After the Middle Ages, the Renaissance was a period of fervent European artistic, cultural, political and economic “renaissance”. The Renaissance encouraged the rediscovery of classical philosophy, literature and art, commonly defined as taking place from the 14th to the 17th century. During this period, some of the greatest philosophers, statesmen, authors, artists, statesmen and scientists in human history flourished. On the other hand, the world discoveries opened up new lands and cultures to European trade. The Renaissance is considered to have integrated the divide between the Middle Ages and modern society.
From darkness to light: The beginning of the Renaissance
This is an era of the Middle Ages that took place between the fall of ancient Rome in 476 AD. Europeans made limited progress in science and art in the early 14th century. This period is also considered to be a time of war, ignorance, famine and pandemics such as the Black Death, also known as the “Dark Ages.” However, some scholars argue that these bleak descriptions of the Middle Ages were greatly exaggerated, although many admit that at the time there was relatively little respect for the philosophies and knowledge of Greece and the Roman Empire. In the years following 476 A.D., the former Western Roman Empire (including Europe and North Africa) was invaded by various Germanic peoples, abandoning ancient Roman customs in favor of outside support. Most of the written documents of the time made known the unfavorable opinion of the so-called “Dark Ages”. Europe’s agricultural prosperity was largely limited to the south before the early Middle Ages, where the dusty, dry, loose soils were suitable for the first plows, known as ploughing. For more information, click here.
A popular trend called humanism in Italy began to develop during the 14th century. Humanism advocates, among its many ideals, the belief that man is at the heart of his own world and that literature, human achievements in education, science and the classical arts should be accepted by the people. The creation of the Gutenberg printing press in 1450 improved contacts throughout Europe and spread ideas more quickly. Thanks to this evolution in communication, little known texts were printed and massively distributed by the first humanist writers such as those of Francesco Petrarch and Giovanni Boccaccio. The latter advocated the revival of traditional Greek and Roman culture and principles. In addition, many scholars agree that developments in international trade and finance in Europe influenced culture and paved the way for the Renaissance.
The Geniuses of the Renaissance
Among the most prominent thinkers, scientists, artists, and authors of the Renaissance were several famous figures. Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) was an Italian inventor, architect, painter and “Renaissance man” and was responsible for painting “The Last Supper” and “The Mona Lisa”. Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) is the Dutch scholar who founded the humanist movement in Northern Europe. He translated the New Testament into Greek. René Descartes (1596-1650), the father of contemporary philosophy was a French philosopher and mathematician. Galileo (1564-1642) was an Italian engineer, astronomer and physicist. His work with telescopes allowed him to represent the rings of Saturn and the moons of Jupiter. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), in favor of the first modern scientific argument for the notion of heliocentric solar system, was presented by mathematicians and astronomers. “William Shakespeare (1564-1616), national poet of England, is celebrated for his sonnets and plays like “Romeo and Juliet”, the most famous playwright of all time.” “Michelangelo (1475-1564) is an Italian painter, architect and sculptor who sculpted” David “and painted the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) is an English philosopher and author of The Leviathan.
During the Renaissance, humanism allowed Europeans to challenge the position of the Roman Catholic Church. As individuals learned to read, write and understand ideas, they began to study religion closely and question it. The printing press also made it easy to reproduce books like the Bible and have them read to a wide audience for the first time. The Protestant Reformation, a revolutionary movement that sparked a split in the Catholic Church, was led in the 16th century by Martin Luther, a German monk. Luther challenged many of the church’s activities. A new type of Christianity, known as Protestantism, developed as a result. During the Renaissance, humanism allowed Europeans to challenge the position of the Roman Catholic Church. As more and more people learned to read, write, and understand the ideals of the Roman Catholic Church, Europeans began to take an interest in religion.