What were the characteristic features of the Renaissance?

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There were a number of characteristics of the Renaissance that set it apart from the centuries that preceded it in Europe. The period saw a renewed interest in the classical works of Greece and Rome. For this reason, humanism was an important element. Humanism placed an emphasis away from divine images and focused on the greatness of the human form. In the same vein, Renaissance artists and philosophers stressed personal and individual achievement, particularly in the areas of science and architecture. Out of this environment, scientific discovery and business enterprise flourished. Many of the Renaissance artists and thinkers pursued a number of different fields and excelled in a wide array of endeavors. This was a reflection on the importance of learning.  With the increased interest in humanism, religion, particularly Catholicism, declined in importance and influence.




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What are the important characteristics of the Renaissance?

The Renaissance is often referred to as the "rebirth" of classical Greek and Roman culture in Europe.  It had its roots in Italy and followed the Middle, or Dark, Ages after the fall of the western Roman Empire in 476 AD.  While the Middle Ages focused on religion and authority, the Renaissance was much more humanistic period.  While there wasn't an immediate abandonment of religion, the glory and power of man was much more evident in the Renaissance.

People began to seek answers to scientific questions and life in places other than the Bible leading to many scientific discoveries and explorations that would irrevocably change the world.  Artists often looked to Greek and Roman culture for their inspiration and often superimposed those cultural traits into Renaissance works that involved Christian themes.  Above all, while the Middle Ages could be referred to as the age of God, the Renaissance had its focus squarely on the achievements and abilities of man.

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What are some features of the European Renaissance?

This is a great question. Let me start off with some preliminary points and then go into some of the major features.

First, the Renaissance took place roughly from the 14th century to the 17th century in Europe. Most scholars believe that it started in Florence. Second, the Renaissance was not uniform all throughout Europe. So, we must not see the Renaissance as equally affecting all of the countries in Europe.

In terms of features, let me name a few. First, there was a strong emphasis on the classical world. In fact, the buzz word of the Renaissance was "ad fontes," which means "back to the sources." So, Renaissance scholars bypassed the Medieval traditions of scholasticism and went back to the Greeks and Romans. We can say that the Renaissance was a rebirth of classical culture. Second, there was also a strong intellectual emphasis during the Renaissance. In light of this we can say that the Renaissance was not only a cultural movement, but also a very intellectual one as well.

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