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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in History > THE RENAISSANCE 1300 to 1600

THE RENAISSANCE 1300 to 1600

As the societies around the Mediterranean basin rediscovered their ancient cultural and scientific roots, some of Earth’s greatest thinkers began to attract extraterrestrial attention…
Rosanna (Helen McCrory) in The Vampires of Venice (2010), Queen Elizabeth I (Joanna Page) in The Day of the Doctor (2013) and William Shakespeare (Dean Lennox Kelly) in The Shakespeare Code (2007).
Count Federico (Jon Laurimore) in The Masque of Mandragora (1976).

The Renaissance is essentially a continuation of the Middle Ages, its parameters being less defined by political or social change and more by the development of intellectual and artistic concepts. The movement began in Italy, inspired by the rediscovery of Rome’s ancient past, before burgeoning across Europe. Although many of today’s historians question the use of the term ‘Renaissance’, which was popularised by Jacob Burckhardt in the late nineteenth century, the Doctor has never had any difficulty in viewing this period as a single entity.

The Renaissance was a high point in Earth’s development, characterised by great endeavour but also by great violence. According to the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in The Dæmons (1971), it was just one of a number of great human advancements that were inspired by that serial’s titular aliens.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

“History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand... We’re all too small to realise its final pattern.” Doctor Who’s first journey in 1963 took viewers back to the Stone Age. Since then the TARDIS has visited many other landmarks in a unique chronicle of the Doctor’s favourite planet. Purely historical stories were once a mainstay of the series, but for more than 50 years significant periods in Earth’s past have provided evocative settings for more fantastical adventures. This unprecedented guide takes a trip back in time with the people, places and classic episodes that are essential parts of Doctor Who history.