I love “The Dark Ages”

While my book is off for copy-editing and all of that, this may be a good time to start some serious blogging on the subject matter. I don’t want to get into story details just yet, but it might be good to discuss a bit about my process.

I’d like to start with my use of the term, “The Dark Ages”. For most people, this wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, but as I’ve learned among Academia, it’s quite the scandal. It all starts with an Italian scholar named Petrarch who lived in the early 1300’s, the beginning of “The Renaissance”. He coined the term as a way to distinguish what he considered an intellectually backward period of history during the medieval era from the “light of knowledge” of the Greek and Roman eras.

In our modern era of enlightened attitudes and greater understanding, we now know that this was not a fair characterization of the period, and some today are quite offended by the use of the term, considering it inaccurate at best, a bigoted slur at worst. New terms have been developed, such as “Sub-Roman”, “Migration Period” or “Early Medieval”.

But none really fit, particularly for Britain between the fifth and ninth centuries. Some are still willing to use the term, though typically for specific regions and time periods, and more to denote a lack of written records and surviving material culture than intellectual darkness.

So that is why I will use the term “Dark Ages”. I think it fits better than any other, people generally understand the setting, and it has a certain romanticism to it. This is my favorite period of history. I am drawn to the obscure eras. When I’m done with this series, I will very likely visit the Greek Dark Ages. I hope you will join me.

Feel free to post comments or questions below. I love to chat about this stuff.


6 thoughts on “I love “The Dark Ages””

    • According to Gildas, it certainly seemed like that. The book “An Age of Tyrants” by Christopher Snyder is a fantastic book about the period. Thanks for that link, I will check that out.


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