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The Dark Ages: Were They Darker Than We Imagined?

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posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 02:54 PM
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Published in the September 1999 issue of Universe.

As we approach the end of the Second Millennium, a review of ancient history is not what you would normally expect to read in the pages of Universe. Indeed, except for reflecting on the AD 837 apparition of Halley's Comet (when it should have been as bright as Venus and would have moved through 60 degrees of sky in one day as it passed just 0.03 AU from Earth - three times closer than Hyakutake in 1996), you may well wonder what we could learn from any astronomical events that occurred more than a thousand years ago.

Any history text will say that the Dark Ages refers to the period after the fall of the Roman Empire in the middle of the 1st Millennium (it was not sponsored by the International Dark Sky Association). It was a time when European civilisation stagnated - even that term is a generous description of the living standards and social setting of the next few centuries. In a broader sense, however, "Dark Ages" can be applied to a few eras of social upheaval over the last several thousand years, which fits in nicely with what you're about to read - stay with me, as the possible astronomical implications will soon become apparent.


These are the statements that are interesting...


The Italian historian Flavius Cassiodorus wrote about conditions that he experienced during the year AD 536:

"The Sun...seems to have lost its wonted light, and appears of a bluish colour. We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigour of the Sun's heat wasted into feebleness, and the phenomena which accompany an eclipse prolonged through almost a whole year. We have had a summer without heat. The crops have been chilled by north winds, [and] the rain is denied."

Other writers of the time described similar conditions:

Procopius : "...during this year a most dread portent took place. For the Sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear."

Lydus : "The Sun became dim...for nearly the whole year...so that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time."

Michael the Syrian : "The Sun became dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow...the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."

Was this a local phenomenon? According to the book Volcanoes of the World, Dr. Timothy Bratton has noted that there was a small eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in AD 536. Could this be the cause? It may well have contributed to the scene (although the eruption was much smaller than the big one of AD 79), but it can not really account for the similar conditions that were experienced around the world.


So, I bring this up to all of you, Is this metaphorical? Perhaps from a volcano exploding?

As the picture above shows could it be something from the skies? UFO's? There was that report of fighting observed in the skies long before we had achieved flight. Could it have just been a meteor that exploded in the air like Tunguska?

I found what the writer's wrote (
) about this event is that they describe almost like an eclipse, what could cause a year long eclipse?

I found this story very interesting and thought I would share it with all of you and see what others opinions were. Hopefully it will lead to an interesting discussion.


Any thoughts?

Pred...




posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 03:07 PM
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The dark age lasts until December 21, 2012



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 03:18 PM
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I call BS, the writers of the time aren't to be taken seriously, the dark ages were full of ignorance and lies, if I took the word of every ancient text i'd be a Christian, or Jew, or Muslim etc. i'd believe in Atlantis, i'd thing the Germanic tribes were savages and the Romans were cool, and noble. No I don't take on faith a word any of these ancient writers say. If the U.S.gets blown up through some stupid war for the elites and 1000 years from now someone finds a text book that survived, Or a news clip from Fox, I hope they call BS on it too.
edit on 16-4-2011 by XxRagingxPandaxX because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 03:28 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


It all makes sense to me - there are periods of cataclysm that coincide with civilization's "Dark Ages" - and meteors may be responsible. Great article/link.

Mostly at this point, I'd like a link to that picture and more information about it. Is that a 2-headed mutant calf?


S&F&



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 03:46 PM
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It looks like the most popular theory is the volcanic eruption, but not from Vesuvius.

Possible explanations
edit on 16/4/2011 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


Thanks for the link buddy.


I wish we could ask these people question about what they saw, because a volcanic winter would look nothing like an eclipse though. An eclipse to me is the sun being covered by another spherical abject not having a haze that is running across the sky.

Pred...



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:14 PM
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I find it odd that the report from the time says that the sun was a` blueish color`. I would think that if it was caused by a volcano throwing ash into the atmosphere it would result in the sun appearing dark brown or more reddish.
edit on 16-4-2011 by bluemooone2 because: spl



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


I think he meant that the Sun's light looked like the light during an eclipse, although we do not see a great difference in brightness we notice that the heat is much weaker and the temperature fells immediately.


