The year is 1390 CE, and life is difficult. Almost half the people in your city have died of the plague. The kings, queens, and nobility are fighting wars that seem endless.
It used to be that the Church gave comfort, but these days, its leaders seem too busy with politics to care about regular people. If you lived in this situation, what would you do?
In the city of Florence, in what we now call Italy, people began thinking in new ways. The city leaders wanted culture to grow as it did in ancient Greece and Rome. Life could be richer, they thought. It could be full of art, poetry, music, and history. Instead of focusing on just one trade, they thought people should know about many subjects. It's as if they said, “Society should be reborn!”
The word renaissance is French for “rebirth” or “reawakening.” Let’s discover how the period we call the Renaissance began.