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Monday, April 9, 2018

Were the 'Dark Ages' Really Dark?

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  1. Yes, the church, despite many failings, we can thank for preserving ancient culture and art, which in turn gave us the Western civilization of today. A most interesting article, refreshing for its absence of leftist propoganda.

  2. Much as I sympathise with the highlighting of the facts mentioned in this article, it tends to ignore the 800lb gorilla of the collapse of the western Roman Empire in the face of the migrations from the east, bringing the Franks, Burgundians, Saxons, Goths, Vandals Huns etc into the previously settled and peaceful lands of Western Europe. This collapse of Pax Romana is significant, and sees a fall in levels of education, including literacy and knowledge of Latin, let alone Greek, as well as the destruction of many cities and country estates; the old saw that the Romans had invented underfloor heating that was lost for 1000 years in the west is a legitimate argument on the issue. Whilst the monasteries did try to be the conduit for the maintenance of classical knowledge, the reality is that they barely succeeded; that the Byzantine Empire and the persistence of classical knowledge in Islamic lands were far more significant in this is a reality that we have to accept, however painful.

    The article is particularly flawed in attempting to dismiss the existence of the 'Dark Ages' by appeal to the successes of the LATER Medieval period. Of course this did indeed see many successes, but the 'Dark Ages' are best dated as the experience of Western Europe from as early as 350 to perhaps 1000, as being a period of relative disorder and destruction of civilisation; the collapse in the population and status of the city of Rome is a clear symptom of this.


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