We know that the Dark Ages are a myth. This is clear from the archaeological and historical records. The list of inventions from the period 500 AD to 1500 AD rivals and probably surpasses that of any 1000 year era in the historical march of man. Indeed the entire modern world is built on the revolutions in agriculture, science, capital formation, reason, and social development, during this period. The medieval inventions in war and transport for instance, were far in advance of anything that the Greeks and Romans could have developed and far ahead of anything that Islam has ever created.
Yet the modern world, academics, 'experts' and the leftist-Marxist-pro Muslim cult, refuse to recognize the incredible energy, talent, and creative capability of the supposed 'Dark Age' peoples. It is slander. Instead of showing pride in the civilization of the West, the really smart people engage in 'nuanced', 'complicated' and 'cultural relative' corruption and bastardization, in order to forward their favorite theses that the West is stupid; Islam is superior; and the modern world is a morass of racism, oppression, destruction and the rape of poor, little, Mother Earth.
Yet in our ignorance about the Medieval period, we dare to call ourselves 'advanced' and 'educated' ? Please.
The inventions in the arts and sciences alone, make the European medieval period one of the most formidable in history. In music for instance, the Romans and Greeks sang and played very simple, monophonic music. This was little changed from the very basic music one would have found in the Neolithic era. One line was sung, and supported by a limited number of instruments, most of them quite simple in construction and usage.
European medieval musicians invented harmony and polyphony, well before 900 AD. This allowed for the creation of complex and emotional themes to be developed, sung, and played. It was the first time in history that a rich mixture of harmonic polyphony was developed – starting with Gregorian chants in the 6th century, buttressed by an impressive array of inventions in the 7th century including; the pipe organ, the violin, the bass, and the harpischord. In the 10th century musical notation was formed in Europe, making the teaching and construction of complex music much easier.
It is highly doubtful that 'barbaric', dirty and stupid Dark Age peoples would have been enlightened enough to produce such wonderful sounds and melodies – not to mention the blessings of the greatest instrument of all time – the violin. Nothing like these sequence of musical innovations existed anywhere in the world – though I am sure that the Muslims, supported by their Marxist abettors will try to take the credit. Islam did after all, invent the modern world through its program of love and tolerance - or so we are constantly told.
During this revolution in music, the arts also flourished. In fact the range of artistic development during the medieval age is more impressive than that of the much-applauded Renaissance. During the 11th century for example, we have the remarkable era in building, sculpture and art named the 'Romanesque period' – though it had little in common with anything Roman. The Romanesque era was a truly impressive epoch, named after 'Rome' by the ignoramuses, academics and other haute-couture personalities of the 19th century, who believed that European medieval advances could only have been derived by going back to classical culture. The claim and the name is absurd.
Romanesque brilliance was followed by the Gothic originality of the 12th and 13th centuries, in which some of the world's most impressive monuments, churches, public spaces, bridges, mills, and other construction projects were completed. 'Gothic' is another pejorative, used by really smart people in the Enlightenment to mean barbaric, or from the supposedly uncivilized 'Goths' who took down the 'civilized' Roman empire. The Gothic achievements are numerous. They include the use of the flying buttress which allowed for the safe construction of very large, high and internally-vaulted buildings; stained glass windows; thinner walls; and a new forms of sculpture and art production, which far surpassed anything that the Romans and Greeks created. It was during this period as well that the great Flemish painters the Van Eycks, redefined painting and realist art, long in advance of the Renaissance. In fact the Van Eycks were the progenitors of Renaissance genius in painting.
The same is true in literature. None of the array of penetrating writing dated from the Renaissance would have been created if the medieval world had not left Latin and entered the vernacular. Dante, Chaucer and many others wrote in the common tongue of their regions, establishing Italian, English, French, Spanish and German as languages of communication, beauty and common usage. By discarding cumbersome and unproductive Latin for flexible, simpler, and superior languages, society was able to simplify communication and employ resources more profitably into the creation of markets, skills, jobs, science, idea-generation, capital allotment and better governance.
