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How did the Dark Ages begin and what occured?

Discussion in 'Historical Debates' started by Landon Caeli, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    My understanding is that ALL literature was essentially destroyed, and that the transformation that occured in Europe would be comparable to a society that was essentially brilliantly evolved, into an illiterate culture entirely separated from the previous knowledge it had. My understanding is that during the Dark Ages, people were so stupid, they practically lost all cognitive skills, and returned to a sort of caveman state.

    My understanding is that this all changed after Christian Crusaders entered into Spain and captured a certain city that had a library that held more books than the entirety of Europe had, and that after this, Europe re-entered a second age, and learned all over again what had been lost previously.

    So who were these monsters that took down and destroyed Europe for about 1000 years? How did they do it, and what can we learn from it.

    ...Thanks in advance for your contributions to this thread. :)
     
  2. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    The so called “Dark Ages” is largely an outdated colloquialism and the term is not really used by modern historians much anymore. Preferring instead terms like Early Middle Ages. Scholastically the term Dark Ages is actually neutral, though some scholars still avoid it due to the negative connotations the term elicits.
    Dark Ages (historiography) - Wikipedia
     
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  3. Enoch07

    Enoch07 It's all a sick freaking joke.
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    Ottoman Empire - Wikipedia
     
  4. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    This happened well after the period erroneously referred to as the "Dark Ages".
     
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  5. Enoch07

    Enoch07 It's all a sick freaking joke.
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    Meh there is some overlap. :shrug:
     
  6. Landon Caeli

    Landon Caeli What's your stoyle?

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    Why wouldn't that period be negative, when there were no courts, and people accused of a crime were set on fire or drowned to see if they were guilty or not. Nobody read books and the average European never went more than 15 miles from his home, his entire lifetime.

    ...What positive things could have existed in a time like that?
     
  7. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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  8. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    The 5 Major Causes Of The Dark Ages

    • The Fall of the Roman Empire.
    • The Little Ice Age.
    • Famine.
    • The Black Plague.
    • A Lack of Good Roads.
    The 5 Major Causes Of The Dark Ages
    historythings.com/5-things-that-actually-caused-the-dark-ages/
     
  9. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    The end of the world began in AD 476, when Odoacer deposed Emperor Romulus. The great Roman Empire had been falling apart for hundreds of years, but that was the final straw. Rome fell into chaos and ruin, into the hands of the various tribes. The city was sacked, its occupants put to the sword, and the barbarian tribes moved in. With Rome gone, a chain of unstoppable events was unleashed. Libraries fell into disrepair.

    The unifying languages, Greek and Latin, fell out of use and people could no longer communicate with each other. With Rome no longer producing a safe environment for learning, philosophy, and science, nobody could keep up the Great Conversation, or make scientific discoveries.

    The architecture and learning and thoughts of the Empire were completely forgotten in the wake of its fall from greatness, plunging the world into darkness.
     
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  10. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    meanwhile the Islamic countries were experiencing a scientific renaissance.
     
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  11. Heyo

    Heyo Member

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    Additionally to what SomeRandom said and the Wikipedia link you might want to look at Fall of the Western Roman Empire - Wikipedia for a brief introduction. For a complete answer to this complex topic you will have to pick up some history books and even then you might not satisfied because some of the history is still speculation.
     
  12. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Um, where are you getting such rubbish information from, good sir?
    The Middle Ages had like three court systems. They were based on older Germanic customs but also borrowed from the Roman Empire before it.
    The Clergy had it's own court. Knights and noblemen had their system and the serf disputes were largely handled by Knights. Though serious crimes were in fact handled more judiciously.
    To prove one's innocence one had "Oath Keepers" essentially witnesses who would swear that the accused wasn't lying. Though without such keeper, yes they had to go through the "ordeal." Trial by combat, as GOT would say. Or amusingly enough, had to consume a large amount of bread without chewing. Fire and drowning was also used, but probably wasn't used as often as the laymen assumes.
    Law in the Middle Ages | Middle Ages

    True, the majority of farmers didn't travel very far. But that's true even in later periods. Even modern Americans don't travel that often. A European today thinks nothing of international travel. A luxury to many modern Americans today. And? But trade still occurred in the Middle Ages. And people made pilgrimages and those of higher class did actually travel great distances.
    10 things you (probably) didn't know about the Middle Ages

    During the 12th Century, Middle Ages intellectuals also had their own Renaissance of sorts, based on transmissions of Aristotle and classical texts via Arab philosophers.

