While ‘Renaissance’ literally means ‘rebirth,’ it was not merely the renewal of ancient artistic and philosophical traditions. Instead, it blended the contemporaries’ understanding of the ancient legacies with many elements of medieval culture. For example, Humanists appreciated the Greek and Roman past but combined it with genuine Christian piety, which was understandably absent in classical Rome.
Similarly, Lorenzo Ghiberti united the traditions of classical Greek sculpture with medieval models in his works, such as the doors of Florence’s baptistery. Renaissance artists and philosophers were not fascinated with the ancient world merely because they found it aesthetically appealing but because they used it as a (largely idealized) reference point to discuss and interpret their time. With this in mind, one can argue that this time period was not so much a ‘rebirth’ as a ‘reimagination’ of the ancient past from a late Medieval standpoint.