Difference Between Renaissance and Middle Ages

Humanity has gone through different historical periods, some of development; others of crisis, but without a doubt each one has its characteristics that differentiate them from the others. Today we take care to mention what are some differences between two of the most important periods in history: the Renaissance and the Middle Ages. Difference Between Renaissance and Middle Ages

“Rebirth” literally means “to rise again”, “to be reborn”. It was a European cultural movement that developed between the late 14th and 16th centuries. The Middle Ages, on the other hand, was prior to the Renaissance; it is located between the 5th and 13th centuries. Both times were remarkably different from each other and now we will tell you why.

MIDDLE AGES  Difference Between Renaissance and Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, power was concentrated in the Church; it had a strong influence on the lives of individuals. People followed the laws of the church as they came directly from God. Over time, many excesses occurred within this system until in the end they contributed to its decline. Before the Renaissance, the Roman Catholic Church was the only universal European institution.

In the Middle Ages all artistic thought and expression was theocentric. It was not until the Renaissance that humanism was introduced.

The Middle Ages is also known as a period of obscurantism, given the poor development of philosophical and intellectual thought; since the principle of authority placed faith above reason. Literature and studies in this period were limited especially to the friars who lived in the monasteries and other people who held positions in the Church; all this due in part to the fact that the only two languages ​​that were accepted in the literary field were Greek and Latin.

The artistic style that predominates in the Middle Ages is Gothic. The Gothic style in architecture is characterized by pointed arches and ribbed vaults. Gothic art uses ornamental gables and flying buttresses. A good example of medieval art is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.


The Renaissance was a cultural movement that involved a renewal of knowledge, a return to the classical ideal of Greece and Rome, the development of infrastructure, and a gradual reform of education. The Renaissance can be considered as a kind of bridge between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age. He is best known for his art, as he was the age of many geniuses such as Leonardo da Vinci, Petrarch, Dante, and Michelangelo.

A very important difference between the Renaissance and the Middle Ages is that of technique. Renaissance artists followed the most classical form of art, portraying above all human beauty and references to the gods and goddesses of Greco-Roman mythology predominated. Renaissance artists had a deep sense of perspective and developed two dimensional effects. Michelangelo’s David is a good example of Renaissance art.

The development of the printing press was the greatest cultural achievement of the Renaissance. This encouraged the writers to write in the local language. The writers changed the vernacular languages ​​from Greek and Latin and incorporated others into their writing. Literature in this era reached new heights with the literature of the Elizabethan era. In Renaissance literary art, the representation of human beings is also used.

Key differences between Middle Ages and Renaissance

  • The Middle Ages is a period between the 5th and 13th centuries, while the Renaissance spans the 14th and 16th centuries.
  • During the Middle Ages there was an intellectual and artistic stagnation, while in the Renaissance great figures stand out and inventions are made that contribute to cultural and economic progress.
  • During the Renaissance the printing press was used and in the Middle Ages parchment.
  • During the Middle Ages all thought and artistic expression followed a theocentric line, while at the arrival of the Renaissance all this was replaced by art, humanist thought.

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