U13Notes - Unit 13 The Renaissance Renaissance means...

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Unit 13 The Renaissance Renaissance means “rebirth.” Some historians believe the Renaissance marks the birth of the “modern” era in history. The Renaissance followed Black Death which naturally profoundly affected all aspects of life. Roughly ¼ of Europeans died, some towns and cities were completely wiped out Europeans learned to value this life because it was short. “You only live once.” Historians debate when Renaissance began. A narrow or short time frame is 1350s-1550s, a broader view is 1300-1600 Italy was the center of the Renaissance, especially the Italian province of Florence. Evidence of classical Rome still existed, such as the Coliseum and Roman bath houses Humanists were the intellectual fathers of the Renaissance. They believed it was their mission to restore the best aspects of Western Civilization and reject the worst parts What are the best parts? For the Humanists, Greece and Rome were great civilizations which had collapsed in the 4 th and 5 th centuries and needed to be rebuilt Humanists were fascinated by classical Greece and Rome. They looked to classics for inspiration, not Bible and Church Fathers. Cicero, Sophocles and Virgil were the heroes for the Humanists One of the first and most famous Humanists was Dante of Florence. His most famous work, The Divine Comedy (1300,) was one of the great works of the later Middle Ages In the book, Dante’s travels through hell, purgatory and heaven. Virgil is his guide. He meets historical people in his journeys, including the devil The Divine Comedy was one of the first works written in Italian, not Latin, so the average person could read it Humanists were less concerned with religious issues than their intellectual predecessors in the Middle Ages. Man, not God, should be the focus of our attention Some historians believe that the Renaissance becomes age of individualism when man becomes conscious of himself as a creature distinct from God Medieval intellectuals stressed the parts of the classics which conformed to Christian thinking. The parts of classics which did not conform to Christianity were discarded. Humanists emphasized the classics without appealing to Bible. They stressed the importance of classical authors like Plato, Homer, Cicero and Sophocles. These works were translated into Latin so they could be widely read Homer’s Odysseus became model man for the Humanists. Human creativity and activity are stressed. Humans are capable of shaping their own life and destiny without the help of the Church 1
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People should live active public lives, not reclusive lives like the clergy. Man should be glorified and studied, not God. Man should enjoy life, not just serve God Humanists were not atheists, they were Christians and believed in God and Christ. But they believed the foundation of learning should be the Greeks and the Romans, not the Church fathers like Augustine and the Bible Humanists set up their own schools. With the advent of the printing press, the number of books
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This note was uploaded on 11/17/2010 for the course HIST 1 taught by Professor Byrne during the Spring '07 term at Santa Monica.

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U13Notes - Unit 13 The Renaissance Renaissance means...

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