The Renaissance is a period in the history of Europe beginning in about 1400. The word "Renaissance" in French means rebirth. During the Renaissance, there were many famous artists, many writers and many philosophers. Many people studied mathematics and different sciences. A person who is knowledgeable in many different things is sometimes called a "Renaissance man". Leonardo da Vinci, who was a painter, a scientist, a musician and a philosopher, is the most famous Renaissance Man. The Renaissance started in Italy but soon spread across the whole of Europe.
People ” The time of Ancient Greece and Rome, when there were many philosophers, writers, painters, sculptors, architects and mathematicians was seen by people as a Golden Age, a time when things were beautiful, well-organized and well-run. This time had lasted from about 400 BC to about 400 AD. In the year 1400, in the city of Rome, people could wander around looking up at the ruins of a city that had once been great. Inside the broken walls that had been smashed in 410 AD were the remains of huge temples, sports arenas, public baths, apartment blocks and palaces. Nearly all of them were ruined and could not be used. Nearly all of them were half-buried in dirt. A lot of them were pulled down to use as building stone. But they showed people what great things could be done. Among the ruins of this once-great city, the people of Rome lived in cottages. They still went to church in the huge churches (basilicas) built by the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, in the 4th century.
They still held market day in the Ancient Roman market place of Campo dei Fiori ("Field of Flowers"). One day in 1402, into the middle of Rome, came a young man called Filippo Brunelleschi and a teenage boy called Donatello. They were fascinated by everything that they saw. They measured ancient ruined buildings, they drew things and they dug around for weeks looking for bits of broken statues and painted pottery that they could stick together. They were probably the world's first archaeologists. By the time they went back home to Florence, they knew more about Ancient Roman architecture and sculpture than anyone had known for about a thousand years. Brunelleschi became a very famous architect and Donatello became a very famous sculptor. They both used the ideas that they had, when they were studying the remains of ancient Rome”.
During the renaissance there was great economic growth. ”In the 13th century, much of Europe experienced strong economic growth. The trade routes of the Italian states linked with those of established Mediterranean ports and eventually the Hanseatic League of the Baltic and northern regions of Europe to create a network economy in Europe for the first time since the 4th century. The city-states of Italy expanded greatly during this period and grew in power to become de facto fully independent of the Holy Roman Empire; apart from the Kingdom of Naples, outside powers kept their armies out of Italy. During this period, the modern commercial infrastructure developed, with double-entry book-keeping, joint stock companies, an international banking system, a systematized foreign exchange market, insurance, and government debt. Florence became the centre of this financial industry and the gold florin became the main currency of international trade. The new mercantile governing class, who gained their position through financial skill, adapted to their purposes the feudal aristocratic model that had dominated Europe in the Middle Ages. A feature of the High Middle Ages in Northern Italy was the rise of the urban communes which had broken from the control by bishops and local counts. In much of the region, the landed nobility was poorer than the urban patriarchs in the High Medieval money economy whose inflationary rise left...