Essay by jessicag April 2003

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Renaissance.(meaning: rebirth)

1st Phase

*The renaissance period (14th -16th century) witnessed remarkable changes in many aspects of Italian society.

*The renaissance refers to politics, government, art, and social organisation.

*This renaissance occurred in 2 stages; 1st stage being from 1050 to 1300 where there was a vast economic development. The 2nd phase being from 1300 to 1500 where there was a vast artistic development.

*By the mid 12th century, due to huge merchant marines, Venice had grown enormously rich due to overseas trade. Geneva and Venice made important strives in ship building.

*Florence possessed enormous wealth and merchants and bankers began to dominate Europe banking on both sides of the Alps. These profits contributed to the cities economy.

*The whole point of the renaissance was that the Italians living in the 14th and 15th century, were and knew that they were living in a new era.

*The sculptors, painters, and writers of this era saw themselves on the same level as the thinkers and artists of the Greco-roman civilization.

They believed they were living in a new golden age.

*A new attitude was manifested which can be described as individualism.


*Italians with unusual abilities were aware of their singularity and were unafraid to be unlike their neighbors with enormous confidence in their ability to achieve great things.

*Individualism stressed personality, genius, uniqueness, and the fullest development of capabilities and talents.

*The quest for glory was central to renaissance individualism.

The revival of antiquity

*The wealthy populous showed enthusiasm for the recovery of manuscripts, statues and monuments.

*Pope Nicholas 5th planned the library for the 9000 manuscripts he collected whilst pope sixtus 6th built that library.

*The revival of antiquity took great interest in the study of the Latin classics which was known as humanism.

*Humanism emphasized human beings achievements,