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Renaissance Beginnings 7.43 I can trace the emergence of the Renaissance, including influence from Moorish (or Muslim) scholars in Spain. Renaissance: Beginnings AD 1350s to 1700 • Mongols reopen Silk Road – Marco Polo visits China, returns to Europe, writes a book • Causes people to want to go there and get Chinese goods • Positives of Black Death – No damage to farmland, goods, metals – People are happy to be alive and spend money to erase memories of the plague (Medici Family) • Ottoman Turks conquer Byzantine Empire – Scholars flee to Italy with ancient texts of the Greeks and Romans Italy’s Location • Italy’s location made it a center of trade and commerce. • The Italian peninsula is surrounded by seas, making it a major area for ports. • Both products and new ideas passed through Italy. Renaissance: Italy • Major trading cities: Milan, Florence, Genoa, Venice • Florence wealthy from wool and banking – Medici family were bankers with political power • Hired artists and architects to make Florence great Renaissance Italy: City-States • Italy was divided into citystates during the Renaissance. • They did not want to be one country because they did not want a single leader, instead, each city-state had its own form of government. • They also did not want the Pope to have complete control of the entire area. • City-states became rich and powerful from trade. Renaissance Italy: Wealth • City-states became rich and powerful through trade and commerce. • Individuals who had a great deal of wealth hired artisans to create paintings, buildings, and other items. • The Roman Catholic Church also controlled much of the wealth and power. Renaissance Italy: Scholars • When the Byzantine Empire was conquered, scholars brought ancient Greek and Roman texts to Italy. • Muslim scholars in Spain were also responsible for preserving and translating ancient Greek and Roman texts. – Other European scholars eventually used these Arabic texts and translated them into Latin, the language of most European schools at the time.