How much do we really know about the Dark Ages?

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by kazenatsu, Apr 19, 2018.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,849
    Likes Received:
    2,659
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    That armor actually is not from the Dark Ages.

    The Dark Ages were from around 500 CE to 1400CE. During that era the predominant mail was chain mail, not plate.

    Now there was "plate mail" during that era, but it is not what you have pictured. What was used is known as a "Coat of plate armor", simply an advancement of what the Romans used. Either plated fixed like playing cards over leather, or articulated plated akin to what the Romans used.

    [​IMG]

    What you have pictured is a suit of full plate, which was not developed until the Renaissance. Ignore what popular culture says, that is anachronistic in medieval or dark ages armories.

    Heck, the very name of the organization that reveres that time period recognizes that their own preferences for armor, weapons and tactics does not belong in the time period they love to cosplay. That is why it is called the Society for Creative Anachronism.
     
  2. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Messages:
    35,553
    Likes Received:
    11,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    delete
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2019
  3. Moi621

    Moi621 Well-Known Member Past Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    19,384
    Likes Received:
    7,657
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male

    https://www.britannica.com/event/Dark-Ages
    "Dark Ages or Early Middle Ages, the early medieval period of western European history—specifically, the time (476–800 ce) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West or, more generally, the period between about 500 and 1000, "


    Certainly not until 1400 ce


    BTW
    "The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum, or Medieval Climatic Anomaly was a time of warm climate in the North Atlantic region lasting from c. 950 to c. 1250."
    ended the Dark Ages
     
  4. Quasar44

    Quasar44 Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2020
    Messages:
    2,939
    Likes Received:
    915
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Remember the DA only refers to Europe
    Both the Muslim and Chinese world was thriving until the Mongols
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  5. Anonymous.Professor

    Anonymous.Professor Newly Registered

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2020
    Messages:
    210
    Likes Received:
    68
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Dark age was by no means caused by the Fall of western Roman empire since the eastern remained in its place and even took already at the time of emperor Justinian, much of the territory which was conquered by so called Barbarians ( in Africa, Spain and Italy ). Plus the Barbarians were copying themselves Roman system and laws to make their states more efficient.

    The real reason for Dark age was constant jihad warfare and the distruction of trade in Mediterranean sea as a result of this. More in the lecture bellow:

     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  6. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The much touted 'Muslim Golden Age' is a lot of myth; outside a a narrow area under a certain Persian dynasty and a couple of 'enlightened' Moorish rulers in Spain both reigns lasting less than a couple of generations, the Muslim world was intellectual backwater, which is why Muslim conquerors relied on Jews and Christians for their administrations of regions and cities.

    People seem to forget most of the knowledge transfers to the West was via Constantinople and the Byzantines, not Muslims. And, most Muslim innovations came from further east, via trade with India and China.

    The fall of the west was due to big drops in the birth rates and population more than any other single cause, which is why the West began to rely more and more on barbarian mercenaries for entire armies. With fewer peasants to exploit, the smaller tax base and smaller numbers of recruits led to govt. collapse, especially after proclamations that made everyone a citizen came along with no concurrent increase in land ownership and productivity, just a bigger tax burden.

    After the decline and abandonment of the northern European provinces, these same condition actually led to a lot of technological innovations and better crop developments over the centuries, and a lot of that innovation came from the churches and monasteries.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
    JohnHamilton likes this.
  7. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    12,849
    Likes Received:
    2,659
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    It was due to that, invasions, disease, civil and religious unrest, breakdown of infrastructure, it was a great many things.

    There was no one cause, and it affected different parts of Europe differently. In some the "dark ages" came on very late, and in some they continued on as other areas were recovering.
     
    Farnsworth likes this.
  8. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2022
    Messages:
    7,462
    Likes Received:
    6,381
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Much of what we do know has been handed down from the writings of the monks in the monasteries. I collect British hammered coinage, the information you get of those pieces also tells part of the tale.

    When William the Conqueror defeated Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, the British nation as we know it began. The only coin was issued for many years was the silver penny. William’s pennies are not that scarce, but the are popular which boosts their collector value considerably.

    This one, called the pax variety has the word on the reverse. After years of invasions from the Vikings, William promised protection, hence peace. Of course the other side of that was that you had support William as king, or you were in big trouble. William also formed the Doomsday Book which had a record of all the property in England. William, and the kings who followed him, levied heavy taxes to raise an army for protection and conquest and to keep him and his family in style to which they had become accustomed.

    William the Conqueror.jpg

    William's son, William II, better known as Rufus, was given a very bad historical reputation by the church. He frequently confiscated their property, which put him on the wrong side of God in their opinion. The clergy, who wrote the history of this period, portrayed William in a very negative light. It was said that William blasphemed the church and often used foul language. Some said that he practiced the black arts and worshiped the devil. They claimed that William was a homosexual and that young men minced their gait with lose gestures and walked around half naked in William’s court. They described his debaucheries as “hateful to God and man.” These stories were enhanced by the churchman given William’s continuing feuds with the clergy.

    Unlike William the Conqueror's coins, Rufus' pennies are hard to find in nice condition. This one, call the profile variety, is exceptional. Rufus was described as an excellent warrior, which is why his father picked him to succeed him as the King of England.

    William II Profile All Me.jpg

    Rufus died in a "hunting accident" that was probably arranged by his younger bother, Henry. A French archer of some renown was aiming at a deer and “accidently” hit Rufus in heart. Upon seeing this, Henry was on his horse riding to claim the crown and the royal treasury before his brother’s body was cold. The archer who shot Rufus was allowed to return to the France, and members of his family received estates in England.

    Henry I would have a successful reign, but after his only son was killed on ship that sank that was leaving France, it threw England into a protracted Civil War. Henry's coins are also hard to find nice. This one is unusual.

    Henry I nice.jpg
     
    Farnsworth likes this.
  9. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Population decline and a reduction in farming caused the decline of the western Empire, along with weather changes in northern Europe. The decline in cheap slave labor actually led to a lot of technical innovations in that era, especially in monasteries.

    The claim that Christianity caused it is just silly. The western empire had to turn to mercenaries from 'barbarian' tribes' for their armies due to lack of available recruits. Contrast that with modern America, with a massive population increase not being able to keep its military up to par, despite having a population of over 340 million, contrasted with a population of 134 million in 1942 and being able to fight on three fronts and supplying allies with massive production and shipping capabilities. Now it can't even keep bottled water on its supermarket shelves in peacetime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2022
    JohnHamilton likes this.
  10. Farnsworth

    Farnsworth Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,568
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    113
    There sure seems to be lot of lunatics among the rulers and the wealthy through most of history, the main demographics that could afford to eat and drink out of metal cups and dishes.
     
  11. Aleksander Ulyanov

    Aleksander Ulyanov Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Messages:
    41,184
    Likes Received:
    16,185
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Lead is now a known poison.
     

Share This Page