This article investigates the character of collective perceptions of security in the Renaissance. In addition to the findings of conceptual history, an picture analysis will be used. Besides the concern for salvation and protection from violence and injustice, public welfare was the task of a good government in material terms as well (provision of food, infrastructure). It also comprised the prevention of natural hazards. Legitimation strategies of those who governed and the needs of those who were governed had – according to the region – an impact on the development of specific ways of dealing with natural hazards. “Human security” thus played a part in state-building processes.