The educational traditions of the Middle Ages continued into the Renaissance. However, many historians have designated the Middle Ages as a negative period while the Renaissance, variously dated, is a good thing and the Reformation and Enlightenment very good things. The ‘Dark Ages’ was coined in the 14th century while the less pejorative Middle Ages was coined in the fifteenth, both by Italian humanists. Renaissance and Enlightenment are modern labels with the former introduced by Jacob Burckhardt in his Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy published in 1860. The word ‘humanist’ is a 19th-century label. The idea that there had been a thousand years of ignorance and superstition prior to the humanists of the 15th century rediscovering some classical learning is not credible, since many of the classics were already known and had been taught for centuries, as the previous chapter has shown. Burckhardt argued that the Middle Ages was a period of stagnation and superstition and assumes a sharp discontinuity between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.