And it came about during this year that a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year, and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear nor such as it is accustomed to shed.


PS: have you ever witnessed a large (or even a total) solar eclipse?

PPS: if you know how to read Greek, here's a link.

edit on 16/4/2011 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:33 PM
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In 535AD, Krakatoa erupted. This started the Dark Ages.

reply to post by predator0187
 



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:40 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Pred - really - I'd like a link to that picture and more information about it. Is that a 2-headed mutant calf?

...and never mind the fact that there are 2 suns in the sky...

Thanks, sofi



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


Picture (small version)

listed as unknown...


No idea what the picture was called.


Pred...



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 05:05 PM
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I would also tend to favor the theory of a volcanic eruption or meteor impact as the most likely culprit.



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 05:50 PM
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reply to post by ArMaP
 


Seen a partial but never a full, even the partial was amazing. I have heard a full one is so exhilarating it can be addicting.


Have you ever seen one?

Pred...



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Only partials, but one was relatively large, enough for some birds thinking that it was the sunset coming. The lower temperature was also noticeable.



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:22 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


Apparently that image shows Haley's comet, in its 1456 approach, as you can see here (you just have to scroll the page a little).



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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reply to post by XxRagingxPandaxX
 





I call BS, the writers of the time aren't to be taken seriously, the dark ages were full of ignorance and lies


lol, how things have changed!


so we are suppose to take our(present day people) or your word for it? even though we were not there over somebodies word who WAS living at the precise time?



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:45 PM
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The blueish tinge is what made me think of my particular theory-

if this was true, my bet is,
Our solar system passed through a massive cloud of dust and gas.
Now the interesting thing is,,, could this gas have been Ionized by the sun (think neon light)?

A comets tail is actualy an ionization tail caused by the sun. similiar to a coronal Discharge
coronal discharge

Disastrous mini ice age caused by volcanic blast

There is actualy a lot of research that shows when humanity enter "mini ice ages" you will see more war and destruction (dark ages) due to food shortages and bad climate..

Edit- may have found the answer-
Disastrous mini ice age cause by volcanic blast - AD 536.


"The ice Greenland SULPHATES were found to have been deposited between A.D. 533 and 536, matching a sulphate maximum level encountered in Antarctic ice. As the volcanic ash reached both poles, this means that the blast is likely to have occurred near the Equator. Other proofs are delivered by tree rings from the Northern Hemisphere, revealing lower growth rates for over a decade around year 536. But the cooling effect was not encountered in the southern hemisphere, too."


Neon Chemistry


Why is copper(II) sulphate solution blue? If white light (ordinary sunlight, for example) passes through copper(II) sulphate solution, some wavelengths in the light are absorbed by the solution. Copper(II) ions in solution absorb light in the red region of the spectrum. The light which passes through the solution and out the other side will have all the colours in it except for the red. We see this mixture of wavelengths as pale blue (cyan).


so there we go, we had a massive volcanic eruption, which supposedly contained a LOT of sulphates. Sulphates will create a blueish color, and are used in neon lights. I think we have the answer here maybe?

Copper Sulphate-

edit on 4/16/2011 by VonDoomen because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 06:51 PM
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reply to post by bluemooone2
 


Check my post above for an interesting theory on the blue tinge



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by predator0187
 


There are even more recent reports of a "cold summer" because of a geologic event.

www.volcanolive.com...



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 07:45 PM
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Look at the quotes again.

They say "nearly a year," or something equivalent, more than once.


The "Dark Ages" lasted much longer than a single year, so why would they say the sunlight was diminished only for a single year, or only nearly a year?


I saw a Discovery Channel program once that matched this same year up with the eruption of a massive supervolcano in the Pacific Ocean. Krakatoa I think was its name. It spewed so much ash into the atmosphere that it is now believed that the dark period talked about in Europe was related to it causing a so-called nuclear winter, where the ash blocked out the Sun from the atmosphere. It was an extremely bitter and bloody year as raiding parties became a popular means of procuring food.




Ah, other posters above already beat me to it.
edit on 16-4-2011 by bsbray11 because: (no reason given)



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