1. To what extent is the term Renaissance a valid concept for a distinct period in early modern European history? During the 14th to 17th century, a new golden age emerged. This age was characterized the Renaissance. Led by northern Italian cities, the Renaissance was fundamentally by economic growth, as Europeans sought to achieve higher standards of intellect. The Renaissance marked the beginning of Modern history. It subsequently revived their socio cultural achievements, developing ideas of individualism, humanism, and secularism for a distinct period in modern European history.
Individualism helped validated uncommon personalities and unique groups of Europeans. It also helped cultivate people’s capabilities. Well-respected literature involved with the nature of individuality emerged and art in the Renaissance brought out the individual. Renaissance artists and authors glorified unique personalities emphasized importance or individuals. Writers like Saint Augustine, Peter Abelard, and Guibert perceived themselves to be unique persons, generating autobiographical statements.
However, authors abruptly stopped writing about God. In opposition to the middle ages, the Christian value of humility discouraged self-absorption for the profit of the individual. Italians specifically detached themselves from this principle as they had enormous confidence in their ability to achieve great things. Leon Alberti remarked, “Men can do all things if they will. ” Alberti reveals that individualism leads people to become consciously aware of their own singularity.
The thirst for fame, the drive for ambition, and the desire for success drove such men to take any means to completely achieve their potential. The movement of individualism was one of the most important driving factors that helped Europeans high light their own importance. Humanism brought back medieval civilization. People strove to learn about human nature through the intense study of Latin classics. It was the distinguished scholars and creative artists who passionately persisted to bring back the culture of medieval civilization.
Thus, it was unsurprising to find that Pope Sixtus IV built a library that still remains as one of the richest repositories holding ancient, medieval documents. This movement of humanism was largely praise because the viewed humanity through a Christian lens as Renaissance humanists strongly believed that men and woman were made in the image and likeness of God. For example, Pico Mirandola represented man as one in possession of great dignity in his essay, ‘On the Dignity of Man’.
Further, Renaissance humanism caused individuals to become increasingly self-conscious about their current lifestyles and their realization of human potential. Humanism heavily influenced much of the Renaissance culture, causing people to depend upon intellect its role in humanity breakthroughs. Due to the progressive decline in spiritual interests during the period of the Renaissance, Secularism infiltrated various aspects of culture, civilization, and perception. Secularism praised materialism and the enjoyment of life, rather than the medieval principle of toiling hard for a life after death.
This thought of Secularism emerged partly because of the humanism plea to praise human beings, their achievements, their interests, and their capabilities. Specifically, economic growth in Italian cities detracted the time and space needed for developing spirituality. Instead, busy bankers and pre-occupied merchants calculated strategies to generate collect more money. Wealth paved the way to greater material pleasures, fortifying a mindset that appreciated the arts. During the Renaissance, money had become the main goal that propelled society.
The Renaissance was a time where of the world and intellectuals shined. It developed ideas of the world and society. Unlike the medieval Age where religion was emphasized, the Renaissance stressed individualism, humanism, and secularism. The arts and literature became well- developed and helped spread the Renaissance. The Renaissance was important due to the fact that it was different period in time where society changed their views and eventually leads to the Reformation.