The Byzantine Rite known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite; the Byzantine Rite was developed and used in Greek language and with introduction of Eastern Orthodoxy to other ethnic groups it was translated into local languages and continued further development. Most important non-Greek variants of Byzantine Rite are: Byzantine-Slavonic and Byzantine-Georgian; the rite consists of the divine liturgies, canonical hours, forms for the administration of sacred mysteries and the numerous prayers and exorcisms developed by the Church of Constantinople. Involved are the specifics of church architecture, liturgical music and traditions which have evolved over the centuries in the Eastern Orthodox Church and which are associated with this rite.
Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the whole service, an iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave of the church. The faithful are active in their worship, making frequent bows and prostrations, feeling free to move about the temple during the services. Traditionally, the major clergy and monks neither shave nor cut their hair or beards. Scripture plays a large role in Byzantine worship, with not only daily readings but many quotes from the Bible throughout the services; the entire psalter is read each week, twice weekly during Great Lent. Fasting is stricter than in the Roman Rite. On fast days, the faithful give up not only meat, but dairy products, on many fast days they give up fish and the use of oil in cooking; the rite observes four fasting seasons: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast. In addition, most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days and many monasteries observe Monday as a fast day. There are two ancient liturgical traditions from which all of the Eastern Rites developed: the Alexandrian Rite in Egypt and the Antiochene Rite in Syria.
These two Rites developed directly from practices of the Early Church. Of these two traditions, the Rite of Constantinople developed from the Antiochene Rite. Prior to the see of Constantinople's elevation to the dignity of patriarch by the Second Ecumenical Council in 381, the primary jurisdiction in Asia Minor was the Patriarchate of Antioch. With the council's elevation of Constantinople to primacy in the East, with the words "The Bishop of Constantinople... shall have the prerogative of honour after the Bishop of Rome. Because the Rite of Constantinople evolved as a synthesis of two distinct rites — cathedral rite of Constantinople called the "asmatiki akolouthia" and the monastic typicon of the Holy Lavra of Saint Sabbas the Sanctified near Jerusalem — its offices are developed and quite complex. Further developments continued to occur, centered around Constantinople and Mount Athos. Monasticism played an important role in the development of the rituals. In Constantinople, the work of the monastery of the Studion enriched the liturgical traditions with regard to the Lenten observance.
Iconography continued to develop and a canon of traditional patterns evolved which still influences Eastern religious art to this day. Historical events have influenced the development of the liturgy; the great Christological and Trinitarian controversies of Late Antiquity are reflected in the glorifications of the Trinity heard in the numerous ekphonies encountered during the services. In response to Nestorius' attack on giving the title of Theotokos to the Virgin Mary, the Byzantines increased the use of the term in the liturgy, now every string of hymns ends with one in her honour, called a theotokion. All liturgical rites develop over time; as new saints are canonized, new hymns are composed. The rite profits from the fact that the Christian East is not so centralized in ecclesiastical polity as the West; this allows for greater diversity, as members of one church visit another, a natural cross-pollination occurs with resultant enrichment on all sides. In spite of its great emphasis on tradition, the Byzantine Rite comprises a growing and expanding ritual, with room for local practice.
The tradition of the Church of Constantinople ascribes the older of its two main Divine Liturgies to St. Basil the Great, Metropolitan of Cæsarea in Cappadocia; this tradition is confirmed by the witness of several ancient authors, some of whom were contemporaries. It is certain that St. Basil made a reformation of the Liturgy of his Church, that the Byzantine service called after him represents his reformed Liturgy in its chief parts, although it has undergone further modification since his time. St. Basil himself speaks on several occasions of the changes he made in the services of Cæsarea. and other contemporary witnesses attest his arrangement of the services. Basil had as his goal the streamlining of the services to make them more cohesive and attractive to the faithful, he worked to reform the clergy and improve the moral life of Christians. He wrote a number of new prayers; the most important work attributed to him is the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, he took as his basis the Liturgy of St. James as it was celebrated at his time in the r
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Crete and a number of surrounding islands and islets constitute the region of Crete, one of the 13 top-level administrative units of Greece; the capital and the largest city is Heraklion. As of 2011, the region had a population of 623,065. Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, it was once the centre of the Minoan civilisation, the earliest known civilisation in Europe. The palace of Knossos lies in Crete; the island is first referred to as Kaptara in texts from the Syrian city of Mari dating from the 18th century BC, repeated in Neo-Assyrian records and the Bible. It was known in ancient Egyptian as Keftiu suggesting a similar Minoan name for the island; the current name of Crete is thought to be first attested in Mycenaean Greek texts written in Linear B, through the words ke-re-te, ke-re-si-jo, "Cretan".
