Medieval renaissances

Medieval renaissances

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Medieval renaissances'
Start a new discussion about 'Medieval renaissances'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
The medieval renaissances were periods characterised by significant cultural renewal right across medieval Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. These are effectively seen as occurring in three phases - the Carolingian Renaissance
Carolingian Renaissance
In the history of ideas the Carolingian Renaissance stands out as a period of intellectual and cultural revival in Europe occurring from the late eighth century, in the generation of Alcuin, to the 9th century, and the generation of Heiric of Auxerre, with the peak of the activities coordinated...

 (8th and 9th centuries), Ottonian Renaissance
Ottonian Renaissance
The Ottonian Renaissance was a limited "renaissance" of economy and art in central and southern Europe that accompanied the reigns of the first three emperors of the Saxon Dynasty, all named Otto: Otto I , Otto II , and Otto III , and which in large part depended upon their patronage.One of three ...

 (10th century) and the renaissance of the 12th century
Renaissance of the 12th century
The Renaissance of the 12th century was a period of many changes at the outset of the High Middle Ages. It included social, political and economic transformations, and an intellectual revitalization of Western Europe with strong philosophical and scientific roots...

.

The term was first used by medievalists in the 19th century, by analogy with the historiographical concept of the 15th and 16th century Italian Renaissance
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

. This was notable since it marked a break with the dominant historiography of the time, which saw the Middle Ages as dark and obscurantist. The term has always been a subject of debate and criticism, particularly on how widespread such renewal movements were and on the accuracy of comparing them with the Italian Renaissance.

History of the concept



The term 'renaissance' was first used as a name for a period in medieval history in the 1830s, with the birth of medieval studies. It was coined by Jean-Jacques Ampère
Jean-Jacques Ampère
Jean-Jacques Ampère was a French philologist and man of letters.Born in Lyon, he was the only son of the physicist André-Marie Ampère. Jean-Jacques' mother died while he was an infant....

.