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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
• 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
• Hired artists and architects to make Florence great
Renaissance Italy: City-States
• Italy was divided into citystates during the
• 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.