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The importance of dark ages for Western Civilization

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posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 07:48 PM
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In actuality, the "Dark Ages" are far from a barbarian time of decay. European civilization has been formed during the "Dark Ages", and almost everything that we usually think of as Western Culture has been invented during the "Dark Ages".

Here are just a few examples:

* The nation-state.
* The parliament.
* Constitutions.
* The jury.
* Banks.
* Stock markets.
* Guilds.
* Christianity as we know it.
* Architecture as a science. (Gothic churches, castles.)
* The concept of romantic love.
* The windmill.
* Cursive writing.
* Punctuation. (Including the space between words.)
* Municipal governments.
* The mechanical clock.
* Firearms.
* Scissors.
* Transoceanic ships.
* The printing press.
* Glass (and glasses.)
* Pants and skirts.
* Buttons. (The kind that hold clothes together.)
* The compass.
* The stirrup.
* Fertilizer.
* Crop rotation.
* The first encylcopedias.
* The formation of all modern European nationalities and languages.

This is of course far from a complete list, but should be enough to show the importance of the "Dark Ages" in a global context. We are all, in fact, children of the "Dark Ages" culturally and socially. (At least those of us who have European ancescestors.)

everything2.com...

Very interesting read for individual who portray the dark ages as a dark part of history.

The term dark was used to "to convey first and foremost a distinct lack of sources, formal writings or specific information. Historians writing during and after the Renaissance (ca. 1350-1500) had rediscovered all manner of material covering antiquity, and could be relatively clear on the events of the past century or so, but there seemed a vast, impenetrable gulf of time between the Hellenic-Roman sources and these recent writings. It became rather difficult to establish what precisely humankind had been up to in Europe for those occluded five centuries, so scholars began to postulate and build up a narrative for a half-millennium of wanton barbarity, deadly plague, infernal savagery and little else."

Dark Ages was just another step for mankind on a direction, no matter which direction we choose, at the end of the day we will end up in the same destination, so have a think, have a read and tell me what you think.

oozy




posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 08:49 PM
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i'm going to wait till others chime in on this one.

2nd line.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 10:06 PM
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I think you've confused the Dark Ages with the Medieval period. They are not the same.

The Dark Ages began around 500 C.E., give or take (estimates go as early as 410 C.E.). They end somewhere around 1000 C.E., though some place the ending date later than that. These were indeed dark ages.

The European printing press was invented in about 1440 C.E., much later than the Dark Ages (during the beginning of the Renaissance). Same with most of the other inventions listed. They came, not during the Dark Ages, but during the Renaissance period, when the Dark Ages were finally drawing to a close.

You also have to understand that "Dark Ages" refer to different times, for different cultures. When Westerners refer to the Dark Ages, they are talking about the ones in Europe. During that time, the cultures in the Islamic and Asian worlds were flourishing. It can be argued that the Islamic world is now in its own Dark Age.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 10:08 PM
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Interesting these things came out of a time most believe we regressed.

Personally I think it was a time of growth, internal growth. Don't know...maybe just a time of fear and despair but I do believe great thing come of despair.

I have always had a sense of oneness with the dark ages, as though I was there. Regardless, I relate to it, for whatever that means.



posted on Oct, 16 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by chiron613
 


Bing, pretty much what i was going to say!

I find it funny that the way material is presented, you would think that the whole world sank into the same stalling point Europe did during those times.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 10:32 PM
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Yes while Rome fell and what was the Western Roman Empire languished Byzantium rose to new heights.



posted on Nov, 17 2009 @ 11:17 PM
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Originally posted by oozyism

In actuality, the "Dark Ages" are far from a barbarian time of decay. European civilization has been formed during the "Dark Ages", and almost everything that we usually think of as Western Culture has been invented during the "Dark Ages".

Here are just a few examples:

* The nation-state.
* The parliament.
* Constitutions.
* The jury.
* Banks.
* Stock markets.
* Guilds.
* Christianity as we know it.
* Architecture as a science. (Gothic churches, castles.)
* The concept of romantic love.
* The windmill.
* Cursive writing.
* Punctuation. (Including the space between words.)
* Municipal governments.
* The mechanical clock.
* Firearms.
* Scissors.
* Transoceanic ships.
* The printing press.
* Glass (and glasses.)
* Pants and skirts.
* Buttons. (The kind that hold clothes together.)
* The compass.
* The stirrup.
* Fertilizer.
* Crop rotation.
* The first encylcopedias.
* The formation of all modern European nationalities and languages.

This is of course far from a complete list, but should be enough to show the importance of the "Dark Ages" in a global context. We are all, in fact, children of the "Dark Ages" culturally and socially. (At least those of us who have European ancescestors.)

everything2.com...

Very interesting read for individual who portray the dark ages as a dark part of history.

The term dark was used to "to convey first and foremost a distinct lack of sources, formal writings or specific information. Historians writing during and after the Renaissance (ca. 1350-1500) had rediscovered all manner of material covering antiquity, and could be relatively clear on the events of the past century or so, but there seemed a vast, impenetrable gulf of time between the Hellenic-Roman sources and these recent writings. It became rather difficult to establish what precisely humankind had been up to in Europe for those occluded five centuries, so scholars began to postulate and build up a narrative for a half-millennium of wanton barbarity, deadly plague, infernal savagery and little else."

Dark Ages was just another step for mankind on a direction, no matter which direction we choose, at the end of the day we will end up in the same destination, so have a think, have a read and tell me what you think.

oozy


A damn large number of those were in fact invented outside Europe. Several more were prior to or after the dark ages. If you're gonna go by things invented solely in the European dark age, then out of that list you're left with...
* The parliament.
* The jury
* Stock markets.
* Christianity as we know it. (only assuming that by christianity you mean Roman and Irish Catholicism)
* The mechanical clock.
* The formation of all modern European nationalities and languages. (Debatable, especially since many of these would predate the Dark Ages - Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Hungary, Wales and Ireland, etc., while others are modern creations - Poland, the assorted former Yugoslavian states, Italy, Germany, Finland. Most modern European languages don't much resemble their Dark Ages ancestors, either. Save for Faroese, Basque, and Icelandic)

And out of those, two - Juries and Parlaiments - are the invention of Vikings. The other three are products of areas that remained strongly Romanized and never really had a "dark age".



posted on Nov, 18 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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It's true your timespan and list are both a bit over-enthusiastic, Oozy, but here's a star and a flag for you all the same. Anything which makes people think a bit about history gets my vote.

You made an important point about how the Dark Ages came to be called that. Comparatively little writing was done during them and not much of it survived to later ages, so the era was 'dark' to historians.

In truth, the European Dark Ages were pretty dark, though the Roman Empire that preceded them was hardly an ideal of sweetness and light. As the author of Spartacus insisted, it doesn't do to forget that the Roman Empire was built on slavery and massive institutionalized cruelty.

Other parts of the world have had dark ages that were, perhaps, less dark.



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