What are some features of the European Renaissance?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.