How did Italy's trade with the Muslim world contribute to the Italian Renaissance?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Italy’s trade with the Muslim world contributed to the Italian Renaissance in two main ways. 

First, Italy’s trade with the Muslim world helped to make Italian city-states rich.  Since Italian states were the main conduit for trade between Europe and the Middle East, they made great deal of money on the trade.  This allowed the elites of the Italian cities to support the artists and scientists who helped to make the Renaissance.  Without the money gained from their trade with the Muslim world, this would not have been possible.

Second, Italy’s trade with the Muslim world helped to bring new ideas to Italy.  After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, many classical texts had been lost to Europeans.  This helped to reduce the level of learning that existed in Europe.  These texts, however, still existed in Muslim lands.  Trade with the Muslim world helped expose the Italians to these texts and the ideas contained within them. This revived interest in the ideas of the classical world and helped to bring about the new spirit of inquiry that marked the Italian Renaissance.

Thus, Italy’s trade with the Muslim world made the Italian Renaissance possible both economically and intellectually.


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