How much do we really know about the Dark Ages?

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by kazenatsu, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    How "Dark" were the Dark Ages really?


    What caused the Dark Ages?


    (trade in the Mediterranean was completely cut off by endless warfare, slave raiders, and piracy, the Dark Ages in Europe coincided with the Islamic Golden Age)
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  2. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    They corresponded to a "cool down", followed by the Medieval Warm Up just before the Renaissance.
    And all the resulting effects on People and critters.

    IceAges.gif
     
  3. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    Al-Andaluç was highly advanced and prospered greatly during that period of time. I would love to have been around to see that era.
     
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  4. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The 'Dark Ages' were the chaotic result of the power vacuum created by the death of the Western Roman Empire. While its true that Islamic invasion was the source of much (certainly not all) of that chaos, there was plenty of bloodshed from Vikings, Feudal lords and warring nation states within the european region.

    Islamic invasions were largely responsible for Europe's emergence from the Dark Ages. The loose cooperation between the feudal powers to mount The Crusades had a relative unifying effect on Europe by giving it a common enemy. Though it should be noted that this 'common enemy' was incorrectly identified- the Islamic invasions primarily came out of North African Islamic regions, not Arabian Islam where the Crusades were directed. There wasn't anything in Africa that the European Aristocracy wanted, so they directed the collective European resentment toward the wealthier Levant. The average 'crusader' didn't know Arabian Islam from African Islam.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  5. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    Gibbon was England's foremost authority on the subject of the Roman Empire. He stated that the principle cause of its decline was its adoption of Christianity. Thus, if the Empire's decline was the cause of the Dark Ages, then Christianity is the actual cause.

    Not surprisingly, the Renaissance came about because the West adopted the open mindedness and advancements of the Islamic culture of al-Andaluç.
     
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  6. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Gibbon may be the 'foremost', but the consensus on the subject is that the Western Roman Empire died as a result of splitting from the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, which not only was the source of the Empire's wealth and prosperity (which is why the West fell apart - no access to the luxury goods and trade route taxes from Asia)) but also adopted Christianity and yet thrived for centuries thereafter.

    Lemme take a wild stab and say Gibbon is an atheist?

    Also... why go to the extra effort to edit out the bulk of my comment you responded to? Its not like we have limited space here... its digital!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  7. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Notice from the chart above the end of the Roman Empire
    and beginning of the Dark Ages, corresponds to a cool down.

    That would disrupt food production and cause starving people to migrate,
    violently, to places of sustenance.



    It was climate change I tell ya. :rant:
     
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  8. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    I seriously doubt that you are more of an authority on the Roman Empire than Gibbons was. On that basis, I will accept his analysis and conclusion on this matter.
     
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  9. VotreAltesse

    VotreAltesse Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Great topic, I opened another on the topic of slavery in the early ages, and among them slavery during middle age :
    http://www.politicalforum.com/index...fight-of-christianism-against-slavery.531506/

    From my point of view, middle age ended with the invention of printing. Before to get a book, you had to writte on animal skins, that cost a lot. Manual writting take dozen time more time to achieve a book. With the paper we got from the chinese through the arabs and printing, we could break down the cost of the book, so knowledge.

    However, it doesn't change that this period was brillant. Fibonnaci was born during the middle age, mechanical clockwork were invented during middle age in the region of Prague and among the oldest clockwork in the world can be found in Europe, blast furnace were invented during middle age.
    I doubt too that people able to do such complex armors were retarded :
    [​IMG]

    An underestimated but extremly great invention during european middle age was quaranteen. It was a good way to prevent epidemic to kill too much people and show that middle age people understood sickness better than "it's god wrath".
     
  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    But guess what was driving those Viking slave raids in the East?
    The Islamic World at that time (or at least the wealthy among them) had an insatiable appetite for blonde and red-haired slave girls to fill their harems. This was what largely fueled the Viking slave trade. Baghdad was awash in gold at that time.



    Even if not all of the slaves were taken to the Middle East, I'm sure that's what precipitated the whole slave-taking incursions in the first place.

    Like Moi621 mentioned, a cooling climate and lower temperatures probably also contributed to pushing Vikings out of their home in the North.
    I'd imagine that lower temperatures would also probably have made the Middle East more green and fertile, perhaps helping a little bit to foster the rise of their civilization at this period in history.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  11. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It's interesting that the fall of Constantinople roughly coincides with the end of the Middle Ages in Europe.

    This site explains why: https://impactofthefallofconstantinople.weebly.com/impact-on-the-renaissance.html

    It seems that the disappearance of the Byzantines allowed Venice a free hand to monopolize trade in the region, although Venice still had to fight off the Ottoman Turks. However, with Venice as the dominant naval power protecting Europe from the Ottomans, this gave them suzerainty/hegemony status. The Ottoman-Venetian wars lasted between 1396 and 1718. The Treaty of Passarowitz finally marked the end of westward expansion by the Ottomans. Europe was becoming militarily powerful by the early 1700s, with powerful nation-states.



