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Old January 11th, 2017, 08:49 AM   #1
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beginning of Renaissance in Europe


What event is considered as the beginning of Renaissance in Europe?

Wikipedia says that Renaissance lasted from 1400-1600.

Thank you.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 10:52 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by younghistorian View Post

What event is considered as the beginning of Renaissance in Europe?

Wikipedia says that Renaissance lasted from 1400-1600.

Thank you.
The problem with historians is they use terms for eras which makes people think when exactly that era starts and the other ends instead of focusing on the more important subjects.
For the Renaissance era, I think the common agreement for its start is the fall of Constantinople in 1453 which caused scholars to flee to Italy; yet the the renaissance art and the humanism thought which mark the heights of renaissance took years to develop.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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The fall of Constantinople was a major contributor. Another one was the invention of Guttenburg's printing press in the 1430s which stimulated literacy and learning which in turn led to the rediscovery of humanism and classical learning.

The Black Death of the 1300s also had a hand in it by destroying the old agrarian economy based on serfdom and creating new classes of wealthy people who spent their money on art.

But if you absolutely need a single event, the fall of Constantinople is as good as any and better than most.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 03:11 PM   #4
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I suppose it also depends on where in Europe. What we think of as Renaissance styles in Art, Literature and Music etc arrived a good bit later in England (eg) than in Italy.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #5
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The Carolingian renaissance was in the 8th c. already. Then there was the renaissance of the High Middle Ages, from the 11th c., with he translation of massive amounts of ancient Greek texts, all of Aristotle most importantly. Otoh there is a specific art history renaissance that gets consideration, when western artists against shoot for a kind of realism along Graeco-Roman lines. Then it turns out you get clearly Roman-style sculpture of Emperor Frederick II (the "Stupor Mundi") already in the first half of the 13th c. And then around 1250 father and son Nicolo and Giovanni Pisano starts working in northern Italy, in a style often referred to as proto-renaissance.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 12:32 AM   #6

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As it was already stated here there is not a single event or a single timeline. Renaissance is a concept that helps us to understand the past and like the “Antiquity”, the “Middle Ages”, the “Modern period”, its border a fluid. And then, like stated by Larren, we can even consider several “Renaissances”, like the Carolingian and the year “1000”.

As also already mentioned the Renaissance, the one subsequent to the Middle Ages, has different timelines according to the region, even if it is commonly accepted that it’s main centre was Italy, the Italian “Trecento”.

For instance, the Portuguese Renaissance is usually linked to the process of discoveries, that in some way begun with the Conquest of Ceuta (1415), and the subsequent developments in geography, cartography, nautical knowledge, that also allowed a new vision of the world.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 10:03 AM   #7
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The renaissance begins with with the Christian takeovers of Moorish cities in Iberia from the 1420s to the 1480s

It is during this period that Arab sciences and math are discovered and begin to disseminate thru the Christian world- as well as the Arab copies of classical works that had been lost , suppressed, or simply forgotten about by the catholic church for centuries.

There was a tremendous demand for classical knowledge and the new arab maths and sciences, and this applied a commercial pressure to the development of more affordable printing, that spurred Gutenberg to invent moldable, movable type as applied to a printing press in the 1450's

This invention was the INTERNET of its age. It suddenly democratized access to knowledge and accelerated the ability to share New knowledge by making books something any gainfully employed person could actually afford. It took book production out from under the authoritarian control of the monasteries and liberalized both the subject matters and established the vernacular of local languages as being the equivalent to Latin or Greek.... while also offering the masses access to learning Latin and Greek.

Of particular impact was al Hasan's works on Optics, which joined optical theory to ordinary greek geometry in a way that enabled the development of perspective geometry, telescopes, and more ambitious architectural design and city planning.
This immediately took the world of art by storm, and ultimately altered the entire western minds' perspective of the world, and representations of the world.

