The Impact of the Renaissance Era Essay Example
The Impact of the Renaissance Era Essay Example

The Impact of the Renaissance Era Essay Example

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The Renaissance began in the 1200’s and lasted through the Reformation of the 1500’s. This period in time marked the rebirth of humanism, and the revival of cultural achievements for their own sake in all forms of art, including music. The word "Renaissance" in itself is defined as a "rebirth"or a "reconstruction". (Law, John E. ) “Many aspects of this movement had some influence on American development.

The Renaissance replaced a religious point of view with a secular one, making man rather than God the focal point wit reference to are, literature, and the government. ( pulliam, 21)The Renaissance was a really important turning point in Western thinking and cultural tradition. All of these changes centered on the idea of Humanism -- in which, people became less "God Centered" and more "Human-centered". "Renaissance Humanism was a European intellectual movement beginning in Florence in the last decades


of the 14th century. The humanist movement developed from the rediscovery by European scholars of many Latin and Greek texts. Initially, a humanist was simply a teacher of Latin literature.

By the mid-15th century humanism described a curriculum — the studia humanitatis — comprising grammar, rhetoric, moral philosophy, poetry and history as studied via classical authors. The early beliefs of humanism were that, although God created the universe, it was humans that developed and industrialized it". ( http://en. wikipedia.

org/wiki/Renaissance_humanism). During the Renaissance era the social scene was on point. During this time many changes happened in fashion, food, and events. Renaissance fashion and costumes mirrored the advancing culture, as increasing trade made more clothing materials available.

Nobility dressed themselves in elaborate and brightly colored robes, gowns and other vestments. Th

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upper class reserved silk for themselves, and in some areas, peasants were forbidden to possess it. Those living during the Renaissance would adorn themselves in jewelry, furs, and elaborate belts. Wigs crafted from peasant's hair was also very popular. Because the Renaissance era covers approximately 150 years of history, its fashions changed dramatically from beginning to end. At the dawn of the Renaissance in 1450, clothing styles were influenced by Medieval and Gothic designs, as well as the Italian Renaissance movement in art.

Women's fashions assumed a more natural appearance from their Gothic predecessors. "Dresses gradually lost their long trains, and flowing skirts became increasingly popular. The robe, which was actually a dress with an attached bodice and skirt, appeared on the fashion scene. In addition, the long, rigid, corset that extended in a cone shape below the waist to a V debuted during the early part of the Renaissance period. Women also began showing their hair again.

Instead of covering their heads, they adorned their coiffures with shimmering veils and dazzling jewels.In men's fashions, doublets shortened and low-necked tunics and chemises became common garb. Hose became a common necessity for the well-dressed gentleman. Brocades and velvets were among the favored fabrics for both men's and women's clothing".

(Burke, Jill) Knowing how the fashion was in the past is importnat because we can see what they wore and why and compare it to our modern styles and see how they differ and how they are similar. During the Renaissance food was a matter of social class, as well as region and season. " In modest European homes, meat was not necessarily served every day.Bread was the

fundamental staple for the lower and middle classes, was made with cheaper grains than wheat: barley and rye, for example.

Meals for the lower social classes usually consisted of dark bread such as rye or barley, and cheese or curds". (Summers, Claude J. ) Servants living in wealthy households usually dined better, enjoying meals of beef or fowl, refined breads, pudding, cod and ale. They also had access to certain seasonings such as salt. The middle class enjoyed more variety, as each meal generally consisted of several different dishes, with a game bird of some kind being the standard main course.For dessert, the middle class dined on sweets and confections with spiced wine.

Meals for the wealthiest classes were similar to those of the middle class, although the rich also enjoyed unusual delicacies such as molden jelly and pastries. The bread of the upper classes was made with a higher proportion of wheat, which was more finely ground and sifted. Stale bread was cut into squares and used for trenchers, a surface on which to serve other foods and sauces. When the rich were done with their meals, the sauce-soaked bread was usually given to the poor.Most meat was usually served either extremely fresh (birds kept in cages until killed for dinner), or salted and preserved.

"The spicing of many Renaissance recipes was intended to mask the fact that the meat was extremely salty and had to be soaked and boiled for a long time. Meat was commonly served in ragouts and pottages, or baked into pies. Roasted meats naturally had to be fresh and of good quality, so they were more likely to be

found in the homes of nobles. Additionally, only the noble classes had the right to hunt game or to keep a rabbit warren.Fowl were viewed as especially desirable foods for noble tables.

Peacocks, swans, herons, and other birds that are no longer popular today,were much sought after for banquets, but were inaccessible to the average person. "( Burke, Jill) It is so interesting to know how our past reletives ate and it is amazing how far we have come from eating almost no meat to eating meat everyday and having bread whenever we want. And our desserts today out shine theirs so much. I could not see myself eating jelly and spiced wine for dessert; I need my pies and icecream.

During the Renaissance sports were very popular.Jousting was a competition between two knights on horse-back, wherein each knight tried to knock the other off his mount. Jousting was at the peak of its popularity in the 14th to 16th centuries. "The knights were often each equipped with three weapons; a lance, a one handed sword, and a rondel. When one knight knocked the other off of his mount, he was declared the winner of the round.

