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THE RENAISSANCE


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Bianca
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« on: October 12, 2008, 03:38:09 pm »










                                                 T H E   R E N A I S S A N C E



                                                     The Dawn of a New Age






About 1450, European scholars became more interested in studying the world around them.

Their art became more true to life. They began to explore new lands. The new age in Europe was eventually called “the Renaissance.” Renaissance is a French word that means “rebirth.”

Historians consider the Renaissance to be the beginning of modern history.

The Renaissance began in northern Italy and then spread through Europe.

Italian cities such as Naples, Genoa, and Venice became centers of trade between Europe and the Middle East.

Arab scholars preserved the writings of the ancient Greeks in their libraries. When the Italian cities traded with
the Arabs, ideas were exchanged along with goods. These ideas, preserved from the ancient past, served as the basis of the Renaissance. When the Byzantine empire fell to Muslim Turks in 1453, many Christian scholars left Greece for Italy.

The Renaissance was much more than simply studying the work of ancient scholars. It influenced painting, sculpture, and architecture. Paintings became more realistic and focused less often on religious topics.

Rich families became patrons and commissioned great art. Artists advanced the Renaissance style of showing
nature and depicting the feelings of people.
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 03:51:13 pm »











                                                RENAISSANCE OF THE 12TH CENTURY

 




New technological discoveries allowed the development of the gothic style.

The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes during the High Middle Ages.

It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots. These changes paved the way to later achievements
such as the literary and artistic movement of the Italian Renaissance in the 15th century and the scientific developments of the 17th century.
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 03:57:18 pm »




             

Charles H. Haskins, was the first historian to write extensively about a renaissance that ushered in
the High Middle Ages starting about 1070.

In 1927, he wrote that:



"[the 12th century in Europe] was in many respects an age of fresh and vigorous life.

The epoch of the Crusades, of the rise of towns, and of the earliest bureaucratic states of the
West, it saw the culmination of Romanesque art and the beginnings of Gothic; the emergence of
the vernacular literatures; the revival of the Latin classics and of Latin poetry and Roman law; the recovery of Greek science, with its Arabic additions, and of much of Greek philosophy; and the origin
of the first European universities.

The twelfth century left its signature on higher education, on the scholastic philosophy, on European systems of law, on architecture and sculpture, on the liturgical drama, on Latin and vernacular poetry..."






In Northern Europe, the Hanseatic League was founded in the 12th century, with the foundation of the city of Lübeck in 1158–1159. Many northern cities of the Holy Roman Empire became hanseatic cities, including Hamburg, Stettin, Bremen and Rostock. Hanseatic cities outside the Holy Roman Empire were, for instance, Bruges, London and the Polish city of Danzig (Gdańsk). In Bergen, Norway and Novgorod, Russia the league had factories and middlemen. In this period the Germans started colonising Eastern Europe beyond the Empire, into Prussia and Silesia.


                                   


In the late 13th century, a Venetian explorer named Marco Polo became one of the first Europeans to travel the Silk Road to China. Westerners became more aware of the Far East when Polo documented his travels in Il Milione. He was followed by numerous Christian missionnaries to the East, such as William of Rubruck, Giovanni da Pian del Carpini, Andrew of Longjumeau, Odoric of Pordenone, Giovanni de Marignolli, Giovanni di Monte Corvino, and other travellers such as Niccolò da Conti.
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 03:59:54 pm »

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 04:02:34 pm »




             

              Averroes, founder of the Averroism school of philosophy,
              was influential in the rise of secular thought in Western Europe









Philosophical and scientific teaching of the Early Middle Ages was based upon few copies and commentaries of ancient Greek texts that remained in Western Europe after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Much of Europe had lost contact with the knowledge of the past. This scenario changed during the Renaissance of the 12th century. The increased contact with the Islamic world in Spain and Sicily, the Crusades, the Reconquista, as well as increased contact with Byzantium, allowed Europeans to seek and translate the works of Hellenic and Islamic philosophers and scientists, especially the works of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Plotinus, Geber, al-Khwarizmi, Rhazes, Abulcasis, Alhacen, Avicenna, Avempace, and Averroes, among others. The development of medieval universities allowed them to aid materially in the translation and propagation of these texts and started a new infrastructure which was needed for scientific communities.

 
Medieval scholars sought to understand the geometric and harmonic principles by which God created the universe.  At the beginning of the 13th century there were reasonably accurate Latin translations
of the main works of almost all the intellectually crucial ancient authors, allowing a sound transfer of scientific ideas via both the universities and the monasteries. By then, the natural science contained
in these texts began to be extended by notable scholastics such as Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Duns Scotus. Precursors of the modern scientific method can be seen already in Grosseteste's emphasis on mathematics as a way to understand nature, and in the empirical approach admired by Bacon, particularly in his Opus Majus.

