambrogio Lorenzetti painted —whose strong message is about the virtues of fairness, justice, republicanism and good administration.
Holding both Church and Empire at bay, these city republics were devoted to notions of liberty. Skinner reports that there were many defences of liberty such as the Matteo Palmieri — celebration of Florentine genius not only in art, sculpture and architecture, but "the remarkable efflorescence of moral, social and political philosophy that occurred in Florence at the same time".
Although in practice these were oligarchicaland bore little resemblance to a modern democracythey did have democratic features and were responsive states, with forms of participation in governance and belief in liberty.
Merchants brought with them ideas from far corners of the globe, particularly the Levant. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned and individuals had more leisure time for study.Winky Macadew Humanities December Final Essay.
The Renaissance is considered "the rebirth" or "the early modern period." This period in history was a time of enlightenment, where some of the greatest poetry, medicine, discovery, art, and many other achievements were accomplished during this time.
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Introduction. The period of European history referred to as the Renaissance was a time of great social and cultural change in Europe. Generally speaking, the Renaissance spanned from the 14th to the 16th centuries, spreading across Europe from its birthplace in Italy.
Renaissance, (French: “Rebirth”) period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages and conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in Classical scholarship and values.
Renaissance Comparison Essay Megan Pepper Axia College of University of Phoenix Renaissance Comparison Essay The Late Middle Ages were known as a time of decline, European historians success tend to place Europe's major break with its medieval and classical past with the discovery of America and the Reformation.
Brautigan > The Abortion This node of the American Dust website (formerly Brautigan Bibliography and Archive) provides comprehensive information about Richard Brautigan's novel The Abortion: An Historical Romance Published in , this was Brautigan's fourth published novel.
Publication and background information is provided, along with reviews, many with full text.