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The Renaissance of.....?

Cronaca posted today on the continuities between the Renaissance and the Middle Ages, including a lovely little list of some highlights of medieval innovation. Petrarch certainly thought he was living in the same period as everyone else who hadn't lived during the Roman Empire. Admittedly, writers within his lifespan began to speak of their time period as something different from that which had come before.

Cronaca was spurred to make this post by a post by Colby Cosh, a post which included the line "Western civilization had laboured under the shadow of classical accomplishments in architecture, art, and engineering for a thousand years.". In his reply, Cronaca writes "Medieval people overshadowed by accomplishments of Antiquity? False."

The irony of this is that the rebirth that the Renaissance stands for was the rebirth of that same classical Antiquity. Authors in the period considered themselves superior to what had come before because they did a better job of imitating the writing style and art of the Roman Empire.