① Middle Ages: The Dark Ages

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 5:32:18 PM

Middle Ages: The Dark Ages

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The Dark Ages (The Plague) [History] (2007)

More and more towns and cities were wresting control of their own governments from the hands of the clergy or nobility that had previously ruled them. And the reduction in population triggered economic and political changes that would never be reversed. High medieval society had been characterized by the corporation. The nobility, the clergy, the peasantry, the guilds —all were group entities that saw to the welfare of their members but put the welfare of the community, and their own community in particular, first. Now, as was reflected in the Italian Renaissance, a new regard for the value of the individual was growing.

By no means was late medieval nor early modern society a culture of equality, but the seeds of the idea of human rights had been sown. The viewpoints examined in the previous pages are by no means the only ways to look at the Middle Ages. Anyone studying a smaller geographical area, such as Great Britain or the Iberian Peninsula, will much more easily discover start- and end-dates for the era. Students of art, literature, sociology, militaria, and any number of subjects will each find specific turning points pertinent to their topic of interest. And I don't doubt that you, too, will see a particular event that strikes you as possessed of such towering importance that it defines the beginning or end of the medieval era for you.

The comment has been made that all historical eras are arbitrary definitions and, therefore, how the Middle Ages is defined really has no significance. I believe that the true historian will find something lacking in this approach. Defining historical eras not only makes each era more accessible to the newcomer, it helps the serious student identify interrelated events, recognize patterns of cause and effect, understand the influence of a period's culture on those who lived within it and, ultimately, find a deeper meaning in the story of our past.

So make your own choice, and reap the benefits of approaching the Middle Ages from your own unique perspective. Whether you are a serious scholar following the path of higher education or a devoted amateur like me, any conclusions you can support with facts will not only have validity but will help you make the Middle Ages your own. And do not be surprised if your view of Medieval times changes over the course of your studies.

My own outlook has certainly evolved in the last 25 years, and will most likely continue to do so as long as the Middle Ages continues to hold me in its thrall. Share Flipboard Email. Melissa Snell. History Expert. Melissa Snell is a historical researcher and writer specializing in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Updated February 18, Cite this Article Format. Snell, Melissa. Medieval Clothing by Region and Period.

An Introduction to Ancient Classical History. Definitions and Discussions of Medieval Rhetoric. What Is Aristocracy? In order to denounce the Latin literature, he coined this phrase. Nowadays, nobody use this term, yet, it can be used to represent the period following the fall of Roman Empire in the Western World. Some historians consider it as the period from to AD. After the fall of Roman Empire, the European people faced a political disintegration and various new and small kingdoms evolved and tried to capture power over common people and capital.

While the fall of Roman Empire was considered as the fall of an Imperial despotic power, it was subsequently replaced by various tyrants and despots. It was the period of wars and struggles between the barbarians, the Vikings, members of nobility, the Germanic powers and the old Greece. During this tumultuous period of political struggles, Christianity evolved as a strong religious movement that tried to unite the people of Europe. Obviously, it was a period of religious struggles. Orthodox Christians and Catholics had directly opposite views about the situations. According to orthodox Christians, this period represented Catholic corruption.

Orthodox Christians stressed for Church reforms which later came as Protestant reform. Lutheran scholars produced a book of ecclesiastical history which was named as Magdeburg centuries. This book was published in between and This book was clearly anti-Catholic and it expressed the Papacy as the anti-Christ. In order to defend themselves against the Orthodox Christians, they published another book named, Annales Ecclesiastici which was written by cardinal Caesar Baronius. The Muslims fought and defeated kingdoms and gave way for intellectual and social heresy behind them.

Muslim invasions were a serious and continuous issue until the period of the Crusades. However, this age old conflict between Christianity and Islam never stopped and it is present until this day. This dark medieval period was a tumultuous time when small kingdoms fought for their existence and expansion. Apart from political struggles, people were also struggling for religious movements. Because of these struggles and a general environment of insecurity, people were forced to accept the tyrannical feudal system and serfdom. During these political and religious conflicts, barbarians and Muslims invaded and conquered lands and devastated kingdoms.

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