In Ancient Greek, the name Crete first appears in Homer's Odyssey. Its etymology is unknown. One proposal derives it from a hypothetical Luwian word, *kursatta. In Latin, it became Creta; the original Arabic name of Crete was Iqrīṭiš, but after the Emirate of Crete's establishment of its new capital at ربض الخندق Rabḍ al-Ḫandaq, both the city and the island became known as Χάνδαξ or Χάνδακας, which gave Latin and Venetian Candia, from which were derived French Candie and English Candy or Candia. Under Ottoman rule, in Ottoman Turkish, Crete was called Girit. Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, it is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea. The island has an elongated shape: it spans 260 km from east to west, is 60 km at its widest point, narrows to as little as 12 km. Crete covers an area of 8,336 km2, with a coastline of 1,046 km, it lies 160 km south of the Greek mainland. Crete is mountainous, its character is defined by a high mountain range crossing from west to east, formed by three different groups of mountains: The White Mountains or Lefka Ori 2,454 m The Idi Range (Psiloritis 35.18°N 24.82°E / 35.18.
The island has a number of gorges, such as the Samariá Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge, Ha Gorge, Platania Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead and Richtis Gorge and waterfall at Exo Mouliana in Sitia. The rivers of Crete include the Ieropotamos River, the Koiliaris, the Anapodiaris, the Almiros, the Giofyros, Megas Potamos. There are only two freshwater lakes in Crete: Lake Kournas and Lake Agia, which are both in Chania regional unit. Lake Voulismeni at the coast, at Aghios Nikolaos, was a freshwater lake but is now connected to the sea, in Lasithi. Lakes that were created by dams exist in Crete. There are three: the lake of Aposelemis Dam, the lake of Potamos Dam, the lake of Mpramiana Dam. A large number of islands and rocks hug the coast of Crete. Many are visited by tourists, some are only visited by biologists; some are environmentally protected. A small sample of the islands includes: Gramvousa the pirate island opposite the Balo lagoon Elafonisi, which commemorates a shipwreck and an Ottoman massacre Chrysi island, which hosts the largest natural Lebanon cedar forest in Europe Paximadia island where the god Apollo and the goddess Artemis were born The Venetian fort and leper colony at Spinalonga opposite the beach and shallow waters of Elounda Dionysades islands which are in an environmentally protected region together the Palm Beach Forest of Vai in the municipality of Sitia, LasithiOff the south coast, the island of Gavdos is located 26 nautical miles south of Hora Sfakion and is the southernmost point of Europe.
Crete straddles two climatic zones, the Mediterranean and the North African falling within the former. As such, the climate in Crete is Mediterranean; the atmosphere can be quite humid, depending on the proximity to the sea, while winter is mild. Snowfall is rare in the low-lying areas. While some mountain tops are snow-capped for most of the year, near the coast snow only stays on the ground for a few minutes or hours. However, a exceptional cold snap swept the island in February 2004, during which period the whole island was blanketed with snow. During the Cretan summer, average temperatures reach the high 20s-low 30s Celsius, with maxima touching the upper 30s-mid 40s; the south coast, including the Mesara Pla
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
An icon is a religious work of art, most a painting, in the cultures of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Roman Catholic, certain Eastern Catholic churches. The most common subjects include Christ, Mary and angels. Although associated with "portrait" style images concentrating on one or two main figures, the term covers most religious images in a variety of artistic media produced by Eastern Christianity, including narrative scenes. Icons can represent various scenes in the Bible. Icons may be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Comparable images from Western Christianity are not classified as "icons", although "iconic" may be used to describe a static style of devotional image. Eastern Orthodox tradition holds that the production of Christian images dates back to the early days of Christianity, that it has been a continuous tradition since then. Modern academic art history considers that, while images may have existed earlier, the tradition can be traced back only as far as the 3rd century, that the images which survive from Early Christian art differ from ones.
The icons of centuries can be linked closely, to images from the 5th century onwards, though few of these survive. Widespread destruction of images occurred during the Byzantine Iconoclasm of 726–842, although this did settle permanently the question of the appropriateness of images. Since icons have had a great continuity of style and subject. At the same time there has been development. Christian tradition dating from the 8th century identifies Luke the Evangelist as the first icon painter. Aside from the legend that Pilate had made an image of Christ, the 4th-century Eusebius of Caesarea, in his Church History, provides a more substantial reference to a "first" icon of Jesus, he relates that King Abgar of Edessa sent a letter to Jesus at Jerusalem, asking Jesus to come and heal him of an illness. In this version there is no image. A account found in the Syriac Doctrine of Addai mentions a painted image of Jesus in the story. Further legends relate that the cloth remained in Edessa until the 10th century, when it was taken to Constantinople.
