Around 1300, scholars in western Europe developed a new interest in classical writings, or the writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans. These scholars improved their knowledge of Greek and latin. They also began to accept some Greek and Roman ideas.

One idea that the scholars accepted was the belief in the importance of people. Because of this, the scholars were called humanists. Their work caused a break with the thinking of the Middle Ages and led to a new age called the Renaissance, a French word meaning "rebirth." During this age, people became less concerned with the mysteries of heave and more interested in the world around them.