Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

UPSC: Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

The document Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

Changing cultural Traditions

The phenomenon that marks the change of cultural Traditions in Europe is:

Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

  • From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth-century towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct 'Urban Culture' also developed.
  • Florence, Venice and Rome became centres of art and learning. The invention of printing at the same time made books and prints available to many people. A sense of history also developed in Europe.
  • Religion came to be seen as something which each individual should choose for himself. The church's belief was overturned by Scientists.

Meaning of Renaissance

  • The term ‘Renaissance’ literally means ‘rebirth’, this French word was first used by a Swiss scholar, Jacob Burckhardt, in 1860. During the fourteenth to seventeenth centuries, a new humanist culture popularised the idea that man is an individual. Italian universities were centres of legal studies. 
  • Renaissance meant revival of the ancient Greek and Latin culture. It first began in Italy, followed by Rome, Venice and Florence. 
  • The term ‘Renaissance Man’ is often used to describe a person with many interests and skills, because many of the individuals who became well known at this time were people of many parts. They were scholar-diplomat-theologian-artist combined in one. 
  • Renaissance aroused the spirit of equality among the people and attacked the superstitions and rituals prevailing in society. 
  • Social, political and economic life of the people were deeply affected by Renaissance.

Causes of Renaissance

  • Contact of the East and the West: With the expansion of trade between the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic countries, the ports on the Italian coast revived. From the twelfth century, as the Mongols opened up trade with China via the Silk Route and as trade with western European countries also increased, Italian towns played a central role. They no longer saw themselves as part of a powerful empire, but as independent city-states. 
  • Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks: In 1453 Ottoman Turks defeat the Byzantine ruler of Constantinople. In the late fourteenth century, long-distance trade declined, and then became difficult after the Turks conquered Constantinople. Italians managed to do business with Turks, but were now required to pay higher taxes on trade. The possibility that many more people could be brought into the fold of Christianity made many devout Christian Europeans ready to face adventure. 
  • Crusades: The ‘Crusades’ against the Turks began as a religious war between Christians and Muslims. 
  • Decline of Feudalism: By the end of sixteenth century, feudalism began to decline paving the way for new order in the society. 
  • Rise of new towns & trade: Expansion in agriculture was accompanied by growth in three related areas: population, trade and towns. From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth century, towns were growing in many countries of Europe. A distinct ‘urban culture’ also developed. Towns – particularly Florence, Venice and Rome – became centres of art and learning. One of the most vibrant cities was Venice, another was Genoa. 
  • Rise of the new middle class: With the downfall of feudalism a new middle-class emerged which mainly comprised the townspeople. They began to think of themselves as more ‘civilised’ than rural people. 
  • Rise of nations: A new concept of nation-state emerged as people were more inclined to a liberal society based on equality and freedom. King was no more the supreme authority. Nation-state received more power and vigour from ‘Reformation;.

The revival of Italian cities

Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

  • Western Europe was being reshaped by feudal bonds and unified under the Latin Church and Eastern Europe under the Byzantine Empire, and Islam was creating a common civilisation further west, Italy was weak and fragmented. 
  • The ports on the Italian coast were revived. From the fourteenth to the end of the seventeenth-century towns were growing in many countries of Europe. 
  • A distinct ‘ Urban Culture’ also developed in Florence, Venice and Rome became centers of art and learning. The invention of printing at the same time made books and prints available to many people. 
  • A sense of history also developed in Europe. Religion came to be seen as something which each individual should choose for himself. The church’s belief was overturned by scientists.

Printing Press

  • Johannes Gutenberg invented the first printing press in 1455. 
  • The first printing press was set up by Caxton in 1477 in Europe. 
  • The invention of printing press increased the volume of books. It also helped in the spread of education

Independent City-States - Florence and Venice

Rich merchants and bankers actively participated in governing the city.

Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

Universities in Europe

  • The earliest universities in Europe had been set up in Italian towns. 
  • The universities of Padua and Bologna had been centres of legal studies from the eleventh century. 
  • Commerce being the chief activity in the city, there was an increasing demand for lawyers and notaries possible. 
  • Law was therefore a popular subject of study, but there was now a shift in emphasis. 
  • It was studied in the context of earlier Roman culture. 
  • To Petrarch, antiquity was a distinctive civilisation which could be best understood through the actual words of the ancient Greeks and Romans
  • He, therefore, stressed the importance of a close reading of ancient authors.

HumanismRevision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC

  • The educational programme implied that there was much to be learnt which religious teaching alone could not give. 
  • This was the culture which historians in the nineteenth century were to label ‘humanism’. 
  • By the early fifteenth century, the term ‘humanist’ was used for masters who taught grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history and moral philosophy. 
  • These revolutionary ideas attracted attention in many other universities, Till the end of the thirteenth century, this city had not made a mark as a centre of trade or of learning, but things changed dramatically in the fifteenth century. 
  • A city is known by its great citizens as much as by its wealth, and Florence had come to be known because of Dante Alighieri.

Renaissance Man

  • The term ‘Renaissance Man’ is often used to describe a person with many interests and skills, because many of the individuals who became well known at this time were people of many parts. 
  • They were scholar-diplomat-theologian-artist combined in one.

