This week in class, I spent a lesson learning about the 12th Century Renaissance. This renaissance was a revival of old Roman literature and was mainly focused on math and the sciences. In this essay, I am going to briefly go through each of the major developments that happened during this time.
Classic Roman literature was forgotten during the early Middle Ages, but was revived during the Carolingian Renaissance (late 8th to late 9th century) before declining again in the 10th century. Even though it was brought back during the 12th Century Renaissance, its revival was eventually ruined when the study of Aristotelian logic and philosophy was found. The analysis of these works were so emphasized upon, that many simply did not have time to read Roman classics anymore. Despite this, there were many people studying and admiring the works of Virgil, Ovid, and Cicero.
However, people started to believe anything and everything ancients said and wrote. The study of medicine became the study of Hippocrates and Galen. Physics became the study and analysis of Aristotle. Geography was no longer about travel or studying maps, but instead studying books. Instead of doing physical work and learning by experiments and mistakes, people were studying books. If one of the ancients wrote something, it must have been the truth.
By the 13th century, it was impossible to get a Master of Arts degree without knowing the entirety of Aristotle’s works.
As you can see, the 12th Century Renaissance revived many of the old Greek and Roman works that had been forgotten. But the people started to treat the works as the absolute truth, and experimentation in almost every field ceased, instead replaced by the study of books.
Thanks for reading!