The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization traditionally referring
to the Middle Ages, that asserts that a demographic, cultural, and
economic deterioration occurred in Western Europe following the
decline of the Roman Empire.
The term employs traditional light-versus-darkness imagery to contrast
the era's "darkness" (lack of records) with earlier and later periods
of "light" (abundance of records). The concept of a "Dark Age"
originated in the 1330s with the Italian scholar Petrarch, who
regarded the post-Roman centuries as "dark" compared to the light of
classical antiquity. The phrase "Dark Age" itself derives from
Latin saeculum obscurum, originally applied by
Caesar Baronius in
1602 to a tumultuous period in the 10th and 11th centuries. The
concept thus came to characterize the entire
Middle Ages as a time of
intellectual darkness between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance;
this became especially popular during the 18th-century Age of
As the accomplishments of the era came to be better understood in the
18th and 20th centuries, scholars began restricting the "Dark Ages"
appellation to the
Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages (c. 5th–10th century).
The majority of modern scholars avoid the term altogether due to its
negative connotations, finding it misleading and
inaccurate. The original definition remains in popular
use, and popular culture often employs it as a vehicle to
Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its
pejorative use and expanding its scope.
2 Modern academic use
3 Modern popular use
4 See also
6 External links
Further information: Late antiquity, Fall of the Roman Empire,
Migration period, and Early Middle Ages
See also: Medievalism
The term was originally intended to denote an intermediate period
Classical Antiquity and the Modern era. In the 19th century
scholars began to recognize the accomplishments of the period, which
challenged the image of a time exclusively of darkness and decay.
Nowadays the term is not used by scholars to refer to the entire
medieval period; when used, it is generally restricted to the
Early Middle Ages.
The rise of archaeology in the 20th century has shed light on the
period, offering a more nuanced understanding of its achievements.
Other terms of periodization have come to the fore: Late Antiquity,
the Early Middle Ages, and the Great Migrations, depending on which
aspects of culture are being emphasized. Today, on the rare occasions
when the term is used by historians, it is intended to be neutral and
express the idea that the period often seems 'dark' from the scarcity
of historical record, and artistic and cultural output.
Tommaso Laureti (1530–1602), ceiling
painting in the Sala di Constantino, Vatican Palace. Images like this
one celebrate the triumph of
Christianity over the paganism of
The idea of a Dark Age originated with the Tuscan scholar
the 1330s. Writing of the past, he said: "Amidst the errors
there shone forth men of genius; no less keen were their eyes,
although they were surrounded by darkness and dense gloom".
Christian writers, including
Petrarch himself, had long used
traditional metaphors of 'light versus darkness' to describe 'good
Petrarch was the first to give the metaphor secular
meaning by reversing its application. He now saw Classical Antiquity,
so long considered a 'dark' age for its lack of Christianity, in the
'light' of its cultural achievements, while Petrarch's own time,
allegedly lacking such cultural achievements, was seen as the age of
From his perspective on the Italian peninsula,
Petrarch saw the Roman
and classical period as an expression of greatness. He spent much
of his time travelling through Europe, rediscovering and republishing
Latin and Greek texts. He wanted to restore the
to its former purity.
Renaissance humanists saw the preceding 900
years as a time of stagnation, with history unfolding not along the
religious outline of Saint Augustine's Six Ages of the World, but in
cultural (or secular) terms through progressive development of
classical ideals, literature, and art.
Petrarch wrote that history had two periods: the classic period of
Greeks and Romans, followed by a time of darkness in which he saw
himself living. In around 1343, in the conclusion of his epic Africa,
he wrote: "My fate is to live among varied and confusing storms. But
for you perhaps, if as I hope and wish you will live long after me,
there will follow a better age. This sleep of forgetfulness will not
last forever. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants
can come again in the former pure radiance." In the 15th century,
Leonardo Bruni and
Flavio Biondo developed a three-tier
outline of history. They used Petrarch's two ages, plus a modern,
'better age', which they believed the world had entered. Later the
term 'Middle Ages' -
Latin media tempestas (1469) or medium aevum
(1604) - was used to describe the period of supposed decline.
