Thursday, May 12, 2005

Back to the Middle Ages

Announcements: HBG. Is still now looking for two more Leaders, tell me if you are interested and have a blog. The first post on the site is about HBG, the second is where you can post a comment if you are interested. Please look into it.

The first posts that I had on this site were about what is called the Middle Ages. The name itself only applies to Western Civilization, the period between the end of the Classical Age and the beginning of the Rennaissance.

Many people think that this period was a backward time and that only the Rennaissance saved the people. That little progress was made. These people think of stone castles, brave knights, evil lords, fair ladies, and fiery dragons when thinking about this age. To be blunt, this is stupid.

Worldwide, this time period was one of intense change. Kindoms fell, Empires rose, boundaries shifted, and trade became more and more an international thing. While the advance of knowledge was slowed down somewhat in Europe, it moved forward fast in places like the Middle East and China. Old political and religious ideas were being replaced by new ones. Contrary to the idea of a bleak and desolate period, this was one the most exciting times in history. People think our ideas and beliefs originated in the Rennaissance, when these things changed. But the foundations of the way the modern world works was started here. The first universities were created, allowing the pool of educated resources to grow. Modern economies also started during this time, as trade spread globally. Only in the first 500 years after Rome's fall was Europe in a worse state. But even in the later years of that time it was quikly jumping back. The once "barbarian" Germanic tribes that had spread all over western Europe had now set up formidable monarchies. In the east the Slavs were doing the same. The Crusades brought even more progress. Ancient Greek and Roman texts were passed from the Arabs to the Italians. I'll be back later today.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Read about the Pirenne Thesis- that the institutions of the Roman Empire did not entirely die out in Late Antiquity as is thought.

Also, a book called "How the Irish Saved Civilization."