Difference Between Renaissance and Middle Ages

What’s The Difference Between Renaissance and Middle Ages

The Renaissance and Middle Ages are some of the most essential eras in human history. However, if we compare the two time periods, we can notice a big difference between the two. Therefore, we took it upon ourselves to enlighten you about the difference between renaissance and middle ages.

You should keep this in mind, both of these periods were very complex and were the keystones in carving how human society functions up to this date. Thus, we needed to compose this article in a very easy-to-read manner.

Anyways, since both of these intervals have their own stories, we should start with a table. Thus, in the next section, we have provided you with a chart containing all the differences and information about the two times.


What Is the Renaissance?

If you are done with the table, it is time that we move on to the details regarding this era.

What It Signifies?

Renaissance Architecture

The Renaissance period is a time of reawakening for us human beings. Earlier, we were bound and hindered by many superstitious beliefs and were dictated by several religious authorities that stopped us from having any progressive thoughts. However, after the beginning of the late 13th century, things started to change.

It was a very minor change, but we started to make new developments in technologies, come up with new scientific discoveries, and started to think more rationally.

And, by the 17th century, we were already adding pieces of machinery to industries to reduce manual labor and build more efficient manufacturing businesses.

We were also no longer held back by the orthodox ideas and were able to explore our individual goals and agendas.


Some Good Things That Happened During the Renaissance:

Some numerous discoveries and events took place during the Renaissance. Here is a list of some of them:

  1. The appearance of the first currency surfaced in 1429, which allowed us to make easier and fairer transactions.
  2. We changed our way of how the world was perceived due to famous explorers like Columbus and many others like him.
  3. In 1570, we came up with the very first atlas book (initial version of the globe or world map), which enabled us to see the world.


What Is the Medieval?

Many consider the Middle Ages as a dark time, but we actually think otherwise. Yes, but they were records of mostly the European church. On the flip side, other religions like Islam were thriving. Do you want more details? Keep reading!

What It Signifies?

Medieval Architecture

The Middle Ages started from the 5th century to the 15th century. If you do a little calculation, even five centuries ago, we were in the Middle Ages. Anyways, the Middle Ages was the period when religious organizations ruled the people, and superstition made people fear the unknown.

Now, we are not saying that religion was the culprit. If someone is the culprit for birthing such a devastating moment was the European Churches. They were very oppressive. However, other religions like Islam were doing an excellent job.

Empires like Ottoman, Ayyubid, and Umayyad ensured no oppression was brought upon their people. Yes, the countries were very religious, but everyone had their rights, and oppression was never a thing. Besides, Muslim cities like Baghdad and Cordova were considered the epicenter of knowledge at that time.

In short, due to the oppressive European church, the middle age was called dark. Nevertheless, the real picture is very different.

Main Differences Between Religion and Spirituality


The Main Difference Between Renaissance & Middle Ages

The thing is, both of these eras coexisted in very similar time frames. One started right after the other. So, differentiating between the two might not be a very simple deal. You need not worry as this section should clear all your doubts!

  • Renaissance started in the late 13th century and lasted till the 17th century. Now, the Middle Ages began in the 5th century and went all the way to the 15th century. From the 1300s to the 1500s, modernity (the sole aspect of the Renaissance) was slowly becoming prominent. And by the 1500s, it came to fruition.
  • Renaissance is a time when science and intellectual growth were giving the most importance. In the Middle Ages, religion and superstition were the main factors.
  • In the Middle Ages, people were very religious and believed everything their religious authority preached. Now, some took advantage of that, which is why the era bears loads of negative impacts. During the Renaissance, people solely focused on what they perceived as right.


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Medieval vs Renaissance: A Comparison Table

The reason why we chose a tabular format to introduce you to the topic is pretty simple; we wanted to imbue as much info as possible. And the best way to do that is by providing you a renaissance vs middle ages chart that quickly and smoothly compares both the features of the era side-by-side. So, let us get started!

Factors to be Compared



Meaning & More

The word Renaissance means ‘Rebirth’ in French. It is marked as the time when we humans finally moved into the era of modernity.

If you want a more summarized time frame, then the epoch of Renaissance began in the 15th century and lasted to about the 16th century. The Renaissance is stated to be the era when we evolved intellectually and culturally.

The Middle Ages is a period that lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It lasted from when the Western Roman Empire was a prominent figure all the way to the Renaissance and the days of discovery. Some call it a period where trying new things was taboo, religious authority controlled most of the cities, and technology was not a very prominent thing.


If we make rough estimations, it started in the 15th century and lasted till the 16th century. Nonetheless, studies show that it actually began in the late 13th century and lasted until the 17th century.

The Medieval, on the other hand, dates way back! It started in the 5th century and lasted as long as the 16th century, almost up to the Renaissance period. We can deem it an era where we made no significant technological, modern, or cultural changes.


The Renaissance is marked as the era when we started learning new things about the world. During this era, we made massive developments, like introducing machinery in factories to reduce manual labor, we came up with new technologies, accepted new ideologies, and so much more. In short, we can title the Renaissance as the period when we started to evolve our old and primitive ways into more modern and progressing ones.

Well, the Middle Ages were considered a Dark era for human intellect and societal norms. It was a time when we relied heavily on religious authorities, and superstition was a big thing. Also, as scientific advancement was considered taboo, medical issues were pretty prominent at that time. However, without the Middle Ages, we would not have come this far!


The Renaissance is the period when science and logical thinking were considered the most appropriate manners. In the Middle Ages, we solely focused and believed in religious authorities. Whatever they said was considered the law, and humans abided by them.


We hope that you understand how different these two generations are! One is a time when intellect, progressing thoughts, and science was a prominent thing. On the other hand, the other is a time when religion was widely practiced and respected.

All of these are covered in our difference between renaissance and middle ages guide in detail. However, you have to know that both of these eras were essential for us humans to grow.

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