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Renaissance means “rebirth”… … “revival” of Classical Culture (art & learning) from ancient Greece & Rome


Renaissance means rebirth revival of Classical Culture (art & learning) from ancient Greece & Rome Italy: Birthplace of Renaissance
Powerful city-states like Florence, Venice, Milan Wealthy banker families in these city-states like Medici family of Florence were patrons of the arts & learning Background Italy is not yet a nation, but rather, independent city-states. England, France fight 100 Years War and emerge as independent nations. Spain becomes a new nation after marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella in 1400s. More Background: 1300s = An Age of Despair
Catholic Church: Popes leave Rome, live in opulent palace in Avignon, France. This is called Babylonian Captivity For a while, there are 2 or 3 people who claim to be Pope. This is called the Great Schism. Black Death (Bubonic Plague) Popes Palace in Avignon, France About 1350, Black Death (Plague) kills 1/3 of population in Europe Jews were often blamed for Black Death
Jews were often blamed for Black Death. They often were killed in anti-Semitic pogroms. Women also were blamed for Black Death and burned as witches. Catholic Church loses prestige & power for its inability to stop the Plague and as priests die. In 1300s & 1400s, France & England are fighting the Hundred Years War
Joan of Arc is great French heroine who defeats England She is captured and burned at stake She becomes French martyr In 1453, Muslim Ottoman Turks conquer Constantinople
Christian Byzantine (Greek) Empire falls Byzantine (Greek) Emperor killed Greek refugees flee to Italy, bringing Greek culture with them Muslims rename city Istanbul Reasons for Renaissance rebirth of interest in Greece and Rome:
Refugees from Constantinople bring Classical Culture of Greece & Rome with them to West Italians see magnificent ancient ruins of Roman Empire in Rome, which has been abandoned by the Pope for Avignon Monasteries of Middle Ages saved Greek and Roman writings (Plato, Aristotle, Homer, etc.) Key Renaissance Ideas Humanism: Focus on the human potential and achievements Study of the Humanities at college Secularism: Focus on this world, not spiritual world Renaissance Man: A well-rounded person who understood many different disciplines, especially Greek & Roman culture (example: Leonardo Da Vinci)


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