At all events the Renaissance was heralded through the recovery by Italian scholars of Greek and Roman classical literature. When the movement began, the civilization of Greece and Rome had long been exerting a partial influence, not only upon Italy, but on other parts of mediaeval Europe as well. But in Italy especially, when the wave of barbarism had passed, the people began to feel a returning consciousness of their ancient culture, and a desire to reproduce it. To Italians the Latin language was easy, and their country abounded in documents and monumental records which symbolized past greatness. The Renaissance began in the cities of Northern Italy, leading to a flowering of art, sculpture and painting. It also swept into Northern Europe but there the more austere circumstances caused it to focus on religion and literature. The invention of the printing press would also enable new religious ideas to sweep across Europe.
The Renaissance was essentially an urban phenomenon beginning in northern Italy because cities like Florence were less affected by the ravages of the 14th century. The emphasis here was on a return to the past, evidence of which was all around them, and it was focussed chiefly in sculpture, architecture, painting and writing.
As the Renaissance spread to northern Europe, subtle changes occurred, with an emphasis on scientific intellectualism and religious humanism. It was dominated by the universities where the development of science was most pronounced. The renewal was also largely centred on religion, which is why the Reformation would happen in the north rather than in Italy.
A. Define the term Humanism. Discuss the four stages of the Humanism and Discuss in detail at least two (2)examples in each stage. Was the Renaissance a return to an earlier period of history or a movement to a newer modern period?
The defining concept of the Renaissance was humanism, a literary movement that began in Italy during the fourteenth century. Humanism was a distinct movement because it broke from the medieval tradition of having pious religious motivation for creating art or works of literature. Humanist writers were concerned with worldly or secular subjects rather than strictly religious themes. Such emphasis on secularism was the result of a more materialistic view of the world. Unlike the Medieval Era, Renaissance people were concerned with money and the enjoyment of life and all its worldly pleasures. Humanist writers glorified the individual and believed that man was the measure of all things and had unlimited potential. There were four stages of the Humanism: Ancient Greece and Rome (Hellenic Period) / The Renaissance/The Enlightenment (18th Century) and The 19th Century to Present
Humanism had far-reaching effects throughout Italy and Europe. The advent of humanism ended the church dominance of written history. Humanist writers secularized the view of history by writing from a nonreligious