The 'Dark' Ages have often been crudely depicted as an era of mass
illiteracy and ignorance, and of terrifying heathen hordes swarming
across the European continent, leaving devastation in their wake.
Yes, this was the time of the so-called Barbarian invasions, of the
Vikings, of the break-up of some urban life and population decline
in Western Europe. But this was also the time of Pope Gregory the
Great, of Charlemagne and Alfred the Great; of feudalism, the
development of monastic life and the nurturing of Christianity
across Western Europe. In the East, the Roman Empire continued to
thrive in Byzantium, while from the 7th century the Muslim Arab
conquest of North Africa and Iberia proved to be a stimulating
challenge to the Christian West. From the fall of the Western Roman
Empire in the 5th century to the 11th century, The 'Dark' Ages
tells the story of this fascinating but much misunderstood period
in medieval history. Featuring the fragmentation of the Western
Roman Empire and re-emergence of unity under Charlemagne; the
emergence of the Catholic Church as a dominant political force; the
raids, trading life and settlements of the Vikings, the book
expertly reappraises the early Middle Ages. Illustrated with 180
colour and black-&-white photographs, artworks and maps, The
'Dark' Ages is an exciting, engaging and highly informative
exploration of this often overlooked period in early medieval
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