Renaissance Humanism Essay

683 Words3 Pages
The Renaissance The Renaissance was a time period of extensive cultural rebirth. It was the first step towards “the emergence of modern identity and individuality” (Brotton 1). It is important to understand that there was not only one Renaissance. While most history textbooks focus on the major renaissance centered in Italy, Brotton explains that there were renaissances in the Islamic and South-East Asian worlds as well as others that overlapped with the Italian Renaissance. Enveloped in this worldly reform was the start of a new ideology known as Renaissance Humanism. This refers to the “course of study followed by most young men of period” which included the quadrivium (arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy) as well as classical philology, literature, history and moral philosophy. It was believed by Humanists at the time that if you read and applied these classical texts to your life then your overall quality of life would be improved. However, this period of learning and expansion was not purely beneficial; Brotton also explains how the darker side of renaissance came hand in hand with the benefits. “Today, there is a popular consensus that the term ‘Renaissance’ refers to a profound and enduring upheaval and transformation in culture, politics, art and society in Europe between the years 1400 and 1600” (Brotton 9). Science was at the forefront of this expansion because of the speed at which technology advanced communication. With the invention of the printing press, education boomed and suddenly producing accurate copies of important books of the time was no longer a major time consuming process. Not only that, but now information in textbooks could continuously be updated as scholars began to better understand and learn more about their subject areas. This newfound availability of literature helped spur the movement of Renaissance Humanism.
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