History Main / TheLowMiddleAges

24th Nov '17 6:00:07 AM raziel365
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Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages, which here will cover the periods of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages proper, are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say that the deposing of Romulus Augustus, the last Western Roman Emperor, by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476 alongside the fall of Ravenna, then capital of the Western Roman Empire, marks the end of the Empire in the West but in truth the western half of the Empire was so far gone by that point that it had been reduced to the region of Italy before the conflict with the Herculean Odoacer, if anything, this event would mark the PointOfNoReturn for the what remained of the Empire as a whole and the death of all vestiges of the Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean.

to:

Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages, which here will cover the periods of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages proper, are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say that the deposing of Romulus Augustus, the last Western Roman Emperor, by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476 alongside the fall of Ravenna, then capital of the Western Roman Empire, marks the end of the Empire in the West but in truth the western half of the Empire was so far gone by that point that it had been reduced to the region of Italy before the conflict with the Herculean Herulian Odoacer, if anything, this event would mark the PointOfNoReturn for the what remained of the Empire as a whole and the death of all vestiges of the Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean.



The other problem following the Crisis was that Roman military power began to wane. The legions, at least in the West, were no longer the state funded, organized armies that had once led to Empire to great victories. Instead, the Western Roman Empire had grown ever reliant on mercenaries and auxiliaries, who were often cheaper. [[note]]If a soldier from Italy dies, that is one less man to collect taxes from and one less person outputting goods. If some barbaric German dies, it has no real financial impact on the Emperor.[[/note]]

to:

The other problem following the Crisis was that Roman military power began was forced to wane. change. The legions, at least in legions as they had been know during the West, ''Pax Romana'' were reorganized from the already obsolete duality of legions and auxiliaries into two separate forces: the Limitanei, or frontier forces, were tasked with guarding the borderland of the Empire and to stave off any invasion for as long as they could; next were the Comitatenses, the mobile army, these would be the hammer to the anvil that were the defending Limitanei, pushing back and destroying any force that attacked the Empire, as well as moving to invade in case war demanded it. Alongside this division of functions came the specialization of tropes, gone were the days were the legions would consist only of heavy infantry and now the legions required all types of units to function: heavy and light cavalry, archers, infantry, spearmen or engineers no longer depended on your place of birth and cavalry itself begaan to take a place of power previously held only by thr legionnaries. Added to this was the state funded, organized armies that had once led to Empire to great victories. Instead, employment of the Western Roman Empire had grown ever reliant on mercenaries and auxiliaries, Foederati, who were often cheaper. [[note]]If a soldier from Italy dies, that is one less man to collect taxes from and one less person outputting goods. If some barbaric German dies, it has no real financial impact on the Emperor.[[/note]]
23rd Nov '17 3:58:31 PM raziel365
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Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages, which here will cover the periods of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages proper, are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say the the deposing of Romulus Augustus, the last Western Roman Emperor, by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476 alongside the fall of Ravenna, then capital of the Western Roman Empire, but in truth the western half of the Empire was so far gone by that point that its impact is more or less a confirmation of the overall decay of the West.

to:

Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages, which here will cover the periods of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages proper, are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say the that the deposing of Romulus Augustus, the last Western Roman Emperor, by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476 alongside the fall of Ravenna, then capital of the Western Roman Empire, marks the end of the Empire in the West but in truth the western half of the Empire was so far gone by that point that its impact is more or less a confirmation it had been reduced to the region of Italy before the conflict with the Herculean Odoacer, if anything, this event would mark the PointOfNoReturn for the what remained of the overall decay Empire as a whole and the death of all vestiges of the West.
Classical Antiquity in the Mediterranean.



Most of this was due to the decentralization of the Empire: The increasingly large empire was growing ever more difficult to maintain, and as was common in the late period of the Western Roman Empire, local rulers and generals grew ever more powerful in the absence of the Emperor. This culminated in the Crisis of the Third Century, in which competing general/emperors waged a massive, brutal civil war in an effort to either take over the Empire or make their own, independent empires such as the Gallic and Palmyrian Empires. Following the crisis, Diocletian separated East and West formally, each now being governed by their own Emperor and Sub-emperor, and while this Tetrarchy would not last him, the precedent it left would never fade away.

to:

Most of this was due to the decentralization of the Empire: The increasingly large empire was growing ever more difficult to maintain, and as was common in the late period of the Western Roman Empire, local rulers and generals grew ever more powerful in the absence of the Emperor. This Aside from this came the reopening of the gap between the rich and the poor that had been one of the reasons of the fall of the Republic, as well as the stagnation of the frontiers as the conquest of new territory became less and less possible (Trajan was the last of the conquering Emperors and one Dacia, one of the provinces he had conquered, was abandoned due to difficulties in holding it).

