The Renaissance was a period of rebirth of Classical learning that blossomed in Europe beginning in the fourteenth century. The Crusades helped lay the groundwork for this by increasing European contact with the Islamic world. The Crusades did not provide the only contact, but they provided a significant source of interaction, especially in the Crusader States created in the 1100s and 1200s. These were a group of Western European–run areas created in the Levant, the region to the east of Venice. They included Palestine and parts of Greece and Asia Minor.
These regions had translated Aristotelian texts that were not available at the time in Western Europe into Arabic. When these texts were translated into Latin, they brought new currents of thought into Europe, some of which contradicted Church wisdom. While art and intellectual activity had been focused on the Bible and Church documents for many centuries, artists and thinkers began to expand their focus to Aristotle and the texts of other Greek and Roman authors. Artists began to depict scenes from Classical mythology, such as Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, completed in the late 1400s.
The contacts with the Arab world, both through the Crusades and other interactions, brought Islamic advances in mathematics and science to Western Europe and began to lay the groundwork for the dominance of empiricism or the scientific method. Rather than relying on received authority, European thinkers became more prone to test ideas to verify whether they were true or false.