It went missing in 1204 when Crusaders sacked Constantinople, but by numerous copies had established its iconic type. The 4th-century Christian Aelius Lampridius produced the earliest known written records of Christian images treated like icons in his Life of Alexander Severus that formed part of the Augustan History. According to Lampridius, the emperor Alexander Severus, himself not a Christian, had kept a domestic chapel for the veneration of images of deified emperors, of portraits of his ancestors, of Christ, Apollonius and Abraham. Saint Irenaeus, in his Against Heresies says scornfully of the Gnostic Carpocratians: "They possess images, some of them painted, others formed from different kinds of material, they crown these images, set them up along with the images of the philosophers of the world, to say, with the images of Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, the rest. They have other modes of honouring these images, after the same manner of the Gentiles ". On the other hand, Irenaeus does not speak critically of icons or portraits in a general sense—only of certain gnostic sectarians' use of icons.
Another criticism of image veneration appears in the non-canonical 2nd-century Acts of John, in which the Apostle John discovers that one of his followers has had a portrait made of him, is venerating it: "...he went into the bedchamber, saw the portrait of an old man crowned with garlands, lamps and altars set before it. And he called him and said: Lycomedes, what do you mean by this matter of the portrait? Can it be one of thy gods, painted here? For I see that you are still living in heathen fashion." In the passage John says, "But this that you have now done is childish and imperfect: you have drawn a dead likeness of the dead." At least some of the hierarchy of the Christian churches still opposed icons in the early 4th century. At the Spanish non-ecumenical Synod of Elvira bishops concluded, "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration". Bishop Epiphanius of Salamis, wrote his letter 51 to John, Bishop of Jerusalem in which he recounted how he tore down an image in a church and admonished the other bishop that such images are "opposed... to our religion".
Elsewhere in his Church History, Eusebius reports seeing what he took to be portraits of Jesus and Paul, mentions a bronze statue at Banias / Paneas under Mount Hermon, of which he wrote, "They say that this statue is an image of Jesus". John Francis Wilson suggests the possibility that this refers to a pagan bronze statue whose tru
Venice is a city in northeastern Italy and the capital of the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges; the islands are located in the shallow Venetian Lagoon, an enclosed bay that lies between the mouths of the Po and the Piave rivers. In 2018, 260,897 people resided in the Comune di Venezia, of whom around 55,000 live in the historical city of Venice. Together with Padua and Treviso, the city is included in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, considered a statistical metropolitan area, with a total population of 2.6 million. The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BC; the city was the capital of the Republic of Venice. The 697–1797 Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, a staging area for the Crusades and the Battle of Lepanto, as well as an important center of commerce and art in the 13th century up to the end of the 17th century.
The city-state of Venice is considered to have been the first real international financial center, emerging in the 9th century and reaching its greatest prominence in the 14th century. This made Venice a wealthy city throughout most of its history. After the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, the Republic was annexed by the Austrian Empire, until it became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866, following a referendum held as a result of the Third Italian War of Independence. Venice has been known as "La Dominante", "La Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", "City of Canals"; the lagoon and a part of the city are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Parts of Venice are renowned for the beauty of their settings, their architecture, artwork. Venice is known for several important artistic movements—especially during the Renaissance period—has played an important role in the history of symphonic and operatic music, is the birthplace of Antonio Vivaldi.
Although the city is facing some major challenges, Venice remains a popular tourist destination, an iconic Italian city, has been ranked the most beautiful city in the world. The name of the city, deriving from Latin forms Venetia and Venetiae, is most taken from "Venetia et Histria", the Roman name of Regio X of Roman Italy, but applied to the coastal part of the region that remained under Roman Empire outside of Gothic and Frankish control; the name Venetia, derives from the Roman name for the people known as the Veneti, called by the Greeks Enetoi. The meaning of the word is uncertain, although there are other Indo-European tribes with similar-sounding names, such as the Celtic Veneti and the Slavic Vistula Veneti. Linguists suggest that the name is based on an Indo-European root *wen, so that *wenetoi would mean "beloved", "lovable", or "friendly". A connection with the Latin word venetus, meaning the color'sea-blue', is possible. Supposed connections of Venetia with the Latin verb venire, such as Marin Sanudo's veni etiam, the supposed cry of the first refugees to the Venetian lagoon from the mainland, or with venia are fanciful.
The alternative obsolete form is Vinegia. Although no surviving historical records deal directly with the founding of Venice and the available evidence have led several historians to agree that the original population of Venice consisted of refugees—from nearby Roman cities such as Padua, Treviso and Concordia, as well as from the undefended countryside—who were fleeing successive waves of Germanic and Hun invasions; this is further supported by the documentation on the so-called "apostolic families", the twelve founding families of Venice who elected the first doge, who in most cases trace their lineage back to Roman families. Some late Roman sources reveal the existence of fishermen, on the islands in the original marshy lagoons, who were referred to as incolae lacunae; the traditional founding is identified with the dedication of the first church, that of San Giacomo on the islet of Rialto —said to have taken place at the stroke of noon on 25 March 421. Beginning as early as AD 166–168, the Quadi and Marcomanni destroyed the main Roman town in the area, present-day Oderzo.