If both knights were knocked off their mounts at the same time, it was considered a tie; they would then engage in sword combat, and the last standing was victorious. The knights usually jousted in a best out of three situation.Considerable honour and fortune could be gained by jousting. In its earliest form, jousting, or the tournai, was a simulated battle for training purposes. Victors in these battles usually gained the armor of their opponents, with a value

equivalent to the price of a house these days. Many knights made their fortune in these events, many lost theirs as well.

" (Elkins, James, ) Today jousting is not the most popular sport but its good to be educated about the subject becasue one day in the future fooball and basketball may not be the most popular sports but its apart of our history.Changes happen all the time but we can't forget our past because that is how the future came about. Politics in the Renaissance era were very different then they are now. During the Renaissance period kings, dukes, earls and other nobles dominated the Political arena but as the old medieval feudal system began to collapse these titles began to hold less meaning. "The long wars in Italy created a very unique political situation where you had two different empires, the French and the Spanish, fighting over a territory governed by over 5 main different kingdoms, and many other smaller ones.

It was in this situation that the arts and the Renaissance in general thrived as the landowners and businessmen often had more power than the ruler. This created an ever-changing unstable environment which promoted development in all areas. "( Izbicki, Thomas M ) The Renaissance period was dominated by wars not for the sake of gaining territory but for the sake of war, to quench the aristocratic thirst for war. The Renaissance marked a change in society which caused the rebirth of Arts and Sciences and learning amongst lay people.Generally, the Renaissance in England is considered to have begun during the reign of King Henry VIII in the early 16th century and

continued to its peak during the reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. During the Renaissance in England the population of England was approximately 3.

5 million (which was considered crowded). London was a city of approximately 160,000 residents, whereas today, the city boasts a population of greater than 8 million. The society was extremely class bound in a rigid system which allowed little room for bettering one's position in life. In the entire population of 3.

million, there were only 66 males which could be considered members of the nobility. Most English villagers were functionally illiterate. They might be able to recognize a few letters or numbers, but reading and writing were skills that basically belonged to members of the clergy and to nobility. This was an extremely male-dominated society. Women were expected to marry soon upon reaching child-bearing age, and their chief duties were to maintain a home and to bear as many children (preferably male) as possible.

Infant and child mortality rates were extremly high.Also, the more children one had, the fewer helpers one had to pay to get work done. The Catholic Church during the early Middle Ages had a much more relaxed attitude towards the wedding ceremony. "Renaissance wedding ceremonies may not have had clergy present at the time of the betrothal. Ceremonies called handfastings were popular in some parts of medieval Europe, with the couple exchanging vows as simple as, "Would you marry me? " Some ceremonies would be held outside, in a parent's home, or even a tavern, where vows and gifts would be exchanged.The couple would later go to the Church door to have the marriage blessed by

the clergy, or the priest would stop by the newlyweds' house and bless the union there"(Dutton, Richard).

The Renaissance brought more control over the ceremony and decrees were issued that only marriages performed with a church official present would be declared valid. Nuptial Masses made Sunday the traditional wedding day. The processional would lead the newlyweds into the church. Women would sit on the left side of the church and men sat on the right.The bride would be blessed under a "Pall," a silken cloth traditionally carried by four unmarried persons. "The "Bride's Blessing" was only allowed only once in her life and only if the woman was of childbearing age.

This blessing has Roman pagan origins, and used to prepare the bride for her new life. Wedding customs meant agreements or contracts were drawn up describing the rights of both the bride and groom. Medieval marriage ceremonies and celebrations depended largely on the social class of the bride and groom.Inheritance and property were usually two reasons why arranged marriages were contracted. Renaissance Literature refers to the period in European literature, which began in Italy during the 15th century and spread around Europe through the 17th century. The impact of the Renaissance varied across the continent; countries that were predominantly Catholic or Protestant experienced the Renaissance differently compared to areas where the Orthodox Church was dominant as reflecting on its culture, as well as those areas of Europe under Islamic rule.

Within Renaissance literature, there seems to be an underlying theme of justice; however, individual characters are not exemplary figures of justice themselves. Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, believed that instead of seeking personal revenge, true justice

could only be obtained through a body of jurors who were willing and capable of distributing justice to individuals"(. Law, John E. ) Thus the characters in Renaissance literature typically defy Aristotelian views of virtue by having little respect for others. Women played minor but steadily growing role in Renaissance literature.

They were still limited by society because of their gender but, nevertheless, some women did publish books. "During the Renaissance, artists were no longer regarded as mere artisans, as they had been in the medieval past, but for the first time emerged as independent personalities, comparable to poets and writers. They sought new solutions to formal and visual problems, and many of them were also devoted to scientific experimentation. In this context, mathematical or linear perspective was developed, a system in which all objects in a painting or in low-relief sculpture are related both proportionally and rationally.

