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Western Civilization. Changing Attitudes from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period - Essay Example

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History is about transitions from one way of life to another.It is the evolution of people, their culture and environments.The middle ages was a time ripe for change and led to an evolution that brought about the rebirth or 'renaissance' of an entire Europe…
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Western Civilization. Changing Attitudes from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period
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"Western Civilization. Changing Attitudes from the Ancient World to the Early Modern Period"

Download file to see previous pages The departure from the classical period into the middle ages was heralded by Christianity. Religion played a great deal in the events that led to the changes in both the medieval world and the renaissance. This paper will endeavor to point out the major factors of change from each era leading up to the 'rebirth' of a nation and the evolution of a continent. In order to accomplish this, we will start with a brief look of the transition from the classical era to the medieval period. The first focus of the paper will look at how the medieval time period was seen by those wanting change, and by examining key factors that contributed to the changes that led to the renaissance. Second the paper will examine at what point changes occurred and how these contributed to the revolution that was the renaissance. The paper will conclude with a look at the effects of those changes and how they affected the world at large.

Religion throughout time has played a great role in the evolution of nations. Men have killed and been killed for their faith. The period after the classical know as the 'early middle ages' was fraught with religious overtures. The rule of law was based in god and the might of the king was based in his faith and in the power of the clergy who backed his rule. It was a time of the 'divine right of kings'. A good example of this is the story of Charlemagne who was crowned king due to his faith and devoutness by Pope Leo III.1 The rules of justice were also simplified and meted out by the king, the clergy and the aristocracy. This idea of divine right and the power of a certain body of individuals led to the suppression of the individual and his rights as a freeman. They were subjugated in favor of faith and authority. Religion and issues of eternal life took to the forefront and all things individualistic, such as art, were relegated to positions of least importance. This is the first glimpse of the 'backward' nature of the medieval era.
The second factor that led to the belief of the middle ages as a backward time was the notion that this period was culturally stagnant. It was a time believed to have a "lack of secular Latin literature' as well as 'corruption within the Church such as Popes who ruled as kings, pagan superstitions with saints relics, celibate priesthood, and institutionalized moral hypocrisy."2 This view probably came from the fact that learning was mainly in the hands of the clergy. Most written works were of a religious nature done by scribes who slowly and meticulously copied and recorded only what was given to them by the church. There was not much written about the arts or science all secular beliefs banished from the light. There was no balance of society and the individual, and only the worldview of serving your faith (God) and serving your lord through obedience and following life according to the will of the church. It was an age of the supernatural versus reason with no options for choice.
The third factor in the middle ages 'backward' theory stems from the economic sector. This was also stagnant due to the power being held in the hands of the aristocracy and the guilds. The wealth of the society was in the hands of a few and no one individual could do business without the approval or backing of the guilds or the aristocracy.
An emerging middle class at the end of the Crusades was also to become apart of this factor for change. At the end of the Crusades, many people sought out life in the cities and created a need for goods and services. They also developed an interest in the many cultures they had come in contact and wanted to experience and change ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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