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A painting depicting the Ancient Greece School of Athens by Raphael. Source : A Public Domain

Renaissance was a period of philosophical, scientific, cultural, political, economical, as well as artistic reawakening in Europe  between 14th to 17th centuries. During the Renaissance period classical activities of the Greeks and Romans were revisited, revived and applied in the day-to-day activities.

The ‘Renaissance’ was an Italian word which means ‘rebirth’, because, prior to the time, the European continent was considered to be in ‘Dark Age’ whereby ignorance prevailed. The development started in the Italian city of Florence by a group of scholars in the city who revisited the Greco-Roman Civilizations for inspiration. From the city of Florence, the development spread to other Italian cities, and finally to other parts of the continental Europe.


As we have said, Renaissance as an intellectual revolution in the society, have started by a number of scholars in the city of Florence in the early 1400s. These scholars were called the ‘humanists’, as they realized the needs for salvaging the people from the darkness of ignorance through revisiting and applying of the Greco-Roman ideas.

In the mids of the 15th century, the Renaissance movement spread across the continental Europe in countries like France, Germany, England, Spain, and others. For example, in Germany a person Johan Gutenberg invented the first printing press in Europe as part of the innovation during the Renaissance. And this innovation in turn helped in accelerating the spread of the Renaissance ideas, as the printing press could produce hundreds of books in a day. Contrary to the old modern way of making books through copying which usually took a year before 2 books could be finished.


Philosophy was an integral part that constituted the Renaissance. This was possible as a result of some scholars in the Italian cities, later in the other European cities began to study the Greco-Roman philosophical ideas, more especially the ideas of the Greek scholars like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aristophanes, and others. For example, the Renaissance scholars have revisited and study the works of Aristotle and reviewed them according to their thinking. In the Aristotle’s ideas, they emphasised the thoughts on nature and human beliefs, in order to bring something which will gave people s freedom to think independently rather than. Therefore, the scholars have aimed at encouraging the people at the time in order to use their brain to think and come up with new ideas for the betterment of the society.

The scholars who excelled in the field of philosophy during the Renaissance, were like Petrach, Michele de Montaigne, Thomas More, Niccolo Machiavelli, and others.


Renaissance was also a period of writing, whereby scholars spread their ideas through writing. The Renaissance writers who were also philosophers, have criticized the status quo especially the leadership system in Europe as well as the domination of the Papacy (Roman Catholic). In their writings, they emphasised the freedom of thinking and expression of ideas, which they considered the ideal life for every human being. Notable among the writers were like Niccolo Machiavelli who wrote ‘The Prince’, Petrach who wrote ‘On the Solitary of Life’, Thomas More who wrote ‘An Ideal Political System’, and others.


Artistic Activities was one of the integral aspects of the Renaissance period, whereby painters, sculptors, and picture designers invented many skill of art, and produced many notable works. The artists of the Renaissance usually tend to portrayed realistic design and contemporary issues.

During the period famous artists have lived and produced several realistic art paintings, pictures, and sculptors which were up to date remain a major inspiration to the modern artists. Notable among the artists were like Leonardo da Vinci who design the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ picture, Giotto, Michaelangelo, Jan Van Eyck, Albrecht Durer, and others.


During the Renaissance, many great scientists have emerged who upgraded the Greco-Roman and Islamic scientific ideas. The Renaissance scientists focused very much on chemistry and biology, where they tried to go deep by reviewing the old scientific theories, and come up with an updated theories.

In the course of searching the truth, the scientists invented many tools from the knowledge in order to simplified their scientific research and experiment. These tools were like microscope, telescope, barometer, and others. Thus, new discoveries were being made that even debunked the past scientific beliefs.

Notable among the Scientists who emerged during the Renaissance, were like Galileo Galilei who theorized the ‘theory of falling bodies’, Nicolas Copernicus who theorized the ‘geometric theory’, Francis Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Tico Brahe, Rene Descartes, and others.


Many scholars who wrote about the Renaissance, have concluded that the period was a ‘rebirth’ of the Classical ideas, was what laid the foundation of Western World modern ideas, more especially in science and technology.


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