The Renaissance, also known as "Il Rinascimento" (in Italian), was an influential cultural movement which brought about a period of scientific revolution and artistic transformation, at the dawn of modern European history. It marks the transitional period between the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the Modern Age. The Renaissance is usually considered to have originated in the 14th century in northern Italy and begun in the late 15th century in northern Europe.
The term Rebirth (Rinascenza), to indicate the flourishing of artistic and scientific activities starting in Italy in the mid-1300's, was first used by the Italian historian Giorgio Vasari in the Vite, published in 1550. The term Renaissance is the French translation, used by French historian Jules Michelet, and expanded upon by Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt (both in the 1860s). Rebirth is used in two ways. First, it means rediscovery of ancient classical texts and learning and their applications in the arts and sciences. Second, it means that the results of these intellectual activities created a revitalization of European culture in general. Thus it is possible to speak of the Renaissance in two different but meaningful ways: A rebirth of classical learning and knowledge through the rediscovery of ancient texts, and also a rebirth of European culture in general. Wikipedia