Introduction – our worldviews worldview

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  • Well established in trading since 5th century

  • Controlled most of the ports in Adriatic Sea and Eastern Mediterranean

Class System

  • 3 social classes

    • aristocracy, original noble families who controlled Venice and vote for government

    • Cittadini Originarii or “original citizens” of republic who could hold public office but not vote

    • Common people, some rights, apply for some gov’t positions


  • Aristocracy rule they could only vote for doge (head of government) and belong to government

  • 2% of population made up oligarchy that ruled Venice

  • “Original Citizens” bought positions in the aristocracy if wealthy enough

  • government or great council made decisions and doge was elected for life but was overshadowed in the government by the great council members


  • Citizens of Venice implemented new social institutions during Renaissance out of civic duty

  • Scuole assc. met for prayer and masses , collected money for good causes

  • Scuole developed from fear of punishment in the afterlife for sins committed

  • Donations and good deeds lessened the punishment after death

  • Rich and poor donated money to support the sick, elder, widows etc.

  • This was the precursor to employment insurance

Venice Gains Importance because:

  • Stable form of government

  • Successful sea trade (shipyards, naval base, armory)

  • Merchant class support the arts

  • First city-state to use mechanical printing press and you could get books

  • Created university to promote science, medicine and law


  • Port city surrounded by high walls to protect inhabitants from invaders

  • Major city of trade and commerce

  • Played strong role in crusades for transporting crusading armies to the Holy Land

  • Genoa citizens paid well for this service

  • Genoa’s traders quickly developed markets at key ports on the Black sea and trade flourished as did the navy, shipbuilders, traders

  • Venice and Genoa were rivals and fought to gain control of lucrative trading posts

Government and Social System

  • A republic governed by rival clans or families

  • Families agreed to a truce in 13th century and split the city into sections each could control

  • Genoa’s strength declined to loss of key port (Constantinople) by the Black Sea

  • Genoa experienced the Renaissance in art and architecture later in 15th century

8. List 3 points for each of the city states (Florence, Venice and Genoa) why they were important in shaping the renaissance worldview?
Florence Venice Genoa


Renaissance Introduction

  • Renaissance is a French word renaitre, meaning “rebirth” or “to be born again”

  • It began in the Italian city states in the year 1350, marking the end of the Middle Ages and lasted until the year 1600.

  • Many advanced ideas of the Greek and Romans had been lost or ignored in Europe for 1000 years.

  • European scholars rediscovered classical documents and discovered new ideas and ways of looking at the world

  • It was an era defined by the discovery of new knowledge and ideas that gave birth to a new worldview, a new perspective on life, new cultures, lifestyles and perspectives.

  • The Renaissance began as a result of a number of events including the oppression of the people by the Church and Feudal system, increased interaction and the sharing of new ideas and knowledge of different cultures made possible by such events as the opening of the Silk Road, the Crusades, urbanization as a result of the Black Death and increased trade. Another cause was the resurfacing of ancient literature that had been hidden for thousands of years after the fall of the Roman Empire.

Chapter 2

How did the ideas of the Italian Renaissance spread throughout Europe?
How did Humanism affect the Renaissance worldview?

9. Humanism was a major factor in the Renaissance time period. Describe what humanism is.

  • Scholars became more aware of classical writings of the Greeks, Romans and Islamic cultures

  • Scholars felt these classical writings were superior to their own thinking and writings

  • Classical writing suggested that life on Earth during people’s lifetimes had value vs previous thinking preparing for the afterlife was more important than daily life

  • Classical writings also suggested that people as INDIVIDUALS could do great things in their lives and not be limited to strict social roles of the middle ages

  • Humanism thus was born – it focused on human beings, their values, abilities and individual worth and human society that could be improved

  • Humanism led to new attitudes, people started to surround themselves with beautiful art and architecture, wanted a rich and full life now as well as preparing for the afterlife

  • Humanism also led people to learn new languages such as Greek, Latin and Hebrew so they could read the original documents (to find the truth for themselves) not just the translators version

Where and How did Renaissance ideas begin to spread?
The following 3 factors prevented the Renaissance from spreading beyond Italy until early 15th century.


  • Outside of Italy much of the land was used for agriculture

  • It was governed by the Feudal System which limited and oppressed the peasant population.

  • The Monarch and Nobles wanted to maintain their power so they did everything they could to keep the people ignorant and oppressed.

  • They were not open to new ideas.


  • There were numerous wars between different countries during the Middle Ages

  • Wars made it difficult and dangerous for people to travel to new places, interact with new people and become exposed to new ideas and knowledge.


