The Cultural and Spiritual Foundations of the Sixteenth Century
The history of the Renaissance is not the history of arts nor of sciences nor of literature nor even of nations. It is the history of the attainment of self-conscious freedom by the human spirit manifested in the European races. It is no mere political mutation, no new fashion of art, no restoration of classical standards of taste. The arts and inventions, the knowledge and the books which suddenly became vital at the time of the Renaissance had long lain neglected on the shores of the Dead Sea which we call the Middle Ages. It was not their discovery which caused the Renaissance but it was the intellectual energy, the spontaneous outburst of intelligence which enabled mankind at that moment to make use of them.
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