The fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries, known as the Renaissance, brought about new twists on old ideas. There is a distinct similarity between the Greek/Roman empires before the middle ages and the Renaissance period. Once the Middle Ages came around the Greek/Roman ideas were forgotten, but once the fourteenth century arrived the ideas were "rediscovered." As an era (fourteenth through seventeenth centuries), the Renaissance was aptly named. This is proven in three categories: architecture, literature, and the arts (painting and sculpture).
The European Renaissance was in part named because of the architecture of that time. Most Renaissance architects rejected the gothic style, and changed to columns, capitals, arches, and the simpler Greek/Roman buildings. The principals of classical antiquity now inspired the architects buildings. One example of the new architecture is when Filippo Brunelleschi designed and constructed a dome for the cathedral in Florence. To design the dome he studied thoroughly the ancient Roman buildings, most of all, the Pantheon. He built an inner dome to support the larger dome, in turn, and took out the huge supports that had become hideous to the tastes of his time. When it was finished it almost looked exactly like a Greek/Roman building. With the new twists of his time added in he created and started the beginning of Renaissance architecture. Andrea Palladio, a leading architect of the Venetian Renaissance, went to Rome to study the classic buildings. Soon, thereafter, he created the Villa Rotunda, which embodied mathematical symmetry and a classic look from the Greek/Romans. One of the more widely known architects of all time, Michelangelo, designed the dome for St. Peter's Basilica. He studied Brunelleschi's dome, which contributed to the soaring dome on top of the building. Michelangelo intended to make it look like a Greek cross, with four equal arms.