Characteristics Of The Renaissance

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In the middle Ages, the church was the highest system of power. This meant that there was ecclesiastical regulation of everyday life by which people’s behaviour was controlled according to Christian morals. Western monasticism saw people dedicate their lives to God, and there were extremely strict rules by which one was to behave and live. Furthermore, the feudal regime did not allow for any fluidity between classes, so much so that any individual who sought to challenge their predetermined social standing either by thought or act was defeated immediately. However, with the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman secular and humane philosophical texts such as those of Plato and Socrates in the Renaissance brought about reflection on one’s own identity, rather than being complacent with what one was given by god. A well-known perspective of Renaissance men is Burckhardt, who described them as multifaceted individualistic men who refused to see themselves as only part of a community. Furthermore, Burckhardt makes other characterisations of men of the Renaissance who placed more importance on worldly matters than salvation, widespread individualism and the great importance of education as opposed to class to define oneself, however these generalisations are contradicted by other humanists such as Thomas Elyot, and religious men such as John Calvin. Thus, the Renaissance served as an intersection between the celebration of man and the development of science. There was a
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