Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter S. Wells


The "Dark Ages" often conjure images of Attila the Hun or a crazed Saxon on a horse pillaging a medieval village and burning everything in their wake. Though these events certainly took place, the term "Dark Ages" generally refers to a time in European history between the fall of the Roman empire and the reign of Charlemagne, roughly 400 AD to 900 AD. The term refers to the lack of written records during this period in history, thus what happened remains "dark." We do know that the building projects initiated by the Romans ceased to be maintained and that a central hub of rule seemed to have vanished. The basis of Wells' book is to show that many creative and important advancements on society occured during these times. Since few written records exist to explain everyday life, Wells, an renowned archaelogist, uses artifacts from archaelogical digs to piece together a picture of society during those centuries. For instance, Wells devotes a short chapter describing what the funeral of a Frankish king named Childeric (approx 436-482 ) would have been like during the Dark Ages. His entire description is conjecture based solely on archaelogical artifacts found in his grave. Written for a general audience, Wells condenses years of research and theory into a concise examination of the subject. A fascinating and easy read. Recommended for general readers interested in history.

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- Submitted by Dan @ Central




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This page contains a single entry by Dan K. published on October 22, 2008 8:55 AM.

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