Dark Ages Or Bright Ages?
Length: at least five (5) paragraphs
Due: Wednesday, Dec. 8 by 10:00 p.m. (Upload to Blackboard)
The early Middle Ages (ca. 450 ca. 1000) are often referred to as the Dark Ages, a period characterized by political fragmentation and economic, intellectual, and cultural decline, during which life was (in the words of the philosopher Thomas Hobbes) nasty, brutish, and short.
However, in recent decades some historians have rejected that characterization, maintaining that there was considerable creativity, economic activity, sophisticated thought, and rich culture in Europe and the Mediterranean in the centuries between the fall of the western Roman Empire and the Year 1000. Indeed, a new textbook on the period is entitled The Bright Ages.
Which of these positions do you support: were the early Middle Ages dark, bright, or a mix of the two — dark in some areas and bright in others? In your essay, cite at least three (3) specific developments, trends, or events in support of your answer, along with the relevant evidence preferably primary sources we have read in class, but you may also cite specific facts, objects, or texts mentioned in lecture.
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