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When did the Dark Ages begin?

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754781.  Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:18 am Reply with quote

Ion Zone wrote:
If I remember, the medieval 'Dark Ages' are actually a myth resultant from nostalgia for the Greek\Roman period. The actual phrase comes from a poem.

More accurately, the "dark ages" or "middle ages" were used as negative labels by later historians who believed that theirs was the "true" age and that those before it were just connecting phases from the "classical" era without any development/culture/&c.
There's never really been any agreement as to when they started and ended. Reading back over my notes from the first medieval history lecture this semester, I have:
- The Middle Ages/Dark Ages
o Future historians gave these times their negative connotations
 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) (1304-1374)
 B.C. vs A.D. reversed (dark becomes light, light becomes dark)
• Dismissive of past culture
• Dark Ages = time without culture, according to historians of the time
o Disagreement as to chronological boundaries of the Dark Ages
 Domenico Bandini of Arezzo
• 100 years
 Leonardo Bruni
• 700 years (from the Fall of Rome to the 1300s)
• “first modern historian”
o Not dependent on Christianity
 Flavio Biondo
• First to call the period the “middle ages” (medium aevum)
• 1000 years (412-1412)

Apologies for the symbol failure (I'm copying from MS Word).

754785.  Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:30 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
ali wrote:
Ian Dunn wrote:

Well, at least some people voted for him unlike Gordon Brown.

or Winston Churchill.

Churchill did win an election in 1951

True, and Brown may yet come back and win one (I'm not going to hold my breath though); but the point is that if Brown didn't have a mandate when he was PM then neither did Churchill in 1940-45 - and the real point is that nobody ever votes for PM, because the system doesn't work like that.

T J Alex
891228.  Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:10 pm Reply with quote

Dark Ages and Middle ages are completely different periods.

The Dark Ages followed the fall of Rome and preceded the Middle Ages.

Norman Castle
905624.  Mon Apr 30, 2012 10:19 pm Reply with quote

The dark ages began when the knights drew in.

905757.  Tue May 01, 2012 10:36 am Reply with quote

Ba-doom-tish! And being a Norman, you would know...

908618.  Fri May 11, 2012 12:38 pm Reply with quote

I read in one of the Horrible Histories (or similar) that 'The Dark Ages' are so called because we don't know much about them (we're 'in the dark' about them). I'm not sure how true that is but I never questioned it until reading this thread. I have always been baffled by the phrase 'it's like something out of the dark ages', largely because of the above book.


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