Every age has a kind of universal genius, which inclines those that live in it to some particular studies.
—John Dryden, English poet (1631 to 1700)
The Historical Renaissance Man
The Renaissance Period, which stretched from the 14th through the 17th centuries, originated in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe. It is probably best remembered for its many exceptionally gifted individuals, a good deal of them of Italian extraction, and hence the term renaissance man. To most people, Leonardo Da Vinci immediately comes to mind; he was considered the renaissance man extraordinaire, being the archetype of the universal genius. He had exceptional knowledge in a number of disciplines; art, engineering, medicine, philosophy, ...