During the Reformations of the 16th and 17th centuries, Protestants
generally had a similar view to
Renaissance Humanists such as
Petrarch, but also added an Anti-Catholic perspective. They saw
classical antiquity as a golden time, not only because of its Latin
literature, but also because it witnessed the beginnings of
Christianity. They promoted the idea that the 'Middle Age' was a time
of darkness also because of corruption within the Roman Catholic
Church, such as: Popes ruling as kings, veneration of saints' relics,
a celibate priesthood, and institutionalized moral hypocrisy.
In response to the Protestants, Catholics developed a counter-image to
depict the High
Middle Ages in particular as a period of social and
religious harmony, and not 'dark' at all. The most important
Catholic reply to the Magdeburg Centuries was the Annales
Ecclesiastici by Cardinal Caesar Baronius.
Baronius was a trained
historian who produced a work that the
Encyclopædia Britannica in
1911 described as "far surpassing anything before" and that Acton
regarded as "the greatest history of the Church ever written". The
Annales covered the first twelve centuries of
Christianity to 1198,
and was published in twelve volumes between 1588 and 1607. It was in
Volume X that
Baronius coined the term "dark age" for the period
between the end of the
Carolingian Empire in 888 and the first
Gregorian Reform under
Pope Clement II
Pope Clement II in 1046:
Patrologia Latina per century
Migne Volume Nos
"The new age (saeculum) which was beginning, for its harshness and
barrenness of good could well be called iron, for its baseness and
abounding evil leaden, and moreover for its lack of writers (inopia
scriptorum) dark (obscurum)".
Baronius termed the age 'dark' because of the paucity
of written records. The "lack of writers" he referred to may be
illustrated by comparing the number of volumes in Migne's Patrologia
Latina containing the work of
Latin writers from the 10th century (the
heart of the age he called 'dark') with the number containing the work
of writers from the preceding and succeeding centuries. A minority of
these writers were historians.
Medieval production of manuscripts. The beginning of the Middle
Ages was also a period of low activity in copying. Note that this
graph is without the realm of Byzantine.
There is a sharp drop from 34 volumes in the 9th century to just 8 in
the 10th. The 11th century, with 13, evidences a certain recovery, and
the 12th century, with 40, surpasses the 9th, something the 13th, with
just 26, fails to do. There was indeed a 'dark age', in Baronius's
sense of a "lack of writers", between the Carolingian
the 9th century and the beginnings, some time in the 11th, of what has
been called the
Renaissance of the 12th century. Furthermore, there
was an earlier period of "lack of writers" during the 7th and 8th
centuries. So, in Western Europe, two 'dark ages' can be identified,
separated by the brilliant but brief Carolingian Renaissance.
Baronius's 'dark age' seems to have struck historians, for it was in
the 17th century that the term started to proliferate in various
European languages, with his original
Latin term saeculum obscurum
being reserved for the period he had applied it to. But while some,
following Baronius, used 'dark age' neutrally to refer to a dearth of
written records, others used it pejoratively, lapsing into that lack
of objectivity that has discredited the term for many modern
The first British historian to use the term was most likely Gilbert
Burnet, in the form 'darker ages' which appears several times in his
work during the later 17th century. The earliest reference seems to be
in the "Epistle Dedicatory" to Volume I of The History of the
Reformation of the Church of England of 1679, where he writes: "The
design of the reformation was to restore
Christianity to what it was
at first, and to purge it of those corruptions, with which it was
overrun in the later and darker ages." He uses it again in the
1682 Volume II, where he dismisses the story of "St George's fighting
with the dragon" as "a legend formed in the darker ages to support the
humour of chivalry". Burnet was a bishop chronicling how England
became Protestant, and his use of the term is invariably pejorative.
Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, many
critical thinkers saw religion as antithetical to reason. For them the
Middle Ages, or "Age of Faith", was therefore the opposite of the Age
of Reason. Kant and
Voltaire were vocal in attacking the Middle
Ages as a period of social regress dominated by religion, while Gibbon
in The History of the Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire
Fall of the Roman Empire expressed
contempt for the "rubbish of the Dark Ages". Yet just as Petrarch,
seeing himself at the cusp of a "new age", was criticising the
centuries before his own time, so too were Enlightenment writers.
Consequently, an evolution had occurred in at least three ways.
