Achievements of Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance was a time of great cultural achievements and took place between the 14th and 16th centuries. Although the Italian Renaissance is characterized by many literary and artistic endeavors, much of the country around this time remained Medieval. The Renaissance was essentially a rebirth for Italy as it rose from the Dark Ages. The European Renaissance started in Tuscany (which is central Italy) and moved on to Venice after that. In Rome, the Renaissance had a major influence on the culture as several structures were built to hail the new age. In the mid-16th century, the Italian Renaissance reached a high point (even as foreign invaders attacked the region during the Italian Wars), and spread throughout the rest of Europe.
The achievements of the Renaissance were found mostly in Italy’s literature and painting. It was during this time that Italy found a number of lost Greek texts. This find lent itself to the spread of knowledge and culture. It was also during this time that knowledge was revered in the academies in Venice and Florence. It should be pointed out that the high culture of the day served mostly an elite audience. Much of the country remained in the Dark Ages, so to speak.
Culturally, the Italian Renaissance brought more than just art and literature. It was during this time that major trade routes opened up and a strong infrastructure was built. Things such as joint stock companies, double-entry book-keeping and insurance and government debt were developed. The need for luxury items pushed an increase in trade. Many Italians became wealthy.
It was only in the 13th century that Italian became the literary language of Italy. During this revolution of culture, Italian authors stopped writing in Latin or French and started writing in their own language. This is a very important step for any culture seeking to rise above its medieval mentality; and, Italy was no exception.
Christianity was the major influence on painters and writers during this particular era. But the ancient Greek texts that were discovered in the region had a profound influence on the literature of the day as well. It should be noted that aside from painting and literature, politics and philosophy were also gaining in interest. Ideas, such as Machiavellianism and humanism came out of this time and place, as well as scientific discoveries, architecture, sculpture, painting and music.