What are the chief features of the civilization of the Renaissance period?


After analyzing the various facets of Renaissance, it shall be desirable to have an idea about the chief features of the civilization of the Renaissance period.

In the first instance, it laid great emphasis on humanism. The scholars during this period took to the study of subjects of human interests rather than theological works which formed the most important part of education during the middle ages. They turned to the classical literature and developed great admiration for the same.

For example Petrarch virtually worshipped classical literature. He disapproved the idea of self-repression and asceticism of the middle ages and showed preference for pleasures of human life. Another notable scholar who adopted critical approach to the study of scriptures was Erasmus. His writings inspired ecclesiastical reforms.


Secondly, the critical approach of this period enabled culture and learning to free itself from ecclesiastical tutelage and no wonder we wit­nessed the growth of large secular literature which openly revolted against the ecclesiastical monopoly over culture.

Thirdly, the Renaissance age witnessed unparalleled and many sided development of art. Almost all the fine arts like architectures, sculpture, music, painting, engraving etc. made tremendous progress during this period. Some of the prominent artists who rendered great service to the cause of art were Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Raphel, Titian etc. These artists adapted classical art-forms to Christian uses.

Fourthly, there was all round development of natural and experimental sciences during this period. Copernicus of Poland challenged the conten­tion that the earth was the cenre of solar system and instead proved that it was only a planet which moves round the sun. This theory was further developed by Kepler arid he gave his laws of planetary motion.

Finally, this period witnessed enormous growth of vernacular litera­ture. The people were not willing to produce literature in Latin which was not the language of the masses, and could not be easily comprehended by them.


Therefore, they wrote in the language which could easily under­ stood by the people. This resulted in the growth of various European lan­guages. In Italy Dante, Petrarch and Baccacio produced outstanding prose and poetry. Likewise in England Chaucer rendered great service to the cause of English language and was largely responsible for its standardization.

Likewise in Germany Luther preferred to write in German rather than Latin. He even translated Bible in German language. In Spain Cervantes produced Don Quixote and in France Rabelais rendered great service to the enrichment of French, literature. In short, in almost all the European countries vernacular languages made rapid progress while Latin lost the predominant position which it once enjoyed.

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