The first half of the 14th century saw much important scientific work being done, largely within the framework of scholastic commentaries on Aristotle's scientific writings.  William of Ockham introduced the principle of parsimony: natural philosophers should not postulate unnecessary entities, so that motion is not a distinct thing but is only the moving object  and an intermediary "sensible species" is
not needed to transmit an image of an object to the eye.  Scholars such as Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme started to reinterpret elements of Aristotle's mechanics. In particular, Buridan developed the theory that impetus was the cause of the motion of projectiles, which was a precursor of the modern concept of inertia.  Meanwhile, the Oxford Calculators began to mathematically analyze the kinematics of motion, conducting this analysis without considering the causes of motion.

Even though the devastation brought by the Black Death (mid 14th century) and other disasters sealed a sudden end to the previous period of massive philosophic and scientific development, two centuries later started the European Scientific Revolution, which may also be understood as a resumption of the process of scientific change halted during the crisis of the Late Middle Ages.
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 04:05:12 pm »


             

              A German manuscript page teaching use of arabic numerals
              (Talhoffer Thott, 1459).
              At this time, knowledge of the numerals was still widely seen
              as esoteric









During the 12th century in Europe, there was a radical change in the rate of new inventions and innovations
in the ways of managing traditional means of production and economic growth. In less than a century, there
were more inventions developed and applied usefully than in the previous thousand years of human history all
over the globe. The period saw major technological advances, including the adoption or invention of printing, gunpowder, spectacles, a better clock, the astrolabe, and greatly improved ships.

The latter two advances made possible the dawn of the Age of Exploration.

Alfred Crosby described some of this technological revolution in The Measure of Reality :
Quantification in Western Europe, 1250-1600 and other major historians of technology have also noted it.



The earliest written record of a windmill is from Yorkshire, England, dated 1185.

Paper manufacture began in Italy around 1270.

The spinning wheel was brought to Europe (probably from India) in the 13th century.

The magnetic compass aided navigation, first reaching Europe some time in the late 12th century.

Eyeglasses were invented in Italy in the late 1280s.

The astrolabe returned to Europe via Islamic Spain.

Leonardo of Pisa introduces Hindu-Arabic numerals to Europe with his book Liber Abaci in 1202.

The West's oldest known depiction of a stern-mounted rudder can be found on church carvings
dating to around 1180.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2008, 04:08:07 pm »





               









A new method of learning called scholasticism developed in the late 12th century from the rediscovery of the works of Aristotle; the works of medieval Jewish and Muslim philosophers influenced by him, notably Maimonides, Avicenna (see Avicennism) and Averroes (see Averroism); and the Christian philosophers influenced by them, most notably Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure and Abélard.

Those who practiced the scholastic method believed in empiricism and supporting Roman Catholic doctrines through secular study, reason, and logic.

They opposed Christian mysticism, and the Platonist-Augustinian beliefs in mind dualism and the view
of the world as inherently evil.

The most famous of the scholastic practitioners was Thomas Aquinas (later declared a "Doctor of the Church"), who led the move away from the Platonic and Augustinian and towards Aristotelianism. Using the scholastic method, Aquinas developed a philosophy of mind by writing that the mind was at birth a tabula rasa ("blank slate") that was given the ability to think and recognize forms or ideas through a divine spark.

Other notable scholastics included Roscelin, Peter Abelard, and Peter Lombard. One of the main questions during this time was the problem of the universals. Prominent non-scholastics of the time included Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Damian, Bernard of Clairvaux, and the Victorines.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 05:01:45 pm »

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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2008, 05:06:15 pm »










The Renaissance (from French Renaissance, meaning "rebirth"; Italian: Rinascimento, from re- "again" and nascere "be born") was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe.

The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historic era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not uniform, this is a very general use of the term.

As a cultural movement, it encompassed a revival of learning based on classical sources, the development of linear perspective in painting, and gradual but widespread educational reform.

Traditionally, this intellectual transformation has resulted in the Renaissance being viewed as a bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern era. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is perhaps best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance men".

There is a general, but not unchallenged, consensus that the Renaissance began in Tuscany in the
14th century.  Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time;
its political structure; the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici; and the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and there has been much debate among historians as to the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical age.  Some have called
into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing
it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for the classical age, while others have instead focused on
the continuity between the two eras.  Indeed, some have called for an end to the use of the term, which they see as a product of presentism – the use of history to validate and glorify modern ideals.
The word Renaissance has also been used to describe other historical and cultural movements, such
as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century.
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008, 05:08:12 pm »



                       

                      Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man shows clearly the effect writers
                      of antiquity had on Renaissance thinkers.

