https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9780429292354/3abb420d-80da-4aed-a9cf-ae5c42b997f9/content/ifig0001.tif"/>In 1494 when the French burst into Italy they entered a new world, the world of the Renaissance. The Renaissance itself can be compared to an army slowly conquering the minds of men, an army subdivided into independent but affiliated units. Among its major brigades were the rediscovery of Roman and Greek literature and a wave of enthusiasm for classic civilization; an explosion of genius and of new ideas and techniques in art, literature, architecture and scholarship; a secularization of life which emphasized the joys of this world and the capacities of individual men in contrast to the medieval belief in the miseries of life on earth and the supreme importance of the life to come in heaven or hell.