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THE RENAISSANCE, 1320-1600.
First Period, 1320-1450.
THE Renaissance, or the Revival of Letters, is the name by which we distinguish the period which saw the revolt of the intellect of Europe against Mediaevalism in all its forms, political, ecclesiastical, philosophical, and literary. It has correctly enough been called a 'Humanistic' revival; but the word 'Humanistic,' if it is to be a true designation, must be interpreted broadly and not confined to the revived interest in Litterae Humaniores.
The revival, indeed, was inevitable from the day on which the intellect of Europe had built for itself a house to live in, and put on the roof, and made fast the doors. Thought on moral and religious questions had on certain lines exhausted itself and been rounded off, after having been organized into a system, provided with administrators and guarded by penalties. Of the Church Secular, the Church Monastic, and of Civil Polity this is true. Nay, of the Universities, presumed to be the centres of a living intellectual activity—the mind of Europe—it was also substantially true, from 1200 A.D. till the time of Descartes. The great organizing intellect of the Middle