Dark Ages

Topics: Middle Ages, Europe, Feudalism Pages: 3 (874 words) Published: September 29, 2008
I would consider the Middle Ages a fairly dark time in the history of the world, most evidently in the case of Europe. There were however differences across civilizations over the world including China. Many have called the era during the Tang and Song dynasties a golden age, one of prosperity and innovation. While life in Europe was often very glum, especially for serfs, Chinese inhabitants were fairly well off by all indications. The emergence of Buddhism and the continuance of many Confusionist ideas led to a decidedly happy environment for most. Even women enjoyed a slightly higher social standing. It may have been a Dark Age for some, but certainly not for all. Dark ages are defined as an era of ignorance, superstition, or social chaos or repression or the early or crude stage in the history or development of something. The “Dark Ages” in Europe were a time of little writing, education, trade. There was severe political fragmentation with many leaders had less power because countries were divided into areas controlled by feudal lords. It was a time of decline, death, disease and fear. From about 550 C.E until about 900, Western Europe suffered a number of problems. The empire was constantly fighting to defend itself against an endless onslaught of invasions from the Huns and other Barbarians from the East, Vikings from the North and the Muslims from the south. They destroyed many fine buildings and works of art that had existed during Roman times. These attacks also made it difficult to develop durable government or economic forms. Outbreaks of plague and religious persecution added to the mayhem. With weak rulers and poor agriculture, intellectual activity unsurprisingly declined. There were very few schools and fewer records were kept leaving the age fittingly “in the dark” for today’s historians. Manorialism was the system of economic and political relations between landlords and peasant laborers. In those times most people were serfs, living on...
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