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History and Anthropology: Were the Dark Ages Really that Dark?
The Dark Ages is a term that has undergone several transformations regarding its meaning. Due to its pejorative connotations, modern historians typically use terms such as the Migration Period to refer to the period of time that antedated the collapse of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. It began with the movement of barbarian tribes especially, the Huns, Vandals, Goths, Bulgars, Vikings, and more. As some studies have suggested, it was the age of medieval barbarism when, ?there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West or, more generally, the period between about 500 and 1000, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life.? (?Migration Period?). Although many people would want to argue that the ?Dark Ages? is a period defined by downright ignorance, more research has proved the contrary.
It is apparent that the early medieval period was demonized by later scholars who were biased toward the Roman Empire. The erroneous view of this era became popular as a result of many records written to misrepresent the Roman rule. As Pruitt asserts, ?While it?s true that such innovations as Roman concrete were lost, and the literacy rate was not as high in the Early Middle Ages as in ancient Rome, the idea of the so-called ?Dark Ages? came from Renaissance scholars like Petrarch, who viewed ancient Greece and Rome as the pinnacle of human achievement.? (par. 1).

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