  • The Church played strong role in Northern Europe. They had immense power and did not want to lose this power

  • They did everything they could to make sure that the people were censored from outside influence.

  • The only information or education that was available was provided by Church officials and they made sure that the people learned only what they wanted them to learn, they did not want the people to think for themselves

What allowed the Renaissance ideas after early 15th century?

Ideas of Renaissance spread beyond Italy in the early 15th century because:

  • Decline of feudalism helped monarchs gain more power and allow people more freedom to explore changes in society and new ideas in arts, sciences and philosophy

  • War between France/Germany and Italy brought the Renaissance movement into the spot light: northern Europe hired many Italy craftsmen and scholars to come to their courts to show what they could do and to increase the sophistication of their people

  • Growth of humanism and power of the monarchs led to competition for the authority over the people against the RC church

  • Invention of the printing press, books could now be produced and distributed for anyone to read instead of the previous copying the book by hand. Allowed anyone to learn to read.

10. List 3 reasons why the renaissance was slow to spread before the 15th century and why it began to spread in the 15th century.

Before 15th century

Early 15th century

How did Scholars and Philosophers spread the ideas of Humanism?

  • Scholars would go to Italy to attend universities where they interacted with others and exchanged knowledge and ideas. These scholars would return to their home villages and share what they learned with others, thus spreading those ideas and knowledge with others

Some best known scholars/philosophers:

Petrarch (1304 – 1374)

  • Best known for translating ancient classical Greek and Roman text

  • He believe in god and believed that there was value in life on earth

Erasmus (1466-1536)

  • Consider the greatest renaissance Christian humanist

  • He believe role of church was to teach and support faith and faith part of life

  • Wanted bible translated into common language so ALL people could read it

  • Value of studying literature was the discussion and sharing ideas and not rote memorizing

Guillaume Budé (1467-1540)

  • Believe lawyers should study the original text of roman law and apply that to new cases instead of applying French interpretations that had been passed down for 1000 years

Michel de Montaigne (1533 – 1592)

  • Wrote his ideas of how people should act (honour, respect, love, courage themselves and others) in short opinion pieces known as the essay

  • Interested in education reform

How did Artists help spread the ideas of the Renaissance?

  • Artist began to change their painting style

  • Renaissance art focused on religious themes in 14th and 15th century

  • Use realistic proportions, perspective, facial expressions and new knowledge of body proportions gained from human dissection

  • During 15th century non-religion subject (greek and roman myths) were painted as well as the concept of humanism (individual portraits)

  • Artist now paid by wealthy families to due individual and family portraits

  • Artist were marketable commodity and began to sign their name and even incorporate their own portrait into the picture in the background

  • Artist:

    • Created more realistic image of human form

    • Shared techniques with other artists

    • Free to paint subject matter as how they saw it (within limits)

    • Paid for work, gained class status and respected

Donatello (1386-1466)

  • created technique to cast bronze statues

Brunelleschi (1377-1446)

  • first person to use perspective in a design, he converted math into art and architecture

Masaccio (1401-1428)

  • used linear and aerial perspective

Michelangelo (1475-1564)

  • one of the great renaissance artist, painter, sculptor, architect, poet and engineer

  • created Sistine Chapel, statue of David, Pièta

  • bodies or sculpted near perfect showing muscle and veins

  • created images that were beautiful and realistic

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

  • one of the best known painters of Renaissance time

  • introduced new techniques sfumato, intentional blurring of lines

  • Italian polymath: scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, musician, and writer.

  • ideas vastly ahead of his own time, helicopter, tank, concentrated solar power, calculator, and the double hull, and outlining a rudimentary theory of plate tectonics.

How did ideas spread among Scientists and Mathematicians?

  • During Middle ages progress of science was slow:

    • Scientific questioning was discouraged as the people favored religious explanation for phenomena

    • People believed in astrology, magic and witchcraft

    • Money was spent on arts/architecture

  • Renaissance made people ask questions and search for natural cause vs. supernatural powers

  • Scientists recorded observations which later led to scientific discoveries

Scientists/Mathematicians worth noting:

Copernicus (1473-1543)

  • Proved earth and other planets revolved around the sun and NOT the earth was the centre of the universe

  • Proved earth rotated on its axis once a day

  • Thoughts were banned by the Roman Catholic Church and were not published until shortly before he died due to fear of retaliation by Church

François Viète (1473-1543)

  • Wrote books on trigonometry and geometry

  • Provided solutions to doubling cubes, trisecting angles all used for engineering and architecture

Peter Henlein (a german) (15th century)

  • Invented spring-powered clock

  • Clocks were used instead of sun dials, hour glasses and the church bell

How did Writers influence the Renaissance Worldview?

