Imagine that nearly half of the people living in your city have died of the plague. The year is 1390 CE, and the kings, queens, and nobility are fighting wars that seem to drag on forever.
The Church used to provide some comfort, but now its leaders seem too busy with politics to care about the feelings of regular people. If you lived in this situation, what would you do?
In the city of Florence, located in what we now call Italy, people begin to change the way they thought. The city leaders wanted culture to flourish as it had in ancient Greece and Rome. They imagined a richer life, filled with the study of art, poetry, music, and history. Rather than specializing in one trade, city leaders said people should educate themselves in several subjects. They seemed to think, “Society should be reborn!”
The word renaissance is French for “rebirth” or “reawakening.” Let’s discover how the period we call the Renaissance began.