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Renaissance is a term with a variety of meanings but is used widely in discussion of European history Renaissance originates from the Latin word Rinascere and refers to the act of being reborn It is believed that during the time from about 1400AD to around 1600AD Europe was reborn Originally the term Renaissance only referred to the time when man rediscovered the knowledge of the ancient Greeks and Romans However modern historians have realized these rediscoveries were also crucial to the formation of modern culture The term Renaissance is now used to indicate all the historical developments that have inspired the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modern history Thus the term Renaissance has now taken on a more significant meaning not only does the Renaissance mean the rebirth of knowledge but also represents a step from the past and a leap towards the future The Renaissance overlapped the end of a period in European history called the Middle Ages During this time the great accomplishments of the ancient Greeks and Romans had been largely though not entirely forgotten With the ending of the Middle Ages the Renaissance great cultural movement arose Beginning in Italy the new Renaissance spirit spread to England France Germany The Netherlands Spain and other countries In Italy during the 14th and 15th centuries certain scholars and historians began to display a remarkable new historical self-consciousness They believed their own time was a new age at once sharply different from the barbaric darkness which was imagined had occurred in the centuries before They grew to believe that there was more to be discovered about mankind and the world than medieval people had known The Italians are very eager to rediscover what clever Greeks and Romans had known in ancient times as well as making their own intelligent attempts to understand the world This renewed interest in the world and in mankind is called Humanism Humanism was the most
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