    I don't agree with everything the speaker in this video is saying, but the map and timeline are informative. To me, it seems like what happened is the Ottomans completely dominated the other rival Islamic caliphates, and then focused all their energy on conquering territories in Eastern Europe (the Balkans). This gave Western Europe somewhat of a reprieve from attacks. The video also fails to mention the role the Seljuk Turks (migrants from the central Asian steppes who were nominally muslim) played in fatally weakening the Byzantine Empire already by 1071.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
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  12. wyly

    wyly Well-Known Member

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    the term "the Dark Ages" was an invention of the Renaissance period who considered the Roman Greek era the pinnacle of civilization and viewed themselves as the continuation of that...the dark ages were anything but that, it was a myth that we continue to perpetuate...
     
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  13. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    While Western Europe was going through the Renaissance, this is what was happening to Eastern Europe:



    One can't understand the Renaissance without understanding what was happening in Southeast Europe at the same time. It was being invaded and subjugated.
    That was the whole reason for the Renaissance in the West; while the East was being invaded and subject to constant warfare, the West experienced a reprieve and period of relative peace. Basically, the Islamic incursions and slave raids had turned their attention East. There were people like Vlad the Impaler fighting them off, and of course Venice's navy also helped keep the muslims at bay from launching any raids into Western Europe (Eastern Europe is unfortunately connected by land to the Middle East).
     
  14. Concord

    Concord Well-Known Member

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    Was... in the 18th Century.

    Not many take that view seriously these days.

    The Roman Empire collapsed because the political system built by Augustus was ill-defined and unstable.
     
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  15. james M

    james M Banned

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    I suppose it's true that Christian individual liberty and morality was not compatible with Roman military conquest, plunder, and slavery. Once Christianity had weakened Rome, Rome melted away but then you had higher level wars between competing Christians and between Christians and Muslims. This led to a Christian/Protestant victory and eventually America where Christian individual liberty created the greatest county in human history by far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  16. james M

    james M Banned

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    there were many reasons:
    1) no core principles to hold it together other than conquest plunder slavery
    2) it was spread too thin
    3) it was being attacked from 3 sides
    4) Christian morality was incompatible with Roman immorality
    5) govt was inherently corrupt, unstable, rudderless.
    6) no succession planning
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  17. Mr_Truth

    Mr_Truth Well-Known Member

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    Modern day historians still look to him as foremost authority as he used original sources:


    https://study.com/academy/lesson/edward-gibbons-contributions-to-history-historiography.html



    If you want me to believe your claim that he no longer has this respect among historians, present evidence of your claim.
     
  18. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    There were many causes of the so-called Dark Ages. This is is another possible one just coming to the fore recently



    But the Dark Ages were indeed far from dark. The population increased and settled farming cultures moved into Europe's northern forest areas. The moldboard plow and the horse collar enabled deep planted agriculture

    Slavery is always a horrible thing for most of its victims, but the concept of slavery was very different in the Ancient and Medieval worlds Most of what we would call bureaucrats were slaves. The Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire was a slave and the famous Janissaries, who eventually made and unmade the Sultans themselves and were very wealthy besides, were slaves, The Mamelukes, whose name was synonymous with "ruler" in Egypt by Napoleon's time were slaves who had been soldiers and then overthrown their masters (arming your slaves to fight for you, never a wise move IMO but not at all uncommon in the Institution's strange saga)

    And most of the women kidnapped for Harems had much more pleasant lives than they would have in medieval Europe, (at least if you go by every fifth romance novel published) Seriously, at least one woman abducted for the harem became Valide, the mother of the Sultan and probably one of the most powerful women in the world at the time

    https://www.amazon.com/Valide-Novel-Harem-Barbara-Chase-Riboud/dp/0688043348
     
  19. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    My impression was the Dark Ages were one of those impositions on the seamless web of history like the Renaissance itself, which were thought up by Jakob Burkhart et al at the Great German Universities in the 19th century
     
  20. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    The ROMANS had no "core principles"'??:eekeyes:

    Are ya sure ya wouldn't like to.....revise....that statement? Maybe re-read your Ovid, Seneca Marcus Aurelius et al and get back to us?
     
  21. james M

    james M Banned

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    correct. Why so afraid to tell is what their core principle was? What does your fear teach you?
     
  22. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    They had no one core principle that I am aware of. Like all complicated civilizations, or individuals, they had several and they were often in conflict with each other, so I find an answer to your question beyond my knowledge. What do you think was the one thing, or the several things, that guided them throughout their millenium of strength and prosperity? What should that teach us?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  23. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

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    OTOH many historians now believe their decline and fall was due majorly to their drinking from lead pipes and goblets. So maybe we should be aware of when and how we are poisoning ourselves and try not to do that?
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  24. james M

    james M Banned

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    That's what I said: no core principles. If USA goes down it will be because liberals successfully attacked it's core principle: freedom. Rome had no core other than conquer kill rape enslave so they were were vulnerable to basic challenges not the least of which was Christianity
     
  25. FreshAir

    FreshAir Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    if the USA goes down it will be because of Bush's over reaction to 9-11, the Bush tax cuts for the rich.... and the tremendous debt of 1 trillion a year ever sense... thanks republicans
     

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