During the Middle Ages, a lot of the development made by the ancient Greeks and Romans had been forgotten. People no longer lived comfortable lives or had a good education. There was a lot of war, hunger and poverty. This time is known as the Dark Ages.

Things began to improve around the 1350s. People rediscovered the arts and technologies of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This continued until about 1600 and the time is known as the Renaissance. The word 'renaissance' means 'rebirth'.