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RUINS OF ANCIENT ROME: Throughout Italy their were ruins of ancient Rome like art and architecture. The ruins remind Romans about their glorious past. CITY-STATES: At this time Italy was made up of many states and wasn't a single country some of the most important were Florence, Milan, Venice and Genoa. These states competed in who had the best art and buildings. WEALTH OF ITALIAN CITIES: During the middle ages, Italy was the centre of trade in Europe. Merchants brought silk and spices from Aisa and they became rich. Ideas and knowledge came with them. They used the knowledge to become patrons of the art. FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE:Constaninople (now Istanbul) was the capital of the eastern Roman empire. Scholars in this city kept learning of Greece and Rome alive. Scholars came to Italy and Italians went to Constantinople to learn from their manuscripts. Ottoman Turks threatened their city for many years before capturing it in 1453. Before it was captured, many scholars went to Italy and took their manuscripts with them. INVENTION OF THE PRINTING-PRESS: Copying manuscripts was slow and expensive. In the fifteenth century was invented. Now the learning of Greece and Rome could spread more rapidly through Europe. By the fourteenth century much of northern Italy was extremely wealthy. It was a great trade area that sold woolen cloth which sold rapidly. Florence was a major trading city. Positined near the sea for trade and safe from pirates.cities of Genoa, Venice and Milan also lay on important European trade routes wealthy rulers could support artists The Renaissance is thought of as beginning in Florence, Venice, and other Italian cities, with various historians dating the beginning as early as the late 13th century or as late as about 1350 or 1400. All of these dates place it before the invention of the printing press or the fall of Constantinople, and the earlier ones make the Late Middle Ages coincidental with the first have of the Renaissance. There were a number of contributory factors, one of which was that the cities in which the Renaissance began were republican city states, which put middle class people in power, rather than the nobility, and these were people who saw a constant need to improve and advertise their importance. Another cause was that Italy was a focus for shipping in southern Europe, making the merchants there very wealthy. Another cause was the destruction of the Knights Templar, who had run a very effective system for storage and transportation of money. This produced a financial vacuum in which powerful merchant families could build banking empires with no national boundaries. There is a link below on the origins of the Renaissance. First of all, Italy had been the center of the Roman Empire. Italy's cities had become very wealthy. The region was still divided into many small city-states.