PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-World History
2.3 Origin of the Renaissance
The Renaissance had its origin in Italy where it blossomed and later spread to the other countries of Europe. There were several causes leading to the origin of the Renaissance in Italy which became the school of Europe in the Renaissance.
Scholarly refugees such as the Greeks played an important role in stimulating the movement, after they settled in Italy, on fleeing from Constantinople, in 1453. The Italians who read the classics of ancient Greece brought by the Greeks, were filled and with a spirit of creativity.
The Italian cities grew very rich by controlling the distribution of Asian goods on the European continent.
The love of learning was fostered by the rich merchant
princes of the Italian cities, who competed with each other in patronizing
learning art, and science. Rome soon became a great center of civilization,
culture, art, learning and literature, while Florence and Venice
became the leading cities of the Renaissance.
Italy was regarded as the seat of the great power and glory of the ancient Romans since it contained the ruins of ancient Rome. Further the Italian language was closest to the classical Latin language. Besides, Italians are great artists by nature, making it natural for the Renaissance to have originated and blossomed in Italy.
In the 15th century, political stability was established owing to the rise of many successful dictators who were responsible for making their families powerful and famous. Thus many important Italian families rose to power, such as the Visconti family in Milan, the De Medici family of Florence, the Borgias of Romagna, the Della Scalas in Verona and Vicenza, and the Carraras in Padua.
Undoubtedly the Renaissance originated in Italy which was also responsible for the diffusion of this great movement. Peter Burke has aptly remarked that "the translators, the printers, the travelers; foreigners, who visited Italy, like Colet, Durer, Du Bellay; Italians who came to live abroad, like Torrigiani or Paolo Emilio; and in a sense Italy as a whole was middleman between Antiquity and Feudal Europe."