Renaissance Humanism was an intellectual movement typified by a revived interest in the classical world and studies which focussed not on religion but on what it is to be human. Its origins went back to 14th-century Italy and such authors...
Renaissance architecture originated in Italy and superseded the Gothic style over a period generally defined as 1400 to 1600. Features of Renaissance buildings include the use of the classical orders and mathematically precise ratios of height...
Gold in Antiquity
Gold, chemical symbol Au (from the Latin aurum meaning 'shining dawn'), is a precious metal which has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues...
Silver in Antiquity
Silver had great value and aesthetic appeal in many ancient cultures where it was used to make jewellery, tableware, figurines, ritual objects and rough-cut pieces known as hacksilver which could be used in trade or to store wealth. The metal...
Amber in Antiquity
Amber, the fossilised resin of trees, was used throughout the ancient world for jewellery and decorative objects. The main source was the Baltic region where amber, known to mineralogists as succinite, was washed up onto beaches and easily...
Silk in Antiquity
Silk is a fabric first produced in Neolithic China from the filaments of the cocoon of the silk worm. It became a staple source of income for small farmers and, as weaving techniques improved, the reputation of Chinese silk spread so that...
Leon Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472 CE) was an Italian scholar, architect, mathematician, and advocate of Renaissance humanism. Alberti famously wrote the treatise On Architecture where he outlines the key elements of classical architecture...
Pottery in Antiquity
Pottery is the first synthetic material ever created by humans. The term refers to objects made of clay that have been fashioned into the desired shape, dried, and either fired or baked to fix their form. Due to its abundance and durability...
Copper in Antiquity
Copper was probably the first metal used by ancient cultures, and the oldest artefacts made with it date to the Neolithic period. The shiny red-brown metal was used for jewellery, tools, sculpture, bells, vessels, lamps, amulets, and death...
Germanic Forces Cross the Rhine, 406 CE
Germanic forces cross the Rhine and invade the Roman Empire in 406 CE. Illustration by Zvonimir Grbasic.