This combination of the sudden ready access to ALL the world's knowledge at your fingertips, with the burgeoning capabilities of science to uncover more about the natural world and new uses for existing resources propelled European dominance into the age of discovery- ( a term which refers not ONLY to seagoing discovery- but also to scientific discovery )

and resulted in the Renaissance Man- a modern man who could as easily become expert at natural philosophy as he could about engineering, simply by opening the relevant books on the subject.
As personified by the Duke of Urbino
Click the image to open in full size.

Who had his official portrait show him in full armor... but reading a book.

The renaissance was a confluence of the discovery of classical and new math knowledge in Moorish libraries, with the advent of affordable printing developed to capitalize on this opportunity.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 12:36 PM   #8
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Sculpting man,

I just ended a review about the Renaissance of the 12th century
The Europe of the 12th Century

In my humble opinion the fore runner of the Italian and can we say also the Low Countries' Renaissance was already there in the 12th century.
And in that I follow more the recent message of Larrey in this thread...there was a steady evolution, coming into a rapid in the 12th century...and there were already the elements present of the later Renaissance...
From the wiki:
"The translation of texts from other cultures, especially ancient Greek works, was an important aspect of both this Twelfth-Century Renaissance and the latter Renaissance (of the 15th century), the relevant difference being that Latin scholars of this earlier period focused almost entirely on translating and studying Greek and Arabic works of natural science, philosophy and mathematics, while the later Renaissance focus was on literary and historical texts"
The increased contact with the Islamic world in Muslim-dominated Spain and Sicily, the Crusades, the Reconquista, as well as increased contact with Byzantium, allowed Europeans to seek and translate the works of Hellenic and Islamic philosophers and scientists, especially the works of Aristotle. Several translations were made of Euclid but no true commentary was written until the middle of the 13th century.[11]
The development of medieval universities allowed them to aid materially in the translation and propagation of these texts and started a new infrastructure which was needed for scientific communities. In fact, the European university put many of these texts at the center of its curriculum,[12] with the result that the "medieval university laid far greater emphasis on science than does its modern counterpart and descendent."[13]
At the beginning of the 13th century there were reasonably accurate Latin translations of the main ancient Greek scientific works. From then on, these texts were studied and elaborated, leading to new insights into the phenomena of the universe. The influence of this revival is evident in the scientific work of Robert Grosseteste.[14]"

But yes as you said, the printing press was "the" innovation, which made it possible to give access to all the written word by the common people, who had till then to relate upon the scarce written copied documents.

Kind regards, Paul.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 01:46 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by sculptingman View Post
The renaissance begins with with the Christian takeovers of Moorish cities in Iberia from the 1420s to the 1480s
I agree that the Muslim civilization had a significant impact in the development of the Iberian kingdoms. But I would review that 1420-1480 timeline when you talk about the takeover of Moorish cities.

Grenada was a vassal, sometimes even paid the “parias” (tribute), there was even a war around the middle of the century (when Castile took Gibraltar - 1462), but generally Castile and Grenada had to deal with its internal problems. The frontier zone between Castile and Granada was relatively stable during all the century until the period 1482-1492, with the War of Grenada.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 04:28 PM   #10

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Originally Posted by sculptingman View Post
...copies of classical works that had been lost , suppressed, or simply forgotten about by the catholic church for centuries.
You are ill-informed. The works of Aristotle, Plato, Herodotus, Thucydides, Demosthenes, Galen, Hippocrates, Plutarch, Diodorus, Tacitus, Cicero, Pythagoras, Euclid, Ptolemy and Archimedes were indeed preserved by the Christian monks where they studied and recopied them, and they NEVER ceased to exist from Christian Europe, and it was from Christians that the Muslims gained access to ancient classical texts. The Church played a crucial role in term of saving them. What was destroyed was specific philosophical doctrines that attacked Christianity such of materialistic philosophy.

New was that the Arabs had access to India and learned the 10-digit system from India what we call as “Arab-numerals-system” but which indeed is an Indian invention. That system of number made mathematical progression a lot easier.

suppressed, or simply forgotten about by the catholic church for centuries.
This is just rubbish without academic foundation that is addressed here:

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