This part of Roman Italy was again overrun in the early 5th century by the Visigoths and, some 50 years by the Huns led by Attila. The last and most enduring immigration into the north of the Italian peninsula, that of the Lombards in 568, left the Eastern Roman Empire only a small strip of coastline in the current Veneto, including Venice; the Roman/Byzantine territory was organized as the Exarchate of Ravenna, administered from that ancient port and overseen by a viceroy appointed by the Emperor in Constantinople. Ravenna and Venice were connected only by sea routes, with the Venetians' isolated position came increasing autonomy. New ports were built, including those at Torcello in the Venetian lagoon; the tribuni maiores formed the earliest central standing governing committee of the islands in the lagoon, dating from c. 568. The traditional first doge of Venice, Paolo Lucio A
The Renaissance is a period in European history, covering the span between the 14th and 17th centuries and marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity. The traditional view focuses more on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance and argues that it was a break from the past, but many historians today focus more on its medieval aspects and argue that it was an extension of the middle ages; the intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman Humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that "Man is the measure of all things." This new thinking became manifest in art, politics and literature. Early examples were the development of perspective in oil painting and the recycled knowledge of how to make concrete. Although the invention of metal movable type sped the dissemination of ideas from the 15th century, the changes of the Renaissance were not uniformly experienced across Europe: the first traces appear in Italy as early as the late 13th century, in particular with the writings of Dante and the paintings of Giotto.
As a cultural movement, the Renaissance encompassed innovative flowering of Latin and vernacular literatures, beginning with the 14th-century resurgence of learning based on classical sources, which contemporaries credited to Petrarch. In politics, the Renaissance contributed to the development of the customs and conventions of diplomacy, in science to an increased reliance on observation and inductive reasoning. Although the Renaissance saw revolutions in many intellectual pursuits, as well as social and political upheaval, it is best known for its artistic developments and the contributions of such polymaths as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, who inspired the term "Renaissance man"; the Renaissance began in the 14th century in Italy. Various theories have been proposed to account for its origins and characteristics, focusing on a variety of factors including the social and civic peculiarities of Florence at the time: its political structure, the patronage of its dominant family, the Medici, the migration of Greek scholars and texts to Italy following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.
Other major centres were northern Italian city-states such as Venice, Milan and Rome during the Renaissance Papacy. The Renaissance has a long and complex historiography, and, in line with general scepticism of discrete periodizations, there has been much debate among historians reacting to the 19th-century glorification of the "Renaissance" and individual culture heroes as "Renaissance men", questioning the usefulness of Renaissance as a term and as a historical delineation; the art historian Erwin Panofsky observed of this resistance to the concept of "Renaissance": It is no accident that the factuality of the Italian Renaissance has been most vigorously questioned by those who are not obliged to take a professional interest in the aesthetic aspects of civilization – historians of economic and social developments and religious situations, most natural science – but only exceptionally by students of literature and hardly by historians of Art. Some observers have called into question whether the Renaissance was a cultural "advance" from the Middle Ages, instead seeing it as a period of pessimism and nostalgia for classical antiquity, while social and economic historians of the longue durée, have instead focused on the continuity between the two eras, which are linked, as Panofsky observed, "by a thousand ties".
The word Renaissance meaning "Rebirth", first appeared in English in the 1830s. The word occurs in Jules Michelet's 1855 work, Histoire de France; the word Renaissance has been extended to other historical and cultural movements, such as the Carolingian Renaissance and the Renaissance of the 12th century. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern period. Beginning in Italy, spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence was felt in literature, art, politics, science and other aspects of intellectual inquiry. Renaissance scholars employed the humanist method in study, searched for realism and human emotion in art. Renaissance humanists such as Poggio Bracciolini sought out in Europe's monastic libraries the Latin literary and oratorical texts of Antiquity, while the Fall of Constantinople generated a wave of émigré Greek scholars bringing precious manuscripts in ancient Greek, many of which had fallen into obscurity in the West.
It is in their new focus on literary and historical texts that Renaissance scholars differed so markedly from the medieval scholars of the Renaissance of the 12th century, who had focused on studying Greek and Arabic works of natural sciences and mathematics, rather than on such cultural texts. In the revival of neo-Platonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion, reflected in many other areas of cultural life. In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity; this new engagement with Greek Christian works, the return to the original Greek of the Ne