The Medieval Period was a Dark Age? Don’t be Ignorant.

They accomplished far more than moderns like to remember.

Intellectual Takeout: Too often in conversations and on social media, people will conflate the Dark Ages with the time of Medieval Europe.


The motivation behind the argument has roots in both the Protestant Reformation and then the Enlightenment and their joint toppling of Christendom Europe. For the past to be rejected and a new order to be created, even today it is of benefit to continue to cast a time of strong Christianity such as the Medieval period as ignorant and the times of the Ancients and the Enlightenment as times of learning – even ignoring that many in the Enlightenment were devout Christians. In doing so, Christianity, particularly Catholicism, looks like a relic of a time when ignorance was prevalent and only through the rejection of that religion can we advance.  more 

7 Comments on The Medieval Period was a Dark Age? Don’t be Ignorant.

  1. I disagree. Catholic based theologies were, in every way, a dark age, just as any theology is. The concept of “universities” dates back at least to Socrates.

    Those who drove the Enlightenment may not have rejected Christianity but they certainly. . . by definition, in my opinion, rejected theocracy as a form of government via “Kings ordained by God”.

  2. There are those who wish to blame Christianity for just about everything but fail to recognize that the alternative could of been global Islam and all the barbarism that continues to this day.

    Dark age indeed.

  3. Most of the time, I think of the coming Dark Age.
    So I admire the monasteries and nunneries for keeping the flame of civilization alive during those local tribal pitched battles, before there was even a glimmer of European city-states.

    In the spirit of “I Own the World” — we do own our little corner of the world, in our castle-keep. If there is a coming Dark Age, keep your ownership of Western Civilization alive, no matter what the next few years/decades may bring.

  4. The “Dark Ages” were dark from the Romanticism of Rome’s Republican and Imperial periods contrasted with the shining future envisioned by the Enlightenment “thinkers.” And keeping in mind a certain “Euro-centric” view by the “West,” those days were, indeed, dark in terms of plague, war, invasions by Huns, Mongrols, Goths, OstroGoths, Ragheads, izlamists, Scythians, Parthians, and a host of smaller groups of rat-people.

  5. Sorry, Mickey, but it really bugs me when people use the word “of” in place of “have.” Could HAVE been, or could’ve been. Otherwise, I agree with you completely.

  6. Indeed. The concept of “inalienable rights” comes right out of the Enlightenment where God-given rights are deemed so true and applicable to all that any “religion” can’t override them when defining the standards of public conduct, i.e., a constitutionally-limited Republic.

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