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World History Unit 3
Cultural and Intellectual Thought
Before the Renaissance
• Dominated by Christianity
• Dominated by Feudalism-political, economic, and social
• Greek and Roman culture essentially forgotten
• Dominated by concerns for:
– Salvation
– Territorial disputes
– Black Death
– Lack of Education outside monasteries
– Small scale trade
Factors Influencing Shift Toward
• Crusades exposed Europe to the global world and
advanced civilizations—scholasticism exposure to rest of
world and Europe’s past
• Byzantine and Islamic cultures preserved the past
adding the knowledge of math and science Countries
unified under centralization
• Increased trade fueled further contact and learning
• Universities became centers of learning
• Other major movements emerged in addition to the
Renaissance—the Reformation, Scientific Revolution,
and Enlightenment
Shifts in Thought
• Europe was no longer backward, isolated, self-involved,
self-sufficient region on edge of world
• Desire to become dominant civilization grew
• Exploration and expansion grew from shift in thought
• Not quick or in equal proportions
• Took long time to penetrate all circles
• Guarded jealously by people with power
• Peasants didn’t participate—no education or position to
learn about it—lack of opportunity
• Means the rebirth of Greek and Roman
• Lasted approximately 1300-1600 A.D.
Why the Renaissance?
Demand for labor high
Demand for products high
Population began to increase after Black Death
People moved to cities
Middle, or Merchant Class, emerged—bankers,
merchants, traders, etc.
• Huge influx of coined money
Why the Renaissance?
• Interactions with Muslim world continued while
Byzantine Empire was severely weakening
• Italian city-states became very rich supplying
and transporting goods (Milan, Venice, and
• Increased wealth and new opportunities for
material achievement in growing urban societies
• Scholars uncovered lost and forgotten Greek
and Roman written works
• Located on former ruins
• Would encourage competition amongst growing
European powers
• Focus on human endeavor—non-religious
thinking and action
• Previously life was useless and goal was
heaven—suck it up now for heaven awaits
• Shift in thinking from afterlife to here and now
• Focus on individuals meant less focus on
institutions such as the Church
• Historical texts were revisited with focus on
personal accomplishments and personal
happiness—Greek and Roman literature has
tons of examples
• “Renaissance Man” emerged—Leonardo da
Vinci—artist (painter & sculptor), scientist,
musician, architect, engineer, inventor,
• Writings and art began to reflect humanism
• Power of church declined during the
Characteristics of Renaissance Art
• Themes became more secular rather than
• Subjects were popes, monarchs,
merchants, Greek and Roman deities,
contemporary events
• Human figures were more realistic due to
increased study of human anatomy
• Used perspective—three dimensional
• Began using oil paints
Rebirth in Arts
• Wealthy families in city-states patronized the
• Human figure is realistic—3 dimensional, use of
shadows to illuminate
• Linear perspective—focal point
• Embraced by Roman Church
– Art adorned palaces and cathedrals
– Huge domes
• Spread northward
• Greater variety of colors—due to trade and
Renaissance Writing
• Johannes Gutenberg’s Printing Press with moveable
type—made printing books much easier
• Prior to printing press and Renaissance was little
need for books—no one to read them
• Previously invented by Song Dynasty in China who
gained knowledge from Korea—was Gutenberg
• Ease of printing made it cheaper and able to be mass
produced in other languages other than Latin
• The Bible was the first book mass produced by the
printing press and was spread in other languages
other than Latin for the first time
Renaissance Writing
• Middle class becoming more educated, demanding
more books, increased demand for paper from Arabs
and Chinese
• Helped spread Protestant Reformation views
• Other books printed were mainly for entertainment
purposes focusing on daily lives of people (the
– The Prince by Machiavelli—self-interest more
important than morals (how to keep political
– Utopia by Sir Thomas Moore—ideal society
– Works of Shakespeare focused on humanism—
human faults, strengths, tragedy, comedy, and
classical world—Julius Caesar, etc.
Visual Renaissance
Florence Cathederal
By: Brunelleschi
St. Marks basilica in
Florence Baptistry
Sistine Chapel
By: Michelangelo
Tribute Money
By: Masaccio
The Last Supper
By: DaVinci
Mona Lisa
Ventruvian Man
School of Athens
By: Raphael
The parenthetical names are the contemporary characters from whom
Raphael is thought to have drawn his likenesses.
1: Zeno of Citium 2: Epicurus Possibly, the image of two philosophers, who were typically shown in pairs during the
Renaissance: Heraclitus, the "weeping" philosopher, and Democritus, the "laughing" philosopher. 3: unknown (believed to
be Raphael)[14] 4: Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles? 5: Averroes 6: Pythagoras 7: Alcibiades or Alexander the Great?
8: Antisthenes or Xenophon or Timon? 9: Raphael[15],[14][16] Fornarina as a personification of Love[17] or Francesco Maria
della Rovere? 10: Aeschines or Xenophon? 11: Parmenides? (Leonardo da Vinci) 12: Diogenes of Sinope 13: Heraclitus
(Michelangelo) 14: Plato (Leonardo da Vinci)(Archimedes) (thought to be an amalgamation of the three) 15: Aristotle
(Giuliano da Sangallo) 16: Socrates 17: Plotinus (Donatello?) 18: Euclid or Archimedes with students (Bramante?)
19: Zoroaster (Baldassare Castiglione) 20: Ptolemy? R: Apelles (Raphael) 21: Protogenes (Il Sodoma, Perugino, or Timoteo
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini
and Wife
By Van Eyck