Petrarch's original metaphor of light versus dark has expanded over
time, implicitly at least. Even if later humanists no longer saw
themselves living in a dark age, their times were still not light
enough for 18th-century writers who saw themselves as living in the
real Age of Enlightenment, while the period to be condemned stretched
to include what we now call
Early Modern times. Additionally,
Petrarch's metaphor of darkness, which he used mainly to deplore what
he saw as a lack of secular achievement, was sharpened to take on a
more explicitly anti-religious and anti-clerical meaning.
Nevertheless, the term 'Middle Ages', used by Biondo and other early
humanists after Petrarch, was in general use before the 18th century
to denote the period before the Renaissance. The earliest recorded use
of the English word "medieval" was in 1827. The concept of the Dark
Ages was also in use, but by the 18th century it tended to be confined
to the earlier part of this period. The earliest entry for a
capitalized "Dark Ages" in the
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary is a
reference in Henry Thomas Buckle's History of Civilization in England
in 1857. Starting and ending dates varied: the Dark Ages were
considered by some to start in 410, by others in 476 when there was no
longer an emperor in Rome, and to end about 800, at the time of the
Renaissance under Charlemagne, or alternatively to extend
through to the end of the 1st millennium.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the Romantics reversed the
negative assessment of Enlightenment critics with a vogue for
medievalism. The word "Gothic" had been a term of opprobrium akin
to "Vandal" until a few self-confident mid-18th-century English
Horace Walpole initiated the
Gothic Revival in the arts.
This stimulated interest in the Middle Ages, which for the following
generation began to take on the idyllic image of an "Age of Faith".
This, reacting to a world dominated by Enlightenment rationalism,
expressed a romantic view of a
Golden Age of chivalry. The Middle Ages
were seen with nostalgia as a period of social and environmental
harmony and spiritual inspiration, in contrast to the excesses of the
French Revolution and, most of all, to the environmental and social
upheavals and utilitarianism of the developing Industrial
Revolution. The Romantics' view is still represented in modern-day
fairs and festivals celebrating the period with 'merrie' costumes and
Petrarch had twisted the meaning of light versus darkness, so
the Romantics had twisted the judgment of the Enlightenment. However,
the period they idealized was largely the High Middle Ages, extending
Early Modern times. In one respect, this negated the religious
aspect of Petrarch's judgment, since these later centuries were those
when the power and prestige of the Church were at their height. To
many, the scope of the Dark Ages was becoming divorced from this
period, denoting mainly the centuries immediately following the fall
Modern academic use
See also: Medieval studies
The term was widely used by 19th-century historians. In 1860, in The
Civilization of the
Renaissance in Italy,
Jacob Burckhardt delineated
the contrast between the medieval 'dark ages' and the more enlightened
Renaissance, which had revived the cultural and intellectual
achievements of antiquity. However, the early 20th century saw a
radical re-evaluation of the Middle Ages, which called into question
the terminology of darkness, or at least its more pejorative use.
Denys Hay spoke ironically of "the lively centuries
which we call dark". More forcefully, a book about the history of
German literature published in 2007 describes "the dark ages" as "a
popular if ignorant manner of speaking".
Most modern historians do not use the term "dark ages", preferring
terms such as Early Middle Ages. But when used by some historians
today, the term "Dark Ages" is meant to describe the economic,
political, and cultural problems of the era. For others, the
term Dark Ages is intended to be neutral, expressing the idea that the
events of the period seem 'dark' to us because of the paucity of the
historical record. The term is used in this sense (often in the
singular) to reference the
Bronze Age collapse
Bronze Age collapse and the subsequent
Greek Dark Ages, the dark ages of Cambodia (c. 1450-1863), and also
Digital Dark Age which would ensue if the electronic
documents produced in the current period were to become unreadable at
some point in the future. Some Byzantinists have used the term
"Byzantine Dark Ages" to refer to the period from the earliest Muslim
conquests to about 800, because there are no extant historical
texts in Greek from this period, and thus the history of the Byzantine
Empire and its territories that were conquered by the Muslims is
poorly understood and must be reconstructed from other contemporaneous
sources, such as religious texts. The term "dark age" is not
restricted to the discipline of history. Since the archaeological
evidence for some periods is abundant and for others scanty, there are
also archaeological dark ages.
