The term "dark ages" fair?

The term "dark ages" fair?

  • Yes

    Votes: 28 40.6%
  • No

    Votes: 40 58.0%
  • No idea

    Votes: 1 1.4%

  • Total voters
    69
Sep 2010
3,538
Somewhere in the former First French Empire
#1
Do you find the term "dark ages" fair for those 1000 years in European history or is it insulting for all the things that indeed were achieved in those years. Should we rename the time period or is it as good as it is?
 
Aug 2010
16,162
Welsh Marches
#2
I'm afraid it's an ambiguous term; as applied to the early Middle Ages, from the end of the Western Empire to about 1000, it seems fair enough, both as regards the comparative level of the general culture and our knowledge of it. But European culture was not dead during that period, and there were some fine achievements.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#3
I voted yes. In Europe at least, there was a definite decline in the quality of life, at least for "common" people.
 

Rasta

Ad Honoris
Aug 2009
21,071
Minnesnowta
#5
I say yes, it is appropriate. Besides the general decline in culture (yes it's a generalization), it also explains the relatively chaotic atmosphere.
 
Jan 2009
8,487
In the Past
#8
Life was terrible. at least compared to earlier ages. My History Teacher once said that the Catholic Church gained great power in this era in large part (though not the only reason) because the lower classes, starting to live in a smaller more restricted feudal system, had not much more then death, and thereafter, to live towards. Also we have little knowledge of the era.
 
May 2011
13,889
Navan, Ireland
#9
Life was terrible. at least compared to earlier ages. My History Teacher once said that the Catholic Church gained great power in this era in large part (though not the only reason) because the lower classes, starting to live in a smaller more restricted feudal system, had not much more then death, and thereafter, to live towards. Also we have little knowledge of the era.

Was it any better in the latter middle ages or the industrial slums of the 19th century?

There was for most of the western no Catholic church, just the Church ( a small Celtic/British church and the Eastern church in Byzantine empire).

And you are correct it is Dark because of our lack of knowledge that does not mean it was that 'dark'.

So for instance for the town dwellers of Roman Britain things did change for the worse but for most in the country things would have gone on much as before.
 
Aug 2010
16,162
Welsh Marches
#10
It would be absurd, I think, to regard the later Middle Ages as being in any way a dark age; it's a shame that so many people's attitudes about that era are so largely based on myth (hence the use of 'medieval' as a term of abuse). After all, perhaps the finest of all European architecture dates from that period.
 

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