    Don't forget that the Late Middle Ages actually overlaps with the Renaissance significantly as a time period. You going to call Da Vinci ignorant too?

    It's far too reductionist and simplistic to assume that the so called "Dark Ages" (which was called that originally because we literally didn't know much about it, making it "dark" to us) was full of dumb idiots who thought the world was flat and illiterate peasants under the brutal rule of the Church. But the truth is actually more nuanced. True there were many issues, and I'm glad I don't live in such times. But the Dark Ages isn't really called the Dark Ages by anyone serious in History anymore. At least with the negative connotations intact. Not like Laymen do. Like I sad the term is actually neutral in an academic setting.
     
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  13. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    The period we are discussing is from the end of the 4th century up to the 12th century.
     
  14. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Oh Early Middle Ages then? I mean sure, in comparison to say the Byzantine empire, the Europeans were mud slinging monkeys.
    But even they had their own Renaissance during the 8th century. The Medieval period actually had a few.
    Carolingian Renaissance - Wikipedia
    The Ottonian Renaissance during the 11th century.
    Ottonian Renaissance - Wikipedia
    And of course the Renaissance of the 12th Century.
    Renaissance of the 12th century - Wikipedia

    Can't speak for the Brits, though.
     
    #14 SomeRandom, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  15. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Thank you. I am not familiar with that.

    excerpt:

    One of the major causes of the sudden economic growth was the slave trade. Following the rise of the Arab empires, the Arab elites created a major demand for slaves with European slaves particularly prized. As a result of Charlemagne's wars of conquest in Eastern Europe, a steady supply of captured Slavs, Avars, Saxons and Danes reached mostly Jewish merchants in Western Europe, who then exported the slaves via Ampurias, Girona and the Pyrenees passes to Muslim Spain and other parts of the Arab world.[17]

    The market for slaves was so lucrative that it almost immediately transformed the long-distance trade of the European economies.[18][19] The slave trade enabled the West to re-engage with the Muslim and Eastern Roman empires so that other industries, such as textiles, were able to grow in Europe as well.[20]
     
  16. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Yeah I read that too. Yikes! I guess silver linings? :confused::eek:

    I think it's also worth pointing out that the after the fall of the Roman empire, the more "learned" Roman citizens were largely displaced by Goths and Vandals, who were descendants of tribes without such education. So the loss of knowledge in Europe was probably not intended, as it were, but probably just a consequence of happenstance. But I guess, "plunging the world into darkness," has more grandeur to it. So meh, it works.
     
    #16 SomeRandom, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  17. MikeDwight

    MikeDwight Active Member

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    If I may, peoples of Europe are no different from migrating horsemen and tribesmen before Feudalism, Farming, Manorialism, or Serfdom. That's how Vandals get all the way to Tunisia and Visigoths to Spain, and they were Eastern European. The last of these may be the Magyar Hungarians coming to Hungary in 800 ad.

    Is that why there was always a general ban on slavetrading by the Pope? Europe actually does not allow slavetrading.
     
  18. Lyndon

    Lyndon "Peace is the answer" quote: GOD, 2014
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    Blaming Arabs and Jews for the slave trade seems a tad too convenient!!
     
    #18 Lyndon, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  19. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    Read the link posted above.
     
  20. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    Of course. Europeans were people, after all.

    But everyone traded in slaves at one point or another. That's just history. Various bans during the ages have existed throughout the world, though. And obviously formally banned today.
     
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