There is a certain fascination in life when humans at a certain time become retrospective. The Renaissance or rebirth during the Quattrocento period in Italy epitomized this phenomenon. Those individuals involved pursued antiquity with a fervent vigor and passion not seen in the following centuries of the modern age. Among the city-states on the Italian Peninsula, the Florentine Republic was on the verge of being the most prominent center of the Renaissance. Many contributing factors such as the influential families, the various guilds, politicians, and learned individuals propelled Florence to new heights of achievement; these include artistic expression, philosophical views—not seen since the days of Ancient Greece and Rome, diplomacy and government, advanced financial institutions, et al. However, it is important to point out that many habitual remnants of the previous era hitherto were still in existence and profound as well—such as the ecclesiastical dogma of the Catholic Church—which was static and mundane—and a quasi-feudalistic mentality among the population.
Concerning the Catholic Church in general, one must understand that it had excessive control over a significant portion of the populace of Europe at that time. It had virtual control over scholasticism, matrimony, finance, and every aspect of known activity; however, some individuals—influential political figures and upcoming humanists—saw the potential of studying and utilizing the classics.
Resistance to change is a homogeneous trait of human nature—regardless of the time and place. Certain individuals or groups of individuals, who saw that things as there were, began to ask many questions. The humanists of the Renaissance were in a position to understand that...
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