  • Writers collected, studied and translated ancient Latin and Greek texts and documents into languages making them available to more people.

  • These people were then able to read the information become exposed to the new ideas and in turn shared the knowledge they gained with others.

  • Sense of pride and national identity began to develop in states leading to writers writing in their own languages

  • Therefore, standardization of language developed in areas of vocab, spelling and grammar

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343-1400)

Wrote Cantebury Tales, wrote about social and political circumstances

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

Wrote Utopia, advocated religious tolerance, he influenced education

François Rabelais (1494-1553)

Wrote Pantagruel, a satire that poked fun at the institutions in society, he wanted to entertain and educate people, his booked banned by church

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

Writing that was inventive use of language and their insights into human nature, wrote for people from all classes

11. Complete the following chart. What contributions did philosphers, artists, writers, and mathematicians/scientists contribute to humanism and the renaissance movement. Include 3 points for each and contributing individuals.

Contribution Points














How did the ideas of the Renaissance change Social and Economic Systems?
During renaissance

  • feudal system broke down,

  • rural peasants moved to urban areas,

  • middle class of trade and manufacturing,

  • increase number of people learn to read, write and do arithmetic

  • creation of the middle class contributed to the growth of a capitalist society based on trade and MONEY (barter system was used up to this time)

  • religion remained central to people’s lives but middle class/merchants wanted to improve their lives and surrounding by beautifying it through support of the arts and architecture - this made everyone’s lives better

  • belief system changed from their lives were no longer destined to remain the same as their parents and ancestors, bug could see that through hard work and taking advantage of opportunities they could improve their lives and social class – individuals could create their own identity

12. Define the concept of a capitalist society:

13. List 4 changes to the Social and Economic systems during the Renaissance.

1. ____________________________________________________________________________________

2. ____________________________________________________________________________________

3. ____________________________________________________________________________________

4. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Renaissance Family

Extended family in the house: father, mother, children, grandparents and unmarried/widowed aunts and uncles. Your roles were determined by society as follows:

  • father ruled, finances, property decision making for EVERYONE

  • mother maintain household and help children and father succeed

  • other members support and helped out

  • family life valued

  • children were considered mini adults and treated as such: duties, respect father decision’s until death

  • children had arranged marriages (unless peasant) to improve social status, political or financial, girls married by 16 and boys not until 30’s or 40’s

14. What was the role of the father during the renaissance?

15. What was the role of the mother during renaissance?

16. What was the role of the children during the renaissance?
Women in the Renaissance

  • Humanist believed in education for both sexes, males tended to be more educated

  • Poor males/females had no opportunity for education

  • Wealthy women were not usually allowed to be educated, but some were, most never received education past marriage

  • Women were under authority of their father or husband, if widowed could live independently if they had money, if not they had to move in with a male relative or join a convent

  • Some notable writers of the renaissance were: Agrippa of Nettelsheim, Maria de Zayas Y Sotomayer, Christine de Pizan

  • Some women supported and promoted Catholicism, felt they should be able to preach and teach the scriptures but were not allowed to be part of the decision making process

17. How were woman viewed differently during the Renaissance than they are today?


  • Provided by RC church focused on grammar, rhetoric and logic; taught nobles, clergy to read, write and arithmetic

  • Renaissance brought new learnings to a wider audience, developed new ideas and new discoveries both from old documents and intercultural sharing/contact

  • Renaissance brought the idea of individual human life and personal potential to the for front and good citizens that could leader their communities and carry out civic work. . .they asked questions and sought answers not accepting what they were told

18. Multiple Choice

  1. Humanism was rediscovered when scholars discovered old writings from which culture?

    1. The Greek culture

    2. The Chinese culture

    3. The Islamic culture

    4. The Barbarian culture

  1. The Silk road was responsible for which of the following:

    1. Laying the foundations for the modern world

    2. trading exotic goods: silks, glassware, paper, spices

    3. exchanging ideas and knowledge

    4. all of the above

  1. What was Nicolaus Copernicus most noted for?

    1. Inventing the use of money

    2. Proving the Earth revolved around the sun

    3. Proved the Theory of Gravity.

    4. Painted the Mona Lisa

4. An opinion against the beliefs of a given religion is called









5. Copernicus’ view that the sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe conflicted with whose theory?


Roman Catholic Church


Francois Viete


Leonardo da Vinci


European philosophers

6. The exchange of __________ was a key part of the Renaissance spreading throughout Europe.









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