All of this
culminated in the Crisis of the Third Century, in which competing general/emperors waged a massive, brutal civil war for sixty years in an effort to either take over the Empire or make their own, independent empires such as the Gallic and Palmyrian Empires. Following the crisis, Diocletian separated East and West formally, each now being governed by their own Emperor and Sub-emperor, and while this Tetrarchy would not last him, the precedent it left would never fade away.
12th Nov '17 11:47:08 PM raziel365
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Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say the the deposing of the last Western Roman Emperor by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476, but in truth the Empire was so far gone by that point anyways.

The period really begins sometime in the 3rd Century. Roman civilization had been in decline since the end of the Pax Romana [[note]]''Roman Peace'' in Latin. It means a time in which the ''internal'' politics of the Empire were stable and there were not civil wars, but wars of expansion continued throughout and could likely be attributed as a big reason for the fall of the Empire.[[/note]] and the Roman identity was starting to change. Roman culture and tradition was gradually changing over time, adapting and reacting to outside influences. Most of this was due to the decentralization of the Empire. The increasingly large empire was growing ever more difficult to maintain, and as was common in the late period of the Western Roman Empire, local rulers and generals grew ever more powerful in the absence of the Emperor. This culminated in the Crisis of the Third Century, in which competing general/emperors waged a massive, brutal civil war in an effort to either take over the Empire or make their own, independent empires. Following the crisis, Diocletian separated East and West formally, each now being governed by their own Emperor. The crisis and the split were two massive reasons for the decline of the Western Roman Empire. This seemed rather unbalanced, as the Eastern Roman Empire was clearly richer and far more powerful, especially since Constantine had moved the capital to Byzantium. [[note]]then renamed Constantinople[[/note]] While the East grew rich from trade and prosperity [[note]]although it faced many internal issues and a threat to its cultural identity, like the West[[/note]], the West remained poor.

to:

Ditching all the HollywoodHistory, the Low Middle Ages, which here will cover the periods of the Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages proper, are generally considered to have started around the fall of UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire. [[note]]or more fittingly the Western Roman Empire, for as you will find out the East was still thriving[[/note]] Although since the collapse of the Empire is not really an "event" but more of a gradual decline, it is hard to pinpoint ''where'' exactly this fall occurs. Most would likely say the the deposing of Romulus Augustus, the last Western Roman Emperor Emperor, by the Germanic warlord Odoacer in 476, 476 alongside the fall of Ravenna, then capital of the Western Roman Empire, but in truth the western half of the Empire was so far gone by that point anyways.

that its impact is more or less a confirmation of the overall decay of the West.

The period really begins sometime in the 3rd Century.Century with the Severan Dynasty. Roman civilization had been in decline since the end of the Pax Romana [[note]]''Roman Peace'' in Latin. It means a time in which the ''internal'' politics of the Empire were stable and there were not civil wars, but wars of expansion continued throughout and could likely be attributed as a big reason for the fall of the Empire.[[/note]] and the notion of Roman identity was starting to change. change as a product of the edicts during this time that granted citizenship to all members of the Empire, effectively making moot many of the distinctions of the client states of Rome with itself, as well as blurring the line between the Legions and its auxiliary counterparts. Roman culture and tradition was gradually changing over time, time as well, adapting and reacting to outside influences. influences while the veil of continuity with the Roman Republic that had characterized the phase of the ''Principate'' began to unravel.

Most of this was due to the decentralization of the Empire. Empire: The increasingly large empire was growing ever more difficult to maintain, and as was common in the late period of the Western Roman Empire, local rulers and generals grew ever more powerful in the absence of the Emperor. This culminated in the Crisis of the Third Century, in which competing general/emperors waged a massive, brutal civil war in an effort to either take over the Empire or make their own, independent empires. empires such as the Gallic and Palmyrian Empires. Following the crisis, Diocletian separated East and West formally, each now being governed by their own Emperor. Emperor and Sub-emperor, and while this Tetrarchy would not last him, the precedent it left would never fade away.

