The Dark Ages – Just How Dark Was It?

By | October 30, 2019

test article image
Crowds fill the gigantic Roman Forum in a scene from the film The Fall Of The Roman Empire, 1964. Source: (Paramount/Getty Images-138573964)

What has been referred to as “The Dark Ages” has been redefined by some because of its negativity regarding that time period. This time period began with the fall of the Holy Roman Empire. The last emperor was overthrown by Odoacer during 476 A.D.  

test article image
Francesco Petrarca. Source: (Famous People)

Part of the reason historians have referred to this time period as “dark” was because they did not know that much about it or they were biased in their thinking such as St. Jerome and St. Patrick. They believed that it was a dark time because no new great leaders came on the scene, and no famous art or accomplishments had been achieved. The first person to refer to this time period as the “dark ages” was Francesco Petrarca, who was an Italian scholar. He criticized Latin literature of that day or the lack of it or other cultural successes.