A Renaissance Event is defined as a flowering of artistic creativity, scientific discovery, development in technology and trade, together with some significant changes in the operation of personal culture, political ferment. There is typically a "rediscovery" of some older cultural models and information or an influx of new foreign ideas or both, and usually an upsurge in local population. Renaissance events often set the pattern for future cultural development in ages to follow. Some significant Renaissance periods in Old Earth history include Sung dynasty China, Gupta era India, and of course the European Renaissance for which such events have since been named. Since the advent of historical records all such events are literally "Renaissance" events, since they inevitably occur in reference to other, older cultures, however novel their own inventions may be.
It is theoretically possible to engineer a Renaissance event among modosophonts given certain preconditions and some careful memetic engineering, but even as late as the Early Empires era the necessary memetic conceptual tools had not been fully developed. (The failed FreedomWorld project at the foundation of Daffy is a case in point). Even today, despite huge advances in memetics, most Renaissance events appear to be natural rather than planned. Transapients' explanations as to why this should be so are not consistent with one another.
The following are a few of the best known post-Nanoswarm Renaissance events. First Order events are those that influenced the entire Terragen Sphere, Second Order events are those with strong regional influence and some effect on the rest of the Terragen Sphere, and Third Order events are those with strong planetary or system-wide influence but with more limited effects in their region and niche influence in the overall Terragen milieu.