How was the Renaissance different from and similar to previous times?The Renaissance is usually seen as the renewal of classical model after an interval of barbarism in the middle ages. To what...

How was the Renaissance different from and similar to previous times?

The Renaissance is usually seen as the renewal of classical model after an interval of barbarism in the middle ages. To what degree is this accurate? What are some continuities between the renaissance and the middle ages and what are some new (or revived) features of renaissance life?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the major progressive steps in the Renaissance in terms of literature was the increased use of the vernacular.  As more copies of the Bible were being translated into the vernacular language of the region, this appraoch became more accepted and even preferred.  Literacy increases, and then of course with the invention of the printing press, the use of vernacular language became mainstream.

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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It is true that the Renaissance was a renewal of a Classical model insofar as interest changed from a localized perspective to a perspective that expanded to embrace a unified model of Classical values, aesthetic and knowledge. This began with literary interest as Classical writers were rediscovered by scholars like the poet Petrarch.

 http://www.artchive.com/artchive/renaissance.html

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The divide between the wealthy bourgeoisie and the poor proletariat continued as well. Many artists were wealthy and could spend hours and hours perfecting their art, while farmers and servants toiled to allow them their comforts. In this sense, the fiefdoms and serfdoms of prior years continued, albeit at a smaller level. Time is essential to invention, even more so than necessity, to work out small details.

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marbar57 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Renaissance means, "to be reborn," and that "rebirth" has happened again and again throughout the history of this planet.  Anytime there is new technology, new ideologies, and new thinking, there is going to be a general change in the way things are done, looked at, and thought about.  It didn't just happen after the Middle Ages, but several times after that.  For instance:  the Revivalist and Impressionist Movements of the late 1700's and 1800's showcasing both religious and cultural shifts; the Industrial Revolution affecting all aspects of people's lives, even spilling over into drama, poetry, and music; and more recently--the Technological Revolution in which electronics, music, and art have exploded into areas and forms the likes of which have never been seen before! 

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stolperia | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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I think post #3 makes a good point. The Renaissance was certainly helped along by technological advances-most notably the printing press, which revolutionized education and the sharing of ideas.

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Medievalists (I work with one) hate the idea that the Middle Ages were simply an era of barbarism, and even most modern Renaissance scholars tend to question the assumption by Renaissance-era thinkers that they recovered classical wisdom and thought after a long period of darkness. Intellectual historians have pointed to late medieval Thomism and Aristotleian thought in Spain and in the universities of Northern Italy as examples of continuties. Also, some scholars have noted that concepts of critical inquiry did not emerge without precedent during the Renaissance: William of Ockham, Averroes, and Roger Bacon are cited as distinctily modern philosophers from the Middle Ages. These historians do not dispute that major changes took place among European intellectuals during the Renaissance, but argue that these changes represented a continuity with, rather than a total break from, medieval thought and culture. I have attached a link below that deals with some of these continuities. You might want to look at the work of George Sarton, James Franklin, and Robert Spasnau for more in depth examples of this line of argument.

 

http://www.unisi.it/ricerca/prog/fil-med-online/manuale_eng/modernita/htm/home_modernita.htm

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that we are in a period of cultural exploration now, as we were in the renaissance.  We are in many ways experiencing a new renaissance.  A lot of this is due now, as it was then, to technology and cultural shifts.  We are now a more global human race.  This causes cultural, economic and political shifts.  Technology has also changed how we interact in almost every part of the human experience.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The major continuity is that religion continued to be a huge force in society and in the lives of human beings.  The major new feature is that people started to balance their devotion to religion with a greater emphasis on human beings, their capabilities, and their inherent worth.

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sachinkarpe25 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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Hi guys i am Sachin Karpe this is a very interesting topic so my point of view is that the, Renaissance as the word suggest was considered the new beginning where cultures started sharing information and people where more open to ideas and views rather than holding to their history. People where willing to accept changes in lifestyle and culture depending on the need of the hour and also try to preserve their rich history.

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drahmad1989 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Knowledge is the greatest achievement in this era. in this era many things creates a great difference among renaissance and al other periods .use of reason is the immportant feature of this era.

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lifeinlove | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The major continuity is that religion continued to be a huge force in society and in the lives of human beings.  The major new feature is that people started to balance their devotion to religion with a greater emphasis on human beings, their capabilities, and their inherent worth.

Thanks for your input. Can you give examples of the continuity of religion and balance of devotion, human's capabilities and their inherent worth?

Thank you!

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