Throughout the history of mankind, human technology and culture has experienced many advancements and setbacks. As a civilization rises, new technologies are developed, as well as new types of music, art and literature. Then, years, decades, or even centuries later, as that same civilization begins to decline, many of these technologies and arts are lost.
During the Middle Ages, much of the great advancements made by the Greeks and the Romans had been forgotten due to the decline of living conditions in Western Europe. People went from living comfortable lives with good jobs and educations, to living in very poor conditions, where there was constant turmoil, war, poverty and hunger. This time period is known as the Dark Ages.
The Dark Ages lasted for hundreds of years, as many generations of individuals lived and died in these terrible conditions. Then, in the mid 1300s A.D., things slowly began to improve. People began again to discover the arts and technologies of the Romans and Greeks, making life a little easier. We call this period of time the Renaissance. The Renaissance began around 1350 A.D. in Italy, and continued until about 1600 A.D.