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Why did the Renaissance occur - Essay Example

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The era that has been defined by the historians as the Renaissance spans from the 14th century to the 16th century in Europe. It was an era of all around political, economic, artistic and intellectual revolutions in Europe starting from Italy where it was originated…
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Why did the Renaissance occur
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Why did the Renaissance occur

Download file to see previous pages... About this era, historians hold two different opinions like it was either extension of Middle Ages or dawn of a new era. The Renaissance age is known for new thinking and creativity. Between 1350 and 1550, the classical period of Europe was revived to a large extent. The cultural activities that occurred during Renaissance were mostly motivated by the Greco-Roman civilization. The Italian Renaissance was not just limited to the accomplishment of Italians artists and intellectuals but rather was reflection of the upper classes that comprised only small proportion of the European population. However, the impact was equally strong on the common people especially in the cities where the cultural movement was most prominent (Spielvogel, 340-341). Birth of Renaissance As already mentioned, Renaissance is essentially a literary movement of the upper classes. Writers from that era especially Petrarch, had held an indomitable passion for ancient Rome including classical architecture, art and especially the Latin language. He attempted to emulate ancient Rome’s literary men like Cicero who was highly fluent in the language. His passion for the classical era was so engrossing that he even tried to dismiss the span of hundred years between the Ancient age and Renaissance era. According to Petrarch, that era that he belonged was more an awakening of new age than Renaissance which means rebirth. In order to study ancient Rome, Petrarch introduced curriculum termed as studia humanitates which included humanism as philosophy. Humanism is not just a philosophical or religious concept, but basically “an attitude toward learning and toward life” (Wiesner et al., 248). This new approach slowly spread from Italy to other parts of Europe like France, Germany and Spain, and this was the birth of the Renaissance era. Renaissance was not a singular event like the French revolution and occurred over a period of two centuries in various parts of Europe (Wiesner et al., 248-249). The impact of Renaissance is not only restricted to literature and art, but also equally on language with humanist schools adopting Classical languages like Latin, Greek and Hebrew in their curricula. In northern Europe, humanists focused on bringing back the faith and morality in the values of the Church which got lost mainly after the Black Death tragedy. For many historians, Renaissance era was continuation of the Middle Ages like family remained the most important social recognition of an individual. Moreover, in spite of people becoming more materialistic, religion remained an important aspect of lives of both elite class and the common people. For instance, although artists began to get their true recognition worthy of their skills, they were still expected to pay taxes like other common people of the community (Wiesner et al., 269-270). Slavery which was a common practice in the Early Middle Ages but ceased in the eleventh century was revived during the Renaissance era more because of lack of workers after Black Death. The import of foreign slaves was legalized in the Italian city Florence (Spielvogel, 345). Renaissance happened as a result of reverence for the classical era mainly ancient Rome, and in the fifteenth century the humanists began to focus on Greek philosophy, art, architecture and literature. Renaissance culture was essentially a result of product of emulation of the classical philosophy and literature (Wiesner et al., 249). The birth of Renaissance era also happened from a shift of social perspective. In the medieval age, family was considered the smallest unit of society, and it was the group efforts and accomplishments that emerged as popular rather than individual successes. Even objects of art were attributed to group ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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