The Middle Ages: The Dark Age Of The Dark Ages

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After the Roman Empire fell, Medieval Europe deteriorated into no-man’s land, full of criminals, barbarism, and danger at every turn. This period of time, from 400-1400 AD was originally called the Dark Ages but is now more commonly known as the Middle Ages. Unexpectedly, after Europe improved a little more than half a century later, it’s still referred to as the Dark Ages. Historians now understand that not all of the Middle Ages were a dark age. Even though it no longer met the criteria to be called a dark age, why is it still more often than not referred to as one? From around 400 to 900 AD, Europe wasn’t the prime real estate one would want to live in. Constant raids from the North and South brought famine and destruction to the land. …show more content…
Education went up, the economy flourished, and technology improved. As written in Document B, “From 1000 to 1300, the economy of Europe developed and prospered….Technological improvements like the heavy plow, the shoulder collar for horses, metal horseshoes, and more efficient water and windmills contributed to the jump in food supply… Europe’s population grew from 25 million to more than 70 million”. A Dark Age is defined as a period of time without learning or education, proving that from the 1000’s onwards Europe let the light in, and removed itself from the dark. One can argue that there would have had to be a rise in education to increase the innovation of the inhabitants, therefore proving that the late Middle Ages were no longer the Dark Ages. If the population of Europe was growing, one could quite logically assume that Europe was becoming a hot spot to live in. One can infer that Europe was no longer being over-run by barbaric tribes, because who would want to live somewhere where security and safety were at a …show more content…
Most of these buildings are still standing and in use today, leaving a lasting legacy from the Middle Ages. If the Middle Ages were supposed to be a time where lifestyle, learning, and architecture are in decline, why are people still awed over buildings from back then? As stated in Document G, “Common features of gothic cathedrals included architectural innovations including: large columns, high ceilings with ribbed vaults, flying buttresses, and large stained glass windows”. In the above quote, it states that common features of cathedrals were architectural innovations. That completely goes against what the definition of a dark age is. From the word choice above, one can infer that highly intricate motifs were just as common as mortar in these buildings, proving the point that there were architectural advancements, and that Europe had taken its final bow in the Dark

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