What Does Renaissance Mean?

Ever wondered what the term ‘Renaissance’ means? Delve into the world of Renaissance, its historical perspective, characteristics, and long-lasting influence on our modern times.

Introduction to Renaissance

The term ‘Renaissance’ is of French origin, which translates to ‘rebirth’ in English. It underlines a period marked by significant changes in cultural, artistic, political, and economic life that originated in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spread to the rest of Europe.

Historical Perspective of Renaissance

The Renaissance period is generally considered to have started in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. It’s known as a period of great cultural change and accomplishment, highlighted by a renewed interest in the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. This marked the transition from the medieval period to modernity in Europe.

Characteristics of the Renaissance

  • Humanism: A focus on human potential and achievements. Humanists preferred critical thinking and evidence over doctrine or faith.
  • Art: Artists began to portray the world more realistically. This period saw an increase in portrait painting and the use of perspective.
  • Science: There was a renewed interest in the natural world and the place of humans within it. This led to scientific discoveries, with individuals like Galileo and Copernicus leading the way.
  • Religion: This period saw the initiation of the Protestant Reformation, challenging the Roman Catholic Church’s dominance.

Renaissance Influence on Modern Times

The Renaissance has had a profound influence on modern times, particularly in arts, literature, and sciences. Many principles, methodologies, and values initiated during this period are still prevalent today. For instance, the scientific method and the value placed on evidence-based inquiry can be traced back to the Renaissance.


In essence, “Renaissance” implies a rebirth or a revival – a cultural wave that brought about significant changes in the way society viewed the world and itself. Its influence on modern times is profound, with many principles and methodologies still dominant today. The Renaissance underlines a vibrant era of human history, symbolizing intellectual growth and societal development.

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