This ability to talk, write, and communicate clearly found an ally in the establishment of regional and national universities where the vernacular languages quickly gained preeminence. The first modern universities in the world were founded in Europe during the 12th century. The innovation was to have the university system dedicated to debate, inquiry and logic – not in transmitting 'received wisdoms' as was being done in the Oriental despotism's within Islam and China. The first two modern schools appeared in Paris and Bologna in about 1150 AD, with Oxford and Cambridge being established circa 1200 AD. By the early 13th century each major university had between 10.000 and 15.000 students Nothing like this existed anywhere else in the world.
The attitude to reason, argue, understand and experiment permeated society which informed the university system, which helped birth modern science. The Enlightenment did not invent 'science', the medieval period did. The first rational-modern scientist was Roger Bacon. The rift with mystical Aristotelianism and the break with conformity to the 'received wisdoms of the past', was quite evident by the 11th century in Europe. Again, this was unique in the world. For example both Jean Buriden [1300-1358] and Nicholas Oresme at the University of Paris anticipated Newton by 300 years, in proposing laws of motion and gravity. Oresme pre-dates Copernicus by postulating that the earth orbited not only around the Sun but along its own axis. 'Dark Age' periods would not produce rational-scientific inquiry.
Another major innovation of medieval Europe – found nowhere else in the world, and certainly not within totalitarian Islam – was capitalism. The great French historian Fernand Braudel is still the best read on the development of capitalism and he was one of many who argued that the medieval period created the forms, the systems, the mechanisms and the capital, to build up what is loosely labeled, 'capitalism' or, the ability to use excess funds to return a profit. This was a European-only creation.
Capitalism mandates all sorts of socio-economic innovations including; management, organization, process complexity, product and service delivery, accountability, accounting, and the rule of contract law. It also presupposes freedom, individuality and social peace including transparent rules and governance. In that regard the most compatible system for capitalism, and one which allows it to flourish is representative democracy – another medieval invention which can be dated to the Magna Carta of 1215.
The capitalist system of the medieval period led to the development of the modern world. It was largely, at least initially, a by-product of Church activity. The Church was the most liquid asset holder in medieval Europe, and its largest landowner. Church-based wealth was deployed in all areas of social and economic life to improve living standards, diet, life expectancy, and farming productivity. The barter economy was replaced by a cash economy sometime in the early 13th century – mostly thanks to the Church and its system of capitalism. Labor specialization and skill developed, reinforcing productivity gains, became legion during the period of 800-1300. Diets, health, and living standards all improved dramatically.
The Church invented credit. The Knights Templars in the 12th century created international banking, letters of credit and depository receipts. This aided in the creation of pools of wealth, used for investments, mortgage loans, and business creation. Land or asset value lending was itself an innovation dating from the times of the Crusades when Nobles had to mortgage their properties. This is the first time in history when we see this done within a system of contractual law, coupled with modern styled contracts. [The word mortgage is Old French for 'dead pledge'. In this contract the lender collected all income from the land during the term of the loan.]
There is no proof that the Dark Ages, were either medieval or Dark. In almost all areas of the political-economy, this era was perhaps the most important and fruitful in history. Nothing like the list of innovations, creations, and advancements were experienced by any other part of the world. Yet we are told constantly that Islam created the modern world, and without the Arab destruction, slaughter and Jihad in Spain for example, the lights of civilization would have been extinguished throughout Europe.
Such views, so widely held and coveted are simply displays of stupidity and ignorance. They are intoned for the purpose of denigrating Christianity, degrading European civilization, and elevating a barbaric death cult to be 'relatively' as successful as what the Western world has produced.
This mental-intellectual barbarity does not conform to reality, facts or history. The Dark Ages need to be renamed as the Age of the Early Modern World.