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During the Medieval Era, the study of theology (the study

of God) was the most important branch of learning; but

during the Renaissance, people began to pay more attention

to earthly life and the study of humanity, or Humanism,

became a major focus of scholarly attention. Renaissance

humanists relied purely on reason (as opposed to

such things as prayer or Astrology) to investigate subjects

they believed might help them understand human life,

and solve the problems that faced mankind. To do this,

they actively studied the civilizations of ancient Greece

and Rome because they believed that these civilizations

had excelled in humanistic subjects. They dug through

ruins for anything that remained of the long-forgotten

classical cultures and marveled at the fabulous works of

art and architecture they discovered. And Renaissance

humanists traveled to distant monasteries in search of

ancient books, for they believed that the wisdom of the

past would provide the insights they needed to better

understand mankind, the world, and the universe.

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Q: What big shift in thinking away from Medieval patterns occurred among the leaders of the Renaissance and how did the classical civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome influence them?
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