Comparison of the Renaissance and Enlightenment.

3470 Words May 22nd, 2003 14 Pages
Renaissance means 'rebirth' or 'recovery', has its origins in Italy and is associated with the rebirth of antiquity or Greco-Roman civilization. The age of the Renaissance is believed to elapse over a period of about two centuries, approximately from 1350 to 1550. Above all, the Renaissance was a recovery from the Middle Ages and all the disasters associated with it: the Black Death, economic, political and social crises. For the intellectuals, it was a period of recovery from the "Dark Ages"; a period, which was called so due to its lack of classical culture.

First Italian and then intellectuals of the rest of Europe became increasingly interested in the Greco-Roman culture of the ancient Mediterranean world. This interest was fostered
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However, since evolution and progress cause changes, and achievements of one century are built on those of the previous one, there are probably more differences than similarities between the two periods. Taking a look at different social and public spheres, we shall examine the differences and the similarities between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

Consider the intellectual areas of the two periods. The Renaissance saw the emergence and growth of humanism. Humanism was a form of education and culture based on the study of classics. Being primarily an educational form, it included the study of such liberal arts subjects as grammar, rhetoric, poetry, ethics and history that were based on the examinations of classical authors. Humanists occupied mainly secular positions such as teachers of humanities in secondary schools or professors of rhetoric in universities; they were mostly laymen rather than members of clergy. Education was central to the humanist movement since humanists believed that education could change immensely the human beings. Humanists wrote books on education and developed secondary schools based on their ideas. Their schools though, were principally reserved for the wealthy elite; children from the lower social classes as well as females were largely absent from them. During the Enlightenment, as during the Renaissance, private secondary schools were most of the
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