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Knowledge and Culture of the Renaissance

            Europe was experiencing some difficult circumstances regarding disease, war and even religious anxiety in the 14th century. However, from around 1350 to 1600, Europe experienced a major transformation in social structure and values. This time period also became better known as the Renaissance. The Renaissance was characterized by the multiple elements of the classical past, mainly the Greek philosophers, Hellenistic artists, and Roman rhetoricians. What the Renaissance is most known for is the shift in high social stature from war trained to educated, the idea of improving oneself, and the new found emphasis on the arts.
             Emphasis on the arts was another social change that occurred during the Renaissance. Much like education, before the Renaissance no one paid much attention or put any importance on the arts. During this span there were improvements in both the visual and the performing arts. Architects began building structures that fitted harmoniously with the rest of the city. Sculptures and paintings became a sign of wealth to posses and were even sponsored by patrons so they could be included in the work itself. Even music became popular during this time. Renaissance rulers paid as much as 6 percent of their annual revenue to support musicians and composers. None of this was even thought about in society before the Renaissance. .
             Another social change brought about by the Renaissance was the idea of improving oneself. This development was known as humanism, and it was primarily seen in works of literature and art during this time period. Before the Renaissance, many of the arts were focused on religion and all things being perfect. With humanism, the focus was based more on showing how things really were and what a person could do in order to better themselves instead of focusing on more supernatural subjects. This was a major social change in Europe because prior to the Renaissance almost everything had to do with God and religion instead of this more secular view of the world.

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