Renaissance: Rebirth of Humanism
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The Renaissance is known as a rebirth of classical ideas and in all actuality, a celebration or rebirth of humanism. The middle ages had lasted for over a thousand years. It was during this time Christianity was spread. Christianity, along with the Germanic culture of the tribes who invaded the Roman Empire, changed Europe forever. The Christian Church had a major influence in the everyday activities of everyone at that time. By 1500 people began to shine away preoccupation with the church. Instead, they focused more on the classical ideas that came before the onset of Christianity’s influence. This is how the Renaissance started.
The word renaissance literally means a rebirth or revival in French. This period was labeled The Renaissance because it was a rebirth of the ideas of ancient Greece and Rome. The humanistic ideas that were lost during the middle ages had in fact been “reborn”. The Renaissance was not just the renewed interest in the ideas of that time, but also renewed interest in classical art and architecture.
The Renaissance and the Classical era of Greece and Rome are similar in many ways. This can be seen through the importance put on man, instead of the importance of God as seen through the middle ages. The church had helped create a caste system that was in place during the middle ages. Before the Renaissance, there were primarily three different social levels; the nobility, the churchmen, and the peasants. By not putting as much emphasis on the church, the caste system began to dissolve. This was a major reason why merchants, artist, scholars, and scientist like Leonardo Da Vinci began to appear. The people of the renaissance essentially looked to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration. This is why they are so similar.