As a result, the painted surface was regarded as a window on the natural world, and it became the task of painters to portray this world in their art. Consequently, painters began to devote themselves more rigorously to the rendition of landscape—the careful depiction of trees, flowers, plants, distant mountains, and cloud-filled skies. Artists studied the effect of light out-of-doors and how the eye perceives all the diverse elements in nature. They developed aerial perspective, in which objects become increasingly less distinct and less sharply colored as they recede from the eye of the viewer. ( Izbicki, Thomas M ) Northern painters, especially those from Flanders and the Netherlands, were as advanced as the Italians in landscape painting and contributed to the innovations of their southern contemporaries by introducing

oil paint as a new medium. Scientific and Mathematical discoveries and inventions proved to be a real good reason to study the Renaissance era.

The inventions back then are still around today and many inventions today come from ideas from the renaissance period.In this paragraph I will list some of the popular inventors and artist of the renaissance era : Copernicus: “ Among the great polymaths of the Renaissance, Copernicus was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classical scholar, translator, Catholic cleric, jurist, governor, military leader, diplomat and economist. Nicolaus Copernicus (February 19, 1473 – May 24, 1543) was the first astronomer to formulate a scientifically-based heliocentric cosmology that displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.His epochal book, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), is often regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy and the defining epiphany that began the scientific revolution" (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus), Gutenberg: “ As the Renaissance swept through Eruope, a great desire for books developed that hand copying or block printing could not satisfy.

By about 1440, Johannes Gutenberg had developed his technique for using separate pieces of raised metal type in a press.The resulting revolution in the production and availability of printed information had a profound impact on education in the Western world”(Pulliam , 21) Galileo: Galileo an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. He played a major role in the scientific revolution. His key invention was the telescope, But he is also known for first systematic study of uniformly accelerated motion, his astronomical observations which include the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons in his honour, and

the observation and analysis of sunspots.He is also known for his improvements to the design of the compass.

( http://www. blurtit. com/q643834. html), and Da Vinci : Leonardo da Vinci is best remembered as the painter of the Mona Lisa (1503-1506) and The Last Supper (1495). But he's almost equally famous for his astonishing multiplicity of talents: he dabbled in architecture, sculpture, engineering, geology, hydraulics and the military arts, all with success, and in his spare time doodled parachutes and flying machines that resembled inventions of the 19th and 20th centuries.

He made detailed drawings of human anatomy which are still highly regarded today. ( http://who2. com/ask/leonardodavinci. html). The Renaissance era impacted American society in a crucial way.

Without the Renaissance Period the world as we know it may not be. The Renaissance era is a very important topic to learn about because its history is so intersting to man kind. When studying the history of the Renaissance it is important to understand that the cultural renewal that emerged during the Renaissance, marked a distinctive turning point within the history of Western civilization.While art hardly died in the Middle Ages, what was reborn was lifelike art.

It is also important to recognize that the rediscovery of the Greek and Roman tradition helped artists reproduce visual images accurately. Lastly, because of the effect of important events and advances in technology the Renaissance marks the entry of civilization into "modern times", the period in which we live today. Bibliography Izbicki, Thomas M (1996). Medieval -- Language and Learning in Renaissance Italy: Selected Articles by John Monfasani. Review of medium_being_reviewed title_of_work_reviewed_in_italics.The Catholic Historical Review, 82(1), 95.

Retrieved September 28,

2008, from Research Library database. (Document ID: 9421683). Summary of Article John Monfasani himself notes that this collection reflects two of his interests, Renaissance rhetoric and the cultural world of his earliest subject, George of Trebizond. Vatiorum has given him a chance to collect these studies and to update them with Addenda et Corrigenda.

Since some of these articles are very technical, it is well that he has placed the studies of most general interest at either end to frame the rest.Readers unwilling to embark on discussions of topics like Anti-Quintilianism should, nonetheless, read the first study, "Humanism and Rhetoric. " For the ecclesiastical historian, the pay-off comes at the end, where rhetoricians prove to have written on homiletics and where rhetoric plays a role in the earliest curriculum for Jesuit schools. On the way to the last article, readers might want to read the two reviews of editions of Lorenzo Valla, whose writings from his Neapolitan days challenged not just the pretensions of the religious but even the filioque.

Law, John E. Victorian and Edwardian responses to the Italian Renaissance (John Easton) Aldershot, Hants, England ; Burlington, VT, USA : Ashgate, c2005. Elkins, James, 1955-. Renaissance theory [electronic resource] x, 550 p. : ill. ; 21 cm.

New York : Routledge, 2008. Burke, Jill, 1971. Changing patrons [electronic resource] : social identity and the visual arts in Renaissance Florence . University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2004. Summers, Claude J.

Representing women in Renaissance England.Columbia : University of Missouri Press, c1997 Dutton, Richard, 1948. Mastering the revels : the regulation and censorship of English Renaissance drama 1st ed. Iowa City : University of

Iowa Press, 1991 Pulliam, J. D. & Patten, J.

J. V. (2007). History of Education in America. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall http://en. wikipedia.

org/wiki/Renaissance_humanism). http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus http://www. blurtit. com/q643834.

html http://who2. com/ask/leonardodavinci. html).

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