The Humanist view of History

  • The humanists thought that an age of darkness existed for centuries after the decline of the Roman Empire, which they termed as ‘dark age’. 
  • Later scholars assumed that ‘new age’ began after the 14th century. 
  • The period of thousand years(a millennium) after the fall of Roman Empire was considered as ‘Middle Ages’or ‘Medieval Period’. 
  • About ‘middle ages, they said that religion or church-controlled the minds of all men in a way that all the learning of the Greeks and Romans had been washed out. 
  • The humanists termed the period from the 15th century as ‘modern’. 
  • Modern historians were debating over labelling of an age as dark which they thought as an unfair thing.

Periodisation used by humanists

  • 5th-14th Century: The Middle Ages
  • 5th-9th Century: TheDarkAges
  • 9th-11th Century: The Early Middle Ages
  • 11th-14th Century: The Late Middle Ages
  • 15th Century onwards: The Modern Age

Science and Philosophy

  • The monks and clergymen were familiar with the works of Greek and Roman scholars from the ‘middle Ages’ but they did not left them get known to other people. 
  • By the 14th century, many scholars started to read the translation of Greek writers like Plato and Aristotle. 
  • They were translated and preserved by Arab translators. 
  • Some Europeans read Greek works in Arabic translation and the Greek translated Arabic and Persian scholars work in European languages. 
  • These works were on natural science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and chemistry. 
  • The Almagest of Ptolemy was the work of 140 CE on astronomy in Greek language and was translated into Arabic. 
  • It carried in Arabic alphabet ‘al’ which shows connection with Arabs. 
  • Ibn Sina, an Arb physician and philosopher of Bukhara and al-Razi the author of medieval encyclopaedia were considered as men of knowledge in Italian states. 
  • The Christian thinkers adopted the method of Arab philosopher of Spain(Ibn Rushd) who tried to resolve the tension between philosophical knowledge and religious faith.

Artists and Realism

  • Formal education was not the only way through which humanists shaped the minds of their age. 
  • Art, architecture and books were wonderfully effective in transmitting humanist ideas. 
  • The material remains of Roman culture were sought with as much excitement as ancient texts: a thousand years after the fall of Rome. 
  • The figures of ‘perfectly’ proportioned men and women were sculpted so many centuries ago. 
  • In 1416, Donatello (1386- 1466) broke new ground with his lifelike statues. 
  • To study bone structures, artists went to the laboratories of medical schools. Andreas Vesalius a Belgian and a professor of medicine at the University of Padua, was the first to dissect the human body. 
  • Painters did not have older works to use as a model. But they, like sculptors, painted as realistically as possible. 
  • They found that a knowledge of geometry helped them understand perspective, and that by noting the changing quality of light, their pictures acquired a three-dimensional quality. The use of oil as a medium for painting also gave a greater richness of colour to paintings than before. 
  • There is Chinese and Persian art, available to them by the Mongols. 
  • Thus, anatomy, geometry, physics, as well as a strong sense of what was beautiful, gave a new quality to Italian art, which was to be called ‘realism’ and which continued till the nineteenth century.

Aspirations of women

  • The new ideal of individuality and citizenship excluded women.
  • Men from aristocratic families dominated public life and were the decision-makers in their families.
  • Women dowries were invested in the family businesses, women generally had no say in how their husbands should run their business.
  • If an adequate dowry could not be arranged, daughters were sent to convents to live the life of a nun.
  • The position of women in the families of merchants was different and shopkeepers were very often assisted by their wives in running the shop.
  • The early death of a merchant compelled his widow to perform a larger public role than was the case in aristocratic families.
  • A handful of women who questioned the idea that women were incapable of achieving the qualities of a humanist scholar.
  • Fedele was known for her proficiency in Greek and Latin, and was invited to give orations at the University of Padua.
  • Marchesa of Mantua, Isabella d’Este ruled the state while her husband was absent, and the court of Mantua, a small state, was famed for its intellectual brilliance.
  • Women’s writings revealed their conviction that they should have economic power, property and education to achieve an identity in a world dominated by men.

Debates within Christianity

  • In Fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, many scholars in universities in northern Europe were attracted to humanist ideas. 
  • They called on Christians to practise religion in the way laid down in the ancient texts of their religion. 
  • New view of human beings as free and rational agents and philosophers were inspired by distant God who created man but allowed him complete freedom to live his life freely, in pursuit of happiness ‘here and now’. 
  • Thomas More and Erasmus felt that the Church had become an institution marked by greed, extorting money at will from ordinary people.
  • One of the favourite methods of the clergy was to sell ‘indulgences’, documents which apparently freed the buyer from the burden of the sins he had committed. 
  • Christians came to realise from printed translations of the Bible in local languages that their religion did not permit such practices. 
  • Peasants began to rebel against the taxes imposed by the Church and they were pleased when the humanists pointed out that the clergy’s claim to judicial and fiscal powers originated from a document called the ‘Donation of Constantine’ supposed to have been issued by Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor.

Keywords

  • Humanism: The Latin word humanists from which 'humanities' was derived, had been used many centuries ago by the Roman lawyer and essayist Cicero. It is not drawn from or connected with religion.
  • The New Testament: The New Testament is the section of the Bible dealing with the life and teachings of Christ and his early followers.
  • The Renaissance Man: The term 'Renaissance Man' is often used to describe a person with many interests and skills. They were scholar-diplomat-theologian - artists combined in one.
The document Revision Notes - Changing Cultural Traditions Notes | Study NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12) - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course NCERT Hindi Textbooks (Class 6 to Class 12).
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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