High Middle Ages To The Enlightenment And Midieval Europe

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High Middle Ages to the Enlightenment and Midieval Europe

High Middle Ages to the Enlightenment and Midieval Europe


In 1984, the Swedish historian Michael Nordberg published his synthesis on the modern scholarly view on the Middle Ages - “Den dynamiska medeltiden” (The dynamic middle Ages). This was one of the first attempts to reach out to the casual reader with the dominant scholarly view on the reality behind the so called “Dark Ages”. Since that time onwards, there have been many other publications from scholars and amateur historians alike worldwide who effectively debunk the old myth about the dark “Dark Ages”. It's interesting to see how large the gap is between the scholars and the laymen. Whereas professional historians have come to accept a much more balanced view on the period ca 500-1500, most “ordinary” people seem to be stuck with the erroneous idea of the “Dark Ages”, i.e. the middle Ages as a period of backwardness, ignorance and underdevelopment. (Hollister, Mcgee and Stokes, 2000)


Why then have the medieval period become associated with “dark ages”? First you have to blame the humanists of the renaissance, who regarded themselves as “rediscoverers” of a lost, glorious “golden age” - the classical Antiquity. (Hollister, Mcgee and Stokes, 2000) According to these renaissance snobs, the period between theirs and the lost “Golden age” was a “Media aetas”, i.e. the middle ages - a historical parenthesis and a dark period of no development. Then, in the 18th century during the age of reason, scholars came to view the middle ages as a time of ignorance and superstition, in contrast to their own period of enlightenment. Then in 1860, the Swiss scholar Jacob Burckhardt published his work Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (“The renaissance culture in Italy”) where the myth of the “Dark ages” that was invented by 16th century intellectuals unfortunately was perpetuated and conveyed to the layman. But since the early 19th century, historians have studied the middle Ages and come up with a view on the period very different from that of Burckhardt's thesis. The great problem in studying the middle Ages is that prior to the 9th century, sources are very few. This is not because the people living in that age were stupid or illiterate; it's due to that people mostly wrote on papyri, which unfortunately haven't survived. yes sir (Hollister, Mcgee and Stokes, 2000)

During the High Middle Ages Europe was in a process of immense development and technological and societal expansion. During this time we get the first universities, where not only theology was studied (as some might believe) but also theoretical physics, optics, astronomy, mathematics and other sciences. People from all over the Christian world, even from remote Scandinavia and Iceland, came to study at famous universities like Bologna or Sorbonne. During the 14th century, empiric studies in the school of nominalism lay the foundation of the modern scientific method. Just because one was Christian, one was far from locked and stuck with dogma. On the contrary, it was often ...
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