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Renaissance man facts for kids

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Francesco Melzi - Portrait of Leonardo - WGA14795
Portrait of Leonardo Da Vinci by his pupil, Menzi

The term Renaissance man or polymath is used for a very clever person who is good at many different things. The idea comes from a time of history called the Renaissance which lasted from about 1400 to about 1600. One of the most famous people alive during this time was Leonardo da Vinci. He was most famous as a painter, but he was also a scientist, engineer and mathematician. Leonardo is called a "Renaissance man". Another "Renaissance man" was Michelangelo, who was a sculptor, painter, architect and poet.

When the term "Renaissance man" is used, it does not mean that the man really lived in the Renaissance. It can be used for anyone who is very clever at many different things, no matter when that person lived. Albert Schweitzer was a 20th century "Renaissance man" who was a theologian, musician, philosopher and doctor. Benjamin Franklin was a "Renaissance man" who lived in the 18th century (1700s) and was an author and printer, politician, scientist, inventor and soldier.

List of polymaths

  • Aristotle (Greek: Ἀριστοτέλης, Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher who studied and wrote about many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics, biology and zoology.
  • Archimedes (Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης; c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer.
  • Roger Bacon, O.F.M. (c. 1214–1294), also known as Doctor Mirabilis (Latin: "wonderful teacher"), was an English Franciscan friar who was a philosopher, theologian and scientist. He was one of the first people to perform scientific experiments in a modern manner.
  • Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) was an Italian painter, sculptor, engineer, astronomer, anatomist, biologist, geologist, physicist, architect, musician, philosopher and humanist.
  • Michelangelo (March 6, 1475 – February 18, 1564) was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, engineer and theologian (student of the Bible).
  • Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) was an Italian scientist, mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher.
  • Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) was a German philosopher, theologian, physicist, mathematician, historian, librarian and inventor.
  • Mikhail Lomonosov (1711–1765) was a Russian poet, educator, artist, physicist and chemist education.
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). American president who was a horticulturist, architect, archaeologist, inventor, and founder of a university.
  • Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) was a Bengali poet, artist, playwright, novelist, educationist, social reformer, nationalist, business-manager and composer.
  • Sir Winston Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British prime minister, military leader, historian, novelist, painter and sportsman.
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