This was the era of St. Francis, St. Clare, St. Thomas Aquinas, Dante, Beatrice, Giotto, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Bonaventure, St. Dominic, the mathematician Fibonacci, the medical doctor Theodoric Borgognoni, and Marco Polo.
Ezzelino da Romano and Oberto Pallavicino, allies of Frederick II, vied with him in brutality.
Friar Giordano da Pisa wrote in 1306 "It is not yet twenty years since there was found the art of making eyeglasses, which make for good vision.”
The spirit of the 1200s was generated by Christians embracing the natural or physical world. Consider Thomas’ theory of perception (God created the human mind to understand and the world to be understood.) and Francis’ closeness to nature and Giotto’s realistic paintings. Italian explorers were curious about, Italian friars were involved with, Italian scientists were focused on God's Creation.
The thirteenth century was one of the most crucial times in history. The achievements of the thirteenth century led to the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery and the Scientific Revolution and eventually to the rise of limited government.
There is so much to love about Italian art in the 1200s: the paintings with gold leaf and lapis lazuli as well as the realistic angels.
In the Inferno Canto XI Dante wrote: Your art follows nature, when it can just as a pupil imitates his master; so that your art is almost God’s grandchild.
The 12 Apostles went out into the world spreading the teaching of Jesus. In the 1200s Christians also went out into the world. Is this a coincidence?
The Church proclaimed God in 3 persons in the 300s. Is this a coincidence too?