Since the Late
Middle Ages significantly overlap with the Renaissance,
the term 'Dark Ages' has become restricted to distinct times and
places in medieval Europe. Thus the 5th and 6th centuries in Britain,
at the height of the Saxon invasions, have been called "the darkest of
the Dark Ages", in view of the societal collapse of the period and
the consequent lack of historical records. Further south and east, the
same was true in the formerly Roman province of Dacia, where history
after the Roman withdrawal went unrecorded for centuries as Slavs,
Avars, Bulgars, and others struggled for supremacy in the Danube
basin, and events there are still disputed. However, at this time the
Arab Empire is often considered to have experienced its Golden Age
rather than Dark Age; consequently, usage of the term must also
specify a geography. While Petrarch's concept of a Dark Age
corresponded to a mostly Christian period following pre-Christian
Rome, today the term mainly applies to the cultures and periods in
Europe that were least Christianized, and thus most sparsely covered
by chronicles and other contemporary sources, at the time mostly
written by Catholic clergy.
However, from the later 20th century onwards, other historians became
critical even of this nonjudgmental use of the term, for two main
reasons. Firstly, it is questionable whether it is ever possible
to use the term in a neutral way: scholars may intend this, but
ordinary readers may not understand it so. Secondly, 20th-century
scholarship had increased understanding of the history and culture of
the period, to such an extent that it is no longer really 'dark'
to us. To avoid the value judgment implied by the expression, many
historians now avoid it altogether.
Modern popular use
Medieval artistic illustration of the spherical Earth in a
14th-century copy of L'Image du monde (c. 1246)
David C. Lindberg criticises the public use of 'dark
ages' to describe the entire
Middle Ages as "a time of ignorance,
barbarism and superstition" for which "blame is most often laid at the
feet of the Christian church, which is alleged to have placed
religious authority over personal experience and rational
activity". Historian of science, Edward Grant, writes that "If
revolutionary rational thoughts were expressed in the Age of Reason,
they were made possible because of the long medieval tradition that
established the use of reason as one of the most important of human
activities". Furthermore, Lindberg says that, contrary to common
belief, "the late medieval scholar rarely experienced the coercive
power of the church and would have regarded himself as free
(particularly in the natural sciences) to follow reason and
observation wherever they led". Because of the collapse of the
Roman Empire due to the
Migration Period a lot of classical
Greek texts were lost there, but part of these texts survived and they
were studied widely in the
Byzantine Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate.
Around the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the High Middle Ages
stronger monarchies emerged; borders were restored after the invasions
Vikings and Magyars; technological developments and agricultural
innovations were made which increased the food supply and population.
And the rejuvenation of science and scholarship in the West was due in
large part to the new availability of
Latin translations of
Another view of the period is reflected by more specific notions such
as the 19th-century claim that everyone in the Middle Ages
thought the world was flat. In fact, lecturers in medieval
universities commonly advanced the idea that the Earth was a
sphere. Lindberg and
Ronald Numbers write: "There was scarcely a
Christian scholar of the
Middle Ages who did not acknowledge [Earth's]
sphericity and even know its approximate circumference". Other
misconceptions such as: "the Church prohibited autopsies and
dissections during the Middle Ages", "the rise of
off ancient science", and "the medieval Christian church suppressed
the growth of natural philosophy", are cited by Numbers as examples of
myths that still pass as historical truth, although unsupported by
Conflict thesis and Continuity thesis
^ a b c d e
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary (2 ed.). Oxford, England: Oxford
University Press. 1989. a term sometimes applied to the period of the
Middle Ages to mark the intellectual darkness characteristic of the
time; often restricted to the early period of the Middle Ages, between
the time of the fall of Rome and the appearance of vernacular written
^ a b "Dark age" in Merriam-Webster
^ a b c Mommsen, Theodore (1942). "Petrarch's Conception of the 'Dark
Ages'". Speculum. Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America. 17 (2):
227–228. doi:10.2307/2856364. JSTOR 2856364.
^ Thompson, Bard (1996). Humanists and Reformers: A History of the
Renaissance and Reformation. Grand Rapids, MI: Erdmans. p. 13.
Petrarch was the very first to speak of
Middle Ages as a 'dark age', one that separated him from the
riches and pleasures of classical antiquity and that broke the
connection between his own age and the civilization of the Greeks and
^ Dwyer, John C., Church history: twenty centuries of Catholic
Christianity, (1998) p. 155.
