The Renaissance

The Renaissance was a time of cultural transformations and advances in many areas of study. It was thought to have begun in Florence, Italy in the late middle ages.

So, I want to highlight a few of the areas that significant advances were made in during the Renaissance. One area was science, in which scientists began to understand the value of observation in making scientific discoveries.


The transcript is for your convenience
Lots of advances were made in education. These reformed for somewhat slow, but people began to favor a more classical education. Advances were also made in politics, especially in the art of diplomacy. And then, finally, art. Lots of advances were made in art, and that’s why I left it for last because it’s considered the most important part of the Renaissance, or at least the most well-known. Painters at this time began to portray a more national reality in their painting. Great painters at this time were Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, who both contributed greatly to the artistic advances during this time period.

A term that came out of the Renaissance was the term Renaissance man, who is someone who has expertise in several areas of study. So, if someone had expertise in science, education, politics, and art, we would refer to them as Renaissance men. And in fact, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were perhaps the first Renaissance men, and they set an example of what a Renaissance man would be like.

Printing at this time and advances in printing really were essential in helping bring about the Renaissance. This time, paper became more available, and the invention of metal, movable type happened during this time period. And without those two things, the ideas that came out of the Renaissance could not be spread easily to other areas. So, the advances in printing are essentially what helped spur on the Renaissance as it moved to different areas, away from Florence, Italy.

Today, historians debate the role of the Renaissance. Some historians believe that it was not as significant as others make it out to be, but most confirmed resources that we have say that the Renaissance was a very important time following the late Middle Ages.

Next Lesson: The Scientific Revolution