                      Based on the specifications in Vitruvius's De architectura, da Vinci
                      tried to draw the perfectly proportioned man.
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2008, 05:12:56 pm »









The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, and searched for realism and human emotion in art.

Renaissance thinkers sought out learning from ancient texts, typically written in Latin or ancient Greek. Scholars scoured Europe's monastic libraries, searching for works of classical antiquity which had fallen into obscurity.

In such texts they found a desire to improve and perfect their worldly knowledge; an entirely different sentiment to the transcendental spirituality stressed by medieval Christianity. They did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the Renaissance's greatest works were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life.

Artists such as Masaccio strove to portray the human form realistically, developing techniques to render perspective and light more naturally. Political philosophers, most famously Niccolò Machiavelli, sought to describe political life as it really was, and to improve government on the basis of reason. In addition to studying classical Latin and Greek, authors also began increasingly to use vernacular languages; combined with the invention of printing, this would allow many more people access to books, especially the Bible.

In all, the Renaissance could be viewed as an attempt by intellectuals to study and improve the secular and worldly, both through the revival of ideas from antiquity, and through novel approaches to thought.
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2008, 05:14:15 pm »




             








Most historians agree that the ideas that characterized the Renaissance had their origin in late 13th century Florence, in particular with the writings of Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) and Francesco Petrarch (1304–1374), as well as the painting of Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337).  Yet it remains unsure why the Renaissance began in Italy, and why it began when it did. Accordingly, several theories have been put forward to explain its origins.
 
The Renaissance was so called because it was a "rebirth" of certain classical ideas that had long been lost to Western Europe. It has been argued that the fuel for this rebirth was the rediscovery of ancient texts that had been forgotten by Western civilization, but were preserved in the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic world, and some monastic libraries; and the translations of Greek and Arabic texts into Latin.

Renaissance scholars such as Niccolò de' Niccoli and Poggio Bracciolini scoured the libraries of Europe in search of works by such classical authors as Plato, Cicero, Pliny the Elder and Vitruvius.  Additionally, as the reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from Islamic Moors progressed, numerous Greek and Arabic works were captured from educational institutions such as the library at Córdoba, which claimed to have 400,000 books.

The works of ancient Greek and Hellenistic writers (such as Plato, Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, and Plotinus) and Muslim scientists and philosophers (such as Geber, Abulcasis, Alhacen, Avicenna, Avempace, and Averroes), were reintroduced into the Western world, providing new intellectual material for European scholars. Particularly in the case of mathematical knowledge, most of the work of Muslim mathematicians assimilated into the world and can be attributed to many different fields. Indian mathmaticians had also had had an impact.

 
Greek and Arabic knowledge was not only assimilated from Spain, but also directly from the Greek and Arabic speaking world. The study of mathematics was flourishing in the Middle East, and mathematical knowledge was brought back by crusaders in the 13th century.  The decline of the Byzantine Empire after 1204 – and its eventual fall in 1453 accompanied by the closure of its universities by the Ottoman Turks – led to a sharp increase in the exodus of Greek scholars to Italy and beyond. These scholars brought with them texts and knowledge of the classical Greek civilization which had been lost for centuries in the West and they transmitted the art of exegesis.

The majority of the works of Greek Classical literature and Roman Law that survive to this day did so through Byzantium.
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2008, 05:19:56 pm »



               









The unique political structures of late Middle Ages Italy have led some to theorize that its unusual social climate allowed the emergence of a rare cultural efflorescence. Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller city states and territories: the kingdom of Naples controlled the south, the Republic of Florence and the Papal States the center, the Genoese and the Milanese the north and west, and the Venetians the east. Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanised areas in Europe.Many of its cities stood among the ruins of ancient Roman buildings; it seems likely that the classical nature of the Renaissance was linked to its origin in the Roman Empire's heartlands.

Italy at this time was notable for its merchant Republics, including the Republic of Florence and the Republic of Venice. Although in practice these were oligarchical, and bore little resemblance to a modern democracy, the relative political freedom they afforded was conducive to academic and artistic advancement.

Likewise, the position of Italian cities such as Venice as great trading centres made them intellectual crossroads. Merchants brought with them ideas from far corners of the globe, particularly the Levant. Venice was Europe's gateway to trade with the East, and a producer of fine glass, while Florence was a capital of silk and jewelry. The wealth such business brought to Italy meant that large public and private artistic projects could be commissioned and individuals had more leisure time for study.