Baronius, Caesar. Annales Ecclesiastici, Vol. X. Roma, 1602, p. 647
^ Mommsen, Theodore (1942). "Petrarch's Conception of the 'Dark
Ages'". Speculum. Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America. 17 (2):
226–227. doi:10.2307/2856364. JSTOR 2856364.
^ Ker, W. P. (1904). The dark ages. New York: C. Scribner's Sons, p.
1. "The Dark Ages and the
Middle Ages — or the Middle Age — used
to be the same; two names for the same period. But they have come to
be distinguished, and the Dark Ages are now no more than the first
part of the Middle Age, while the term mediaeval is often restricted
to the later centuries, about 1100 to 1500, the age of chivalry, the
time between the first Crusade and the Renaissance. This was not the
old view, and it does not agree with the proper meaning of the name."
^ Syed Ziaur Rahman, Were the "Dark Ages" Really Dark? In: Grey
Matter. The Co-curricular Journal of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College,
Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, 2003: 7-10.
^ Snyder, Christopher A. (1998). An Age of Tyrants: Britain and the
Britons A.D. 400–600. University Park: Pennsylvania State University
Press. pp. xiii–xiv. ISBN 0-271-01780-5. . In
explaining his approach to writing the work, Snyder refers to the
"so-called Dark Ages", noting that "Historians and archaeologists have
never liked the label Dark Ages ... there are numerous indicators that
these centuries were neither 'dark' nor 'barbarous' in comparison with
^ a b c d e f g Jordan, Chester William (2004). Dictionary of the
Middle Ages, Supplement 1. Verdun, Kathleen, "Medievalism" pp.
389–397. Sections 'Victorian Medievalism', 'Nineteenth-Century
Medievalism in America 1500–1900', 'The 20th Century'.
Same volume, Freedman, Paul, "Medieval Studies", pp. 383–389.
^ Raico, Ralph. "The European Miracle". Retrieved 14 August
2011. "The stereotype of the
Middle Ages as 'the Dark Ages'
Renaissance humanists and Enlightenment philosophes has,
of course, long since been abandoned by scholars."
^ a b c Franklin, James (1982). "The
Renaissance Myth". Quadrant. 26
^ a b Tainter, Joseph A. (1999). "Post Collapse Societies". In Barker,
Graeme. Companion Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Abingdon, England:
Routledge. p. 988. ISBN 0-415-06448-1.
^ Clark, Kenneth (1969), Civilisation (BBC Books)
^ a b c d Mommsen, Theodore (1942). "Petrarch's Conception of the
'Dark Ages'". Speculum. Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America. 17
(2): 226–242. doi:10.2307/2856364. JSTOR 2856364.
Petrarch (1367). Apologia cuiusdam anonymi Galli calumnias (Defence
against the calumnies of an anonymous Frenchman), in Petrarch, Opera
Omnia, Basel, 1554, p. 1195. This quotation comes from the English
translation of Mommsen's article, where the source is given in a
footnote. Cf. also Marsh, D, ed., (2003), Invectives, Harvard
University Press, p. 457.
Petrarch (1343). Africa, IX, 451-7. This quotation comes from the
English translation of Mommsen's article.
^ Albrow, Martin, The global age: state and society beyond modernity
(1997), p. 205.
^ F. Oakley, The medieval experience: foundations of Western cultural
singularity (University of Toronto Press, 1988), pp. 1-4.
^ Daileader, Philip (2001). The High Middle Ages. The Teaching
Company. ISBN 1-56585-827-1. "Catholics living during the
Protestant Reformation were not going to take this assault lying down.
They, too, turned to the study of the Middle Ages, going back to prove
that, far from being a period of religious corruption, the Middle Ages
were superior to the era of the Protestant Reformation, because the
Middle Ages were free of the religious schisms and religious wars that
were plaguing the 16th and 17th centuries."
^ Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911: "History"
^ Lord Acton (1906). Lectures on Modern History, p. 121.
^ Baronius's actual starting-point for the "dark age" was 900 (annus
Redemptoris nongentesimus), but that was an arbitrary rounding off due
mainly to his strictly annalistic approach. Later historians, e.g.
