The Dark Ages were not Dark - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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End of Roman society, feudalism, rise of religious power, beginnings of the nation-state, renaissance (476 - 1492 CE).
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#14953463
I was thinking about how modern people often malign the people of the past, spitting on their ancestors so to speak, even while not really knowing anything about them but what they conjure out of their own dark imagination when I found the video below. The people of the middle ages probably get maligned the most, which I suppose may come from an Anti-Christian sentiment which grew out of the so called Enlightenment because the "Dark Ages" could alternatively be called the Age of Christendom.



So let's start calling the Dark Ages something that makes us look less like ignorant hubris filled bigots, let's call that age The Age of Christendom.
#14953477
The fall of the western Roman Empire apparently caused a collapse in the communication, trade and educational structures that a lot of westerners had begun to be dependent on. The idea that the dark ages were barbaric might be a more recent thing.
#14953720
The OP is spot-on.

however, the "Age of Christendom" in the west suffered from great calamaties and set-backs. I think the renaissance was really the full-blooming of the worldview and societal form of that epoch, but the blooming had been greatly retarded by the Islamic conquests, The Mongol conquests, the Viking Conquests, the Black Plague, and the Little Ice Age.

These were all things that seriously hindered the development of the western Christendom and as i've said elsewhere, from a purely praxeological analysis, the decentralized conditions of medieval Europe would have yielded the equivalent conditions we saw in the renaissance in the 9th century had it not been for the aforementioned calamities.

Thus, given these disasters, we can't be too hard on those who in the light of rediscovering the triumphs of ancient Greece and Rome looked on the Age of Christendom as a dark era, a net-loss of human achievement. They saw the end of the Empire not as an advancement of human liberty, but of plunging mankind into ignorance and superstition. It is no wonder that these renaissance and enlightenment men turned to the very forms of government that had been responsible for the collapse of Rome in the first place, for if you see the fall of Rome as a tragedy, you will invariable see its state as a model to be followed and blame the Christians for the collapse in a silly post-hoc fashion. Its was all too predictable.

The very seeds of hatred towards the family, the church, and property are rooted in this gross oversimplification of historical interpretation. Had the renaissance men saw their renaissance as more deeply rooted in the traditions of the Age of Christendom than in the notions of Rome and Greece, we would never have know communism in the 20th century, or nation-states in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The fetish for ancient folly (democracies, republics, emperors, absolutism, secularism, rationalism, decadence, etc, ) shall be the seeds of our own failure just as it had been for these ancients. They should only be regarded as sages inasmuch as they bear warning not to follow them too closely.
#14953725
As @Beren said, the term was never coined to suggest a regression. It was due to the lack of written records which only hints at the suggestion coincidently.

Having said that, it was often considered a regression in europe by progressive thinkers ever since the renaissance. Recent historians are countering this with evidence that has been gathered with new modern techniques.

Formal education did decline outside the church though it’s not clear that technological progress did to any large extent. The capacity for grand buildings and wars that a centralised state provides is not objectively progress. In fact it’s hard to see why progressive thinkers preferred the genocidal Romans over Christians apart from some pretty isolated cases of “blocking science and arts” I mean it’s not like the Romans didn’t have superstitions of their own.

I am guessing it comes down to romantic notions and the exoticism that comes from the passage of time.
#14953726
@Victoribus Spolia
Interesting thoughts but..

Some of those challenges also had some positive effects. The Islamic conquests were terrible probably the worst of the challenges but in trying to find a way to trade with the east which circumvented Islamic pirates and extortionists motivated the explorations which enabled Christendom to find the Americas first. To this day the Americas are top-to-bottom predominantly Christian due to this. If it were not for Islamic piracy then the east asians may have gotten there enmasse first. The "viking" expansions simply replaced ruling elites with new more physically vigorous elites (due to northern pagan eugenic practices) who all converted to Christianity in the end anyway.
#14953728
SolarCross wrote:Some of those challenges also had some positive effects. The Islamic conquests were terrible probably the worst of the challenges but in trying to find a way to trade with the east which circumvented Islamic pirates and extortionists motivated the explorations which enabled Christendom to find the Americas first. To this day the Americas are top-to-bottom predominantly Christian due to this. If it were not for Islamic piracy then the east asians may have gotten there enmasse first. The "viking" expansions simply replaced ruling elites with new more physically vigorous elites (due to northern pagan eugenic practices) who all converted to Christianity in the end anyway.


If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

But you wouldn't have had to waste your time making lemonade if you never got stuck with fucking lemons.

;)
#14986568
layman wrote:Formal education did decline outside the church...


Even within it. Charlemagne had to promote the education of clergy.

In fact it’s hard to see why progressive thinkers preferred the genocidal Romans


The Romans weren't genocidal. Even the jews, who rebelled repeatedly, weren't wiped out.

....over Christians apart from some pretty isolated cases of “blocking science and arts”


There was the inquisition, and bloody crusades like the one against the cathar heretics c 1209.

I mean it’s not like the Romans didn’t have superstitions of their own.


Religion is said to have meant little to those at the height of the Roman era. Even as far back as the first Punic war, when a Roman naval commander was told the sacred chickens in the golden cage refused to eat--a bad omen--he said "If they will not eat they'll darn well drink!" threw the cage overboard and ordered an attack. :lol:
#15006656
Well ... i dont know if they need to be called "dark ages" or not, but yet, many aspects of the mediveal times have been pretty dark and primitive, and around 1500 there was a definite age of awakening from this darkness.

The romans invaded Juda, attempted to force the jews to join their own state religion, destroyed the jewish temple, etc. Maybe they didnt attempt to genocide the jews, but short of that, they did pretty much everything villanous they could possibly do to them, for no good reason but wanting to dominate and exploit the jews, just like they did with everybody else.
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