How did the Crusades impact the Renaissance? 

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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The Crusades impacted the Renaissance through the ways in which they made knowledge from eastern cultures increasingly accessible to the Latin west. Much of Greek knowledge of science, medicine, and philosophy had been lost to the Latin west after the fall of the western half of the Roman Empire. This knowledge was preserved in t5he original Greek in Byzantium and in Arabic translation (and commentaries which built on and improved the work of the Greeks) in Islamic culture, especially in the regions of Damascus and Baghdad. Although the main point of contact between the west and Islam culture was in Spain, the Crusades also served as a point of contact. Also, more importantly, Crusaders became acquainted with the Byzantine tradition of Greek learning both in the Crusades and from scholars fleeing the fall of Constantinople. The Renaissance was the rebirth of this learning.

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thetall | (Level 3) Educator

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  • The Crusades provided an opportunity for the Europeans to rediscover Greek philosophy through contact with ancient Greek texts.
  • The Crusades fueled the development of secular governments which later challenged the overall power of religious leadership. The situation also led to a direct challenge to Catholicism through the Protestant Reformation.
  • The contact between the Crusaders and Muslims fostered knowledge exchange, and information about religion and literature was shared. This led to a shift in thinking among the European scholars who sought to discover new knowledge on various subjects.
  • The development of art during the Renaissance period required money. The Crusades filled the gap by fostering improvements in transport and trade in Asia and Europe. Expansion of trade and transport also led to waning appeal for feudalism and monarchical administration. The situation resulted in the growing desire for political inclusion and freedom among the people.
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