Term Paper: Cultural Epoch Theory the Shift From Medieval to Renaissance Europe

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Cultural Epoch Theory: The Shift From Medieval to Renasissance Europe

The evolution of the world represents an entire system of change and development of ideas and social structures which in the end defined the world in which we live today. As part of the history of the world, there are several eras which influenced its evolution more than in other cases. These eras can be the Medieval and the Renaissance periods. Still, in order to understand their relevance for the human civilization, it is important to take into account several aspects from a particular perspective given by the cultural-epoch theory.

The cultural epoch theory defines the way in which a culture can change and the means used to achieve this change. More importantly, the cultural epoch theory implies a continuous flux inside the system, a driving force aimed at changing the current reality, as well as the change of different values and moral norms (Culture-Epoch Theory, n.d.). These elements of change are rather visible especially in the way in which medieval order collapsed and the Renaissance took its place in Europe. This passage was considered to be one which defined the order between the so called Dark Ages as the medieval time was rightfully considered and the emergence of the Renaissance, one of the most flourishing periods of the human civilization.

The Medieval period is seen as a moment of regress for the civilization from various points-of-view which relate to the fact that the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of life saw a return to the more primitive aspects of the human being (Berstein and Milza, 1994). In this sense, the period of the Middle Ages had followed the disintegration of the Roman Empire, an event which marked a sudden and at the same time negative change in the way in which territories were organized, social relations were established, as well as the way in which religious and cultural life was perceived and conducted (Berstein and Milza, 1994). Therefore it can be said that the coming of the Middle Ages was in fact an annulment of the flourishing centuries of Roman and Greek tradition and culture which was more or less a visible and important shift.

The Renaissance on the other hand represented the reinvention of the culture and history of the period before the middle Ages, a rejuvenation of what the ancient culture meant for the classic world, with its norms and values. From the point-of-view of the cultural epoch theory, the passing from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period represented the period in which old values were rediscovered and new ones were invented in order to move the process of humanity forward (Culture-Epoch Theory, n.d.).

There are several factors which contributed to the reconsideration of the beliefs, values and practices which forced the end of the middle Ages and the emergence of the Renaissance. As one author considered, "civilizations are not societies which rise and fall in recurring cycles but cultural systems which build upon the work of the predecessors" (Raman, 2001) Therefore, new cycles of culture are built, rather that invented. In this sense, one of the most important aspects of this change was the geographical discoveries and more precisely the discovery of the American continent. The desire for sophisticated goods, spices, new lands represented a real incentive for rulers such as the Spanish, the Portuguese, or the Dutch (Berstein and Milza, 1994). The religious aspect was yet another crucial matter, as the Catholic Church began to lose the grip on the people due to the difficult regime it imposed on them such as different taxes and levies (Braunstein and Pepin, 1998).

One of the main factors which triggered the evolution from medieval times to Renaissance was the invention of the printing machine (the Literacy Company, n.d.). this represented an important shift in the… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cultural Epoch Theory the Shift From Medieval to Renaissance Europe.  (2008, May 20).  Retrieved July 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/cultural-epoch-theory-shift-medieval/37017

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"Cultural Epoch Theory the Shift From Medieval to Renaissance Europe."  Essaytown.com.  May 20, 2008.  Accessed July 17, 2019.