The Renaissance (Part 2)
Note about the video: It was Hippocrates (not Aristotle that developed the theory of the humors).
The Renaissance was a time of great change (brought about by people like Vesalius and Paré). It started within Italy and spread out across Europe. This term was used to describe this era because much of the art, architecture, literature, science and philosophy that surfaced during the Renaissance was so reminiscent of the ancient past (Greece and Rome), that it seemed as though Europe was indeed reborn. It wasn’t until the Modern Age that a movement towards new innovations truly began.
Another little video: Dividing European history
In 1517 Martin Luther nailed 95 theses, or criticisms of the Catholic Church, onto the door of a church in Germany. It marked the start of The Reformation which questioned the power of the Catholic Church and its control over knowledge. It also led to many years of religious warfare in Europe.
The Renaissance also represented a break away from the conformist society and culture of medieval Europe. A conformist society is one in which people strictly follow established rules and practices. Breaking away from this mould, the Renaissance was a time during which new and inventive ideas began to spread and gain influence. Gradually, this decreased the dominance previously held by the Catholic Church. Partly causing and partly because of the Religious Wars. Italian Wars also had a major influence during this era. Please, review the material on both wars.
The most notable changes experienced during the Renaissance were in the fields of art and architecture, literature, philosophy and science. In was in these disciplines that new trends and fresh styles emerged, inspired by Europe’s ancient history. In Italy, Renaissance architects were inspired by the architectural styles of ancient Rome. The dome of St Peters in Vatican City, was designed by Michelangelo in the 16th century.
Unlike the artistic styles of the earlier Middle Ages, which placed more importance on symbolism than reality, renaissance art was more life-like and contained perspective. Painters began to depict the human form with increasing accuracy, which was enabled by a better understanding of human anatomy. This anatomical knowledge was gained from advances made in the field of medicine during the Renaissance period. Much of this artistic knowledge can be attributed to the pioneering Renaissance figure, Leonardo da Vinci. He argued that artists should perform dissections in order to understand anatomy in order to paint the human body accurately. This emphasis on accuracy had a knock-on effect on medicine. The same man had wide ranging interest, dabbling in science and engineering as well as art.
The Renaissance was also a time of great literary change. Writers and poets looked back to the poems and texts of Ancient Greece and Rome. Renaissance literature dealt much more with human characteristics and behaviours, shifting away from the religious and metaphysical subjects of earlier Medieval books, poems and plays. With the invention of the printing press in the 1440s, information suddenly became much more accessible to the general public, which had a huge impact on the field of education.
Philosophical trends also changed during the Renaissance. New ways of thinking, sparked by a philosophy known as humanism, altered the way in which people thought about human beings and the universe. During medieval times, the Catholic Church had been the major force influencing people’s thoughts and beliefs on these matters. Unlike the Catholic faith, however, humanism did not promote the notion that humans are naturally sinful and it also placed a lot of emphasis on finding reason.
With the spread of humanistic thought, the medieval emphasis on spirituality was gradually replaced by a focus on the more physical characteristics of humans. The field of study now referred to as the humanities (history, social sciences, the arts, literature and languages) is derived from the term humanism. The philosophical changes which occurred during the Renaissance also paved the way for another shift in thinking that was experienced in Europe at the turn of the Modern Age. This later revolution was known as the Enlightenment.
Science and engineering were other fields that experienced major changes during the Renaissance. Many new and exciting discoveries were made, mainly in the areas of anatomy, astronomy and physics. Breakthroughs in engineering also paved the way for many of the world’s most significant inventions, such as telescopes, clocks and spectacles. Pioneering Renaissance scientists and inventors included Galileo Galilei and Leonardo da Vinci.
Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets -Leonardo da Vinci
The Middle Ages of European history was a time characterized by conformism. People who displayed creativity or diverged from established methods of thinking and behaving, were often punished or outcast from society.
The early Middle Ages were a time of fear in Europe and many people believed that mythical creatures existed in an underworld. The world was thought to consist of only three continents, and the Earth, not the Sun, was considered to be the center of the solar system. Many of these medieval beliefs were proven untrue during the Renaissance.
Until the Renaissance, most Europeans followed the teachings of Catholicism because they had little exposure to any form of education beyond this. Science was not a well-understood concept and very little of what the Church taught people about life was challenged. Those who spoke out against the Church were accused of heresy and labelled a heretic. Heretics were often subject to extremely severe punishments, such as being tortured or burned at the stake in front of the townspeople.
During the Renaissance, however, things started to change. The 14th through to the 16th centuries in Europe were a period of questioning and discovery. People started to think independently and experiment with new ideas and concepts. As more and more advancements were made in the arts and sciences, the Catholic Church began to lose the overwhelming power and influence it had once held over people’s beliefs about the world.
Gunpowder made it’s appearance and changed the face of war forever. This was invented in China and transmitted to Europe during the Mongol invasions. It revolutionized warfare, making it much more destructive. This led to a need for new medical techniques, surgical procedures and equipment.
References and Other Sources:
Posted on March 22, 2017, in Education and tagged da Vinci, history, Humanism, Italian Wars, Luther, Michelangelo, Paré, printing press, Reformation, Religious Wars, Vesalius. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.