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Topics: Roman Empire, Renaissance, Middle Ages Pages: 9 (2477 words) Published: September 7, 2014
Renaissance Assessment Study Guide

Roots of the Renaissance: Ancient Greece and Rome

Greece

Synopsis
Formed by Indo-Europeans that moved into the Balkan Peninsula in the 1300 BCE and formed what is called Greece. The civilization flourished and was very advanced for its time. They formed city-states, which are cities that act as independent states, often with their own government and laws. They valued order, balance, symmetry, clarity, and control. The reason the civilization was so successful is that they used logic and reason. Looked for rational explanations behind things that they saw. They laid the foundation for science. Spread far and wide by citizens of Greece that left their own city-states to form new ones. Taken over by Philip of Macedon in around 350 BCE. His son, Alexander the Great, conquered large areas to the east and this started the Hellenistic period (of Greece). Greece officially ends in 146 BCE when the Romans take over it.

Achievements
-Used logic and reason.
-Language: Greek.
-Math: Archimedes, Pythagoras, Euclid.
-Astronomy: Ptolemy.
-Architecture: Domes, arches, and pillars.
-Medicine: Studied cause of illness, created the Hippocratic Oath. -Philosophy: Socrates, Aristotle, Plato.
-Politics: Democracy.
-Arts: Literature, epics, and theater.

Rome

Synopsis
In 146 BCE, the Greeks were conquered by the Romans. They kept their language (Latin), but quickly assimilated many of the Greek intellectual and artistic culture. The Roman Republic (509-27 BCE) conquered most of Europe and other lands, which is why so many European languages today are based off of Latin. The Roman Empire (monarchy) replaced the Roman Republic (republic) in around 31 BCE, and lasted until 476 CE. The Romans were adept in organization, administration, government, military, and law. The pax Romana was a period of peace during the Roman rule.

Achievements
-pax Romana, a 200-300 year period of peace.
-Military: organization of military.
-Infrastructure: Roads, aqueducts, trade, military.
-Government: Bureaucracy, sovereign (centralized power), hierarchy, republic. -Law: Court system, juries, judges, the state or everyone collectively is more important than an individual.

Christianity

Synopsis
Christianity first spread among the poorer lower class. This is because they were already at the lowest level of society, and society had nothing left to offer them. So they turned to Christianity for salvation and equality in the eyes of god. Eventually, it spread to the middle class and in turn the upper class. An important point to make is that the Greco-Roman emphasis on logic and reason conflicted with the Christian emphasis on faith. Christianity was extremely important in the development of Rome and the civilizations that came after it, because as the Greeks demonstrated the powers of the mind, Christianity explored the soul. It is also the origin of many of the ethics and values that we have in society. However, Christians were denounced by Roman officials because they refused to worship the emperor.

The Middle Ages

Synopsis
In ancient times, there was no Europe. In the Roman Empire, there was a West Latin speaking portion and an East Greek speaking portion. The Emperor Constantine embraced Christianity and established a new capital in Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople. Increasingly, the center of gravity moved eastward towards Constantinople, and the Roman Empire was administered in two halves. The Roman Empire fell in 476 CE, the West portion falling to pieces first.

Thereafter, “Europe” was split into three sections. The Latin West (becomes modern day Europe), the Byzantine World (East), and the Arabic world. The Latin West stayed in third place in development until the Renaissance. Barbarians were assimilated into the civilization and eventually the individual societies became isolated. They were self-sufficient and were basically ruled by Feudalism. The Byzantine Empire...
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