Re: Re: Dark Ages

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#18081

Chris
Participant

I had a marathon history discussion in the pub with a friend last Saturday night……4 and half hours……and we covered many topics, one of which was the Dark Ages. Ok, to be honest I don't remember some of that conversation (and I am sure you can guess why) but I tried to explain that in my view the Dark Ages was part of the Middle Ages; that initial comment sparking a look of uncertainty in my statement.In my general understanding, the Middle Ages lasted approximately 1000 years from shortly after the Roman abandonment of Britain to roughly the end of the War of the Roses and the start of early modern Britain with the House of Tudor in 1485. I know this is a substantial chunk of British history neatly bundled together in one era but it's usually never that simple when it comes to history. A podcast I have been listening to about the Crusades mentioned the Middle Ages lasted for approx. 1000 years. The Middle Ages as a division of British history has sub-divisions such as the Dark Ages or migratory/invasion periods of Angles, Saxons and later the Vikings, the Normans and then the Plantagenets.I would like to know why historians dislike the term Dark Ages so much when it is indicative of so much more than the negative connotations it nowadays holds. It might have been a period where there was a lack of progression in general but it is a defining piece of British history, integral to the overall and slow natural progression of this land during this particular time. The term "dark" as I see it was used simply to define the period as knowing very little about it rather than a time where absolutely nothing of interest happened for hundreds of years. Even without a plethora of first hand accounts, something we would like to say with more certainty what happened and when, the discoveries to date suggest that the Dark Ages is an incredibly important, brutal and fascinating period but, I believe, firmly within the Early Middle Ages period. Is it simply because we generally know more about this period now than we did before that we feel it is unjust to label this time "dark"? It is a term I like to use and will continue to use even if historians disagree.

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