Wednesday, January 9, 2013
The Dark Ages (of Western Europe)
The term "the Dark Ages" is an imprecise label for the time period in mostly Western Europe after the Fall of the Roma Empire to some period in the Middle Ages. The period generally lasted from the 5th to 9th centuries C.E. The Dark Ages were hallmarked by the reduction of large cities, as well as the loss of population, technology, trade, central government and in general the higher civilization of the Roman World. During this time, Western Europe devolved from one empire into literally thousands of kingdoms, principalities, duchies, city states and the like. It was truly an era were "Might makes Right" was the rule.
The one unifying factor of the period was the Roman Christian faith that withstood the fall of the empire and expanded into the myriad of new states that were forming in Europe. For centuries the Church kept the light of reading and writing lit in a part of the World that had lost the need for such a skill.
With the coming of Charlemagne, in the 9th century, the losses of the Dark Ages were slowly reversed and the growth of the Middle Ages truly begun. Yet it would still be several centuries before the Renaissance would fully push Europe onto the road of technological and social growth that would propel humankind into the Modern of today.