Renaissance, in a broad sense, the culturally fruitful period of transition from the medieval era into the beginning of modern civilization in Europe. In a more restricted meaning, the word refers to the revival of interest in classical Greek and Roman culture that began in Italy during the 14th century. Renaissance is French for “rebirth.”

It is hard to assign beginning and ending dates to the Renaissance, for there was considerable shading and overlapping. Some historians maintain that the Renaissance extended from the middle of the 14th century to the middle of the 17th. The time of its beginning, and its duration, varied from country to country.