The Renaissance was a period in history that witnessed a cultural and intellectual revival in classical learning, particularly devoted to the study of Greek and Roman principles. The arts and literature flourished, major scientific discoveries came to light, and new territories were explored and conquered during this significant era.
The French term "renaissance" means "rebirth." This "reawakening" of ancient knowledge started in Italy and later spread among European nations. The Renaissance period saw the emergence of Italian masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo; the discovery of the New World by Columbus; the rise of Protestantism under Martin Luther; and the development of new technologies such as Gutenberg's printing press.