Marco Porri in his Catholic History of the Church (Storia della
Chiesa) or the Lutheran Christian Cyclopedia ("Saeculum Obscurum"),
have tended to amend it to the more historically significant date of
888, often rounding it down further to 880. The first weeks of 888
witnessed both the final break-up of the
Carolingian Empire and the
death of its deposed ruler Charles the Fat. Unlike the end of the
Carolingian Empire, however, the end of the Carolingian Renaissance
cannot be precisely dated, and it was the latter development that was
responsible for the "lack of writers" that Baronius, as a historian,
found so irksome.
^ Schaff, Philip (1882). History of the Christian Church, Vol. IV:
Mediaeval Christianity, A.D. 570–1073, Ch. XIII, §138. "Prevailing
Ignorance in the Western Church"
^ Baronius, Caesar (1602). Annales Ecclesiastici, Vol. X. Roma, p.
647. "Novum incohatur saeculum quod, sua asperitate ac boni
sterilitate ferreum, malique exudantis deformitate plumbeum, atque
inopia scriptorum, appellari consuevit obscurum."
^ Buringh, Eltjo; van Zanden, Jan Luiten: "Charting the "Rise of the
West": Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term
Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries", The Journal
of Economic History, Vol. 69, No. 2 (2009), pp. 409–445 (416,
^ Burnet, Gilbert (1679). The History of the Reformation of the Church
of England, Vol. I. Oxford, 1929, p. ii.
^ Burnet, Gilbert (1682). The History of the Reformation of the Church
of England, Vol. II. Oxford, 1829, p. 423. Burnet also uses the term
in 1682 in The Abridgement of the History of the Reformation of the
Church of England (2nd Edition, London, 1683, p. 52) and in 1687 in
Travels through France, Italy, Germany and Switzerland (London, 1750,
p. 257). The
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary erroneously cites the last of
these as the earliest recorded use of the term in English.
^ Bartlett, Robert (2001). "Introduction: Perspectives on the Medieval
World", in Medieval Panorama. ISBN 0-89236-642-7. "Disdain about
the medieval past was especially forthright amongst the critical and
rationalist thinkers of the Enlightenment. For them the Middle Ages
epitomized the barbaric, priest-ridden world they were attempting to
^ Gibbon, Edward (1788). The History of the Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire, Vol. 6, Ch. XXXVII, paragraph 619.
^ Alexander, Michael (2007). Medievalism: The
Middle Ages in Modern
England. Yale University Press.
^ Chandler, Alice K. (1971). A Dream of Order: The Medieval Ideal in
Nineteenth-Century English Literature. University of Nebraska Press,
^ Barber, John (2008). The Road from Eden: Studies in
Culture. Palo Alto, CA: Academica Press, p. 148, fn 3.
^ Hay, Denys (1977).
Annalists and Historians. London: Methuen, p. 50.
^ Dunphy, Graeme (2007). "Literary Transitions, 1300–1500: From Late
Mediaeval to Early Modern" in: The Camden House History of German
Literature vol IV: "
Early Modern German Literature". The chapter
opens: "A popular if uninformed manner of speaking refers to the
medieval period as "the dark ages." If there is a dark age in the
literary history of Germany, however, it is the one that follows: the
fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, the time between the Middle
High German Blütezeit and the full blossoming of the Renaissance. It
may be called a dark age, not because literary production waned in
these decades, but because nineteenth-century aesthetics and
twentieth-century university curricula allowed the achievements of
that time to fade into obscurity."
^ Review Article: Travel and Trade in the Dark Ages, Treadgold,
Warren, Journal The International History Review Volume 26, 2004 -
^ Globalisation, Ecological Crisis, and Dark Ages, Sing C. Chew,
Journal of Global Society,Volume 16, 2002 - Issue 4
^ 'Digital Dark Age' May Doom Some Data, Science Daily, October 29,
^ Lemerle, Paul (1986). Byzantine Humanism, translated by Helen
Lindsay and Ann Moffat. Canberra, pp. 81–82.
^ Whitby, Michael (1992). "Greek historical writing after Procopius"
in Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East, ed. Averil Cameron and
Lawrence I. Conrad, Princeton, pp. 25–80.