One theory that has been advanced is that the devastation caused by the Black Death in Florence (and elsewhere in Europe) resulted in a shift in the world view of people in 14th-century Italy. Italy was particularly badly hit by the plague, and it has been speculated that the familiarity with death that this brought thinkers to dwell more on their lives on Earth, rather than on spirituality and the afterlife.  It has also been argued that the Black Death prompted a new wave of piety, manifested in the sponsorship of religious works of art.  However, this does not fully explain why the Renaissance occurred specifically in Italy in the 14th century. The Black Death was a pandemic that affected all of Europe in the ways described, not only Italy. The Renaissance's emergence in Italy was most likely the result of the complex interaction of the above factors
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2008, 05:31:00 pm »




             

               LORENZO "IL MAGNIFICO" DE MEDICI








It has long been a matter of debate why the Renaissance began in Florence, and not elsewhere in Italy.

Scholars have noted several features unique to Florentine cultural life which may have caused such a cultural movement. Many have emphasized the role played by the Medici family in patronizing and stimulating the arts. Lorenzo de' Medici devoted huge sums to commissioning works from Florence's leading artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The Renaissance was certainly already underway before Lorenzo came to power; indeed, before the Medici family itself achieved hegemony in Florentine society. Some historians have postulated that Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance as a result of luck, i.e. because "Great Men" were born there by chance.

Da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo were all born in Tuscany. Arguing that such chance seems improbable, other historians have contended that these "Great Men" were only able to rise to prominence because of the prevailing cultural conditions at the time.



Humanism was not a philosophy per se, but rather a method of learning.

In contrast to the medieval scholastic mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, humanists would study ancient texts in the original, and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence. Humanist education was based on the study of poetry, grammar, ethics and rhetoric. Above all, humanists asserted "the genius of man ... the unique and extraordinary ability of the human mind."

Humanist scholars shaped the intellectual landscape throughout the early modern period.

Political philosophers such as Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas More revived the ideas of Greek and Roman thinkers, and applied them in critiques of contemporary government.

Theologians, notably Erasmus and Martin Luther, challenged the Aristotelian status quo, introducing radical new ideas of justification and faith
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2008, 05:36:39 pm »



GIOTTO DI BONDONE









One of the distinguishing features of Renaissance art was its development of highly realistic linear perspective. Giotto di Bondone (1267–1337) is credited with first treating a painting as a window into space, but it was not until the writings of architects Filippo Brunelleschi (1377–1446) and Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) that perspective was formalized as an artistic technique.  The development of perspective was part of a wider trend towards realism in the arts.  To that end, painters also developed other techniques, studying light, shadow, and, famously in the case of Leonardo da Vinci, human anatomy. Underlying these changes in artistic method was a renewed desire to depict the beauty of nature, and to unravel the axioms of aesthetics, with the works of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael representing artistic pinnacles that were to be much imitated by other artists.  Other notable artists include Sandro Botticelli, working for the Medici in Florence, Donatello another Florentine and Titian in Venice, among others.

Concurrently, in the Netherlands, a particularly vibrant artistic culture developed, the work of Hugo van der Goes and Jan van Eyck having particular influence on the development of painting in Italy, both technically with the introduction of oil paint and canvas, and stylistically in terms of naturalism in representation. (for more, see Renaissance in the Netherlands). Later, the work of Pieter Brueghel the Elder would inspire artists to depict themes of everyday life.

In architecture, Filippo Brunelleschi was foremost in studying the remains of ancient Classical buildings, and with rediscovered knowledge from the 1st-century writer Vitruvius and the flourishing discipline of mathematics, formulated the Renaissance style which emulated and improved on classical forms. Brunelleschi's major feat of engineering was the building of the dome of Florence Cathedral.  The first building to demonstrate this is claimed to be the church of St. Andrew built by Alberti in Mantua. The outstanding architectural work of the High Renaissance was the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica, combining the skills of Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sangallo and Maderno.

The Roman orders types of columns are used: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. These can either be structural, supporting an arcade or architrave, or purely decorative, set against a wall in the form of pilasters. During the Renaissance, architects aimed to use columns, pilasters, and entablatures as an integrated system. One of the first buildings to use pilasters as an integrated system was in the Old Sacristy (1421–1440) by Filippo Brunelleschi.

Arches, semi-circular or (in the Mannerist style) segmental, are often used in arcades, supported on piers or columns with capitals. There may be a section of entablature between the capital and the springing of the arch. Alberti was one of the first to use the arch on a monumental. Renaissance vaults do not have ribs. They are semi-circular or segmental and on a square plan, unlike the Gothic vault which is frequently rectangular.
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