Most of the students know that the term "Renaissance" comes from the Latin or Italian literally translated as "again birth" or "rebirth". This word will usually lead one to ask, "Why was a rebirth essential" and "if society was to be reborn, what would it base its new life on?" The other problem is "did society require being reborn as it was somehow dead or was it reborn for aesthetic or other reasons?"
From around 500 BC to 500 AD Europe had been heavily affected by the Greek and Roman civilizations. The Greeks gave Europe their ideals of democracy, philosophy, virtue and oratory. They gave Europe a common trade language which was to survive long after the Greek civilization had been swallowed up by Rome. The Romans in turn conquered most of the Europe. They adopted Greek ideals which they saw as beneficial and blessed Europe with their own achievements like a system of law, transportation and trade routes, aqueduct building, architecture and peace all through Europe. For the wealthy, privileged, educated and ambitious this was the golden period in time.