^ Lemerle, Paul (1986). Byzantine Humanism, translated by Helen
Lindsay and Ann Moffat. Canberra, p. 81-84.
^ Project: Exploring the Early Holocene Occupation of North-Central
Anatolia: New Approaches for Studying Archaeological Dark Ages Period
of Project: 09/2007-09/2011
^ Cannon, John and Griffiths, Ralph (2000). The Oxford Illustrated
History of the British Monarchy (Oxford Illustrated Histories), 2nd
Revised edition. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, p. 1. The
first chapter opens with the sentence: "In the darkest of the Dark
Ages, the fifth and sixth centuries, there were many kings in Britain
but no kingdoms."
^ Welch, Martin (1993). Discovering Anglo-Saxon England. University
Park, PA: Penn State Press.
Encyclopædia Britannica "It is now rarely used by historians
because of the value judgment it implies. Though sometimes taken to
derive its meaning from the fact that little was then known about the
period, the term's more usual and pejorative sense is of a period of
intellectual darkness and barbarity."
^ Kyle Harper (2017). The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End
of an Empire (The Princeton History of the Ancient World). Princeton
University Press. p. 12. These used to be called the Dark Ages.
That label is best set aside. It is hopelessly redolent of Renaissance
and Enlightenment prejudices. It altogether underestimates the
impressive cultural vitality and enduring spiritual legacy of the
entire period that has come to be known as "late antiquity". At the
same time we do not have to euphemize the realities of imperial
disintegration, economic collapse and societal disintegration.
^ David C. Lindberg, "The Medieval Church Encounters the Classical
Tradition: Saint Augustine, Roger Bacon, and the Handmaiden Metaphor",
David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers, ed. When Science &
Christianity Meet, (Chicago: University of Chicago Pr., 2003), p.8
^ Edward Grant. God and Reason in the Middle Ages, Cambridge 2001, p.
^ quoted in the essay of Ted Peters about Science and Religion at
"Lindsay Jones (editor in chief). Encyclopedia of Religion, Second
Edition. Thomson Gale. 2005. p.8182"
^ Lindberg, D. (1992) The Beginnings of Western Science Chicago.
University of Chicago Press. p.204.
^ Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell, in his book Inventing the Flat
Earth "... shows how nineteenth-century anti-Christians invented and
spread the falsehood that educated people in the
Middle Ages believed
that the earth was flat" Russell's summary of his book
^ a b Russell, Jeffey Burton (1991). Inventing the Flat
Earth—Columbus and Modern Historians. Westport, CT: Praeger.
pp. 49–58. ISBN 0-275-95904-X.
^ A recent study of medieval concepts of the sphericity of the Earth
notes that "since the eighth century, no cosmographer worthy of note
has called into question the sphericity of the Earth." Klaus Anselm
Vogel, "Sphaera terrae - das mittelalterliche Bild der Erde und die
kosmographische Revolution", PhD dissertation,
Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, 1995, p. 19
^ E. Grant, Planets. Stars, & Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos,
1200-1687, (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Pr., 1994), pp. 626-630.
^ Lindberg, David C.; Numbers, Ronald L. (1986). "Beyond War and
Peace: A Reappraisal of the Encounter between
Science". Church History. Cambridge University Press. 55 (3):
338–354. doi:10.2307/3166822. JSTOR 3166822.
Ronald Numbers (Lecturer) (May 11, 2006). Myths and Truths in
Science and Religion: A historical perspective (Video Lecture).
University of Cambridge (Howard Building, Downing College): The
Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.
"Dark Ages" in
Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
"Decline and fall of the Roman myth" by Terry Jones.
Middle Ages are called the Dark Ages".
"Learning about Dark Ages by Kru Interactive".
European Middle Ages
Decline of the Western Roman Empire
Decline of Hellenistic religion
Rise of Islam
First Bulgarian Empire
Kingdom of Croatia
Old Church Slavonic
Growth of the Eastern Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
Second Bulgarian Empire
Kingdom of Poland
Medieval Warm Period
Mongol invasion of Europe
Hundred Years' War
Wars of the Roses
House of Habsburg
Fall of Constantinople
Rise of the Ottoman Empire
Crisis of the Late Middle Ages
Little Ice Age
Church and State
Disability in the Middle Ages
Basic topics list
Global history of s