The crisis and the split were two massive reasons for the decline of the Western Roman Empire. This seemed rather unbalanced, as Empire: the actions of Odaenathus, the King of the province of Palmyra -nowadays Syria- helped to mantain the unity in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire, giving much needed stability for the Emperors to restore order in the region and thus reducing the eventual impact of the conflict with the Palmyrian Empire; this was not the case in the West, where the war with the Gallic Empire and the incursion of Germanic marauding tribes laid waste to many of the cities and infraestructure, this coupled with the nearity of the Eastern provinces to the wealth of the Silk Route and greater power thanks to Odeanathus's actions gave way to a shift of power from the city of Rome to the East, which was clearly richer and far more powerful, especially since Constantine had moved cemented by Constantine's decision to move the capital to Byzantium. [[note]]then renamed Constantinople[[/note]] While the East grew rich from trade and prosperity [[note]]although it faced many internal issues and a threat to its cultural identity, like the West[[/note]], the West remained poor.
28th Sep '17 5:28:50 PM Abbot_Cellach
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* ''Disney/TheSwordinthestone''

to:

* ''Disney/TheSwordinthestone''
''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone''
28th Sep '17 5:26:41 PM Abbot_Cellach
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to:

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''
* ''Disney/TheSwordinthestone''
28th Jun '17 5:12:39 PM freyalorelei
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* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though, except for KingArthur (and possibly UsefulNotes/AttilaTheHun , Charlemagne, and UsefulNotes/AlfredTheGreat), most people will never have heard of them. (Gunthaharius of Burgundy is not exactly a household name.)

to:

* HistoricalDomainCharacter: Though, except for KingArthur (and possibly UsefulNotes/AttilaTheHun , Charlemagne, UsefulNotes/AttilaTheHun, {{UsefulNotes/Charlemagne}}, and UsefulNotes/AlfredTheGreat), most people will never have heard of them. (Gunthaharius of Burgundy is not exactly a household name.)



* SwissArmyWeapon: inverted - most Dark Agers carried one big knife that they used for everything from cutting food to carving wood to killing. Hopefully with a cleaning of some kind in between - you wouldn't want to get foodstains on your dead enemy, after all.

to:

* SwissArmyWeapon: inverted - most Dark Agers carried one big knife that they used for everything from cutting food to carving wood to killing. Hopefully with a cleaning of some kind in between - you wouldn't want to get foodstains food stains on your dead enemy, after all.
18th Jun '17 12:41:21 PM karstovich2
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Beyond that, the Islamic world had a curious mixture of faith and reason that contrasted the deeply religious lifestyle of Europeans. Although Muslims were deeply faithful at heart, they rarely let it get in the way of the march of progress. Also unlike Europeans, the Muslims were surprisingly tolerant of the other Abrahamic faiths. Jews and Christians were allowed to live in Islamic society, so long as they paid some extra taxes. As a trade-off, they weren't required to go to war, so therefore they didn't have to go get killed. All in all, the Muslim world was excelling by leaps and bounds at this time, and the Abassids were at the top of their game. (Eventually, the majority of Christians and Jews in that region determined that the lower tax rates and the opportunities for advancement afforded to Muslims were worth the risk of conscription, which is the main reason the Middle East of today is so heavily Muslim.)

to:

Beyond that, the Islamic world had a curious mixture of faith and reason that contrasted the deeply religious lifestyle of Europeans. Although Muslims were deeply faithful at heart, they rarely let it get in the way of the march of progress. Also unlike Europeans, the Muslims were surprisingly tolerant of the other Abrahamic faiths. Jews and Christians were allowed to live in Islamic society, so long as they paid some extra taxes. As a trade-off, they weren't required to go to war, so therefore they didn't have to go get killed. All in all, the Muslim world was excelling by leaps and bounds at this time, and the Abassids were at the top of their game. (Eventually, the majority of Christians and Jews in that region determined that the lower tax rates and the opportunities for advancement afforded to Muslims were worth outweighed to benefits of keeping their religion, and converted. It also helped that by this point, the risk of conscription, which local Christians and Jews had spent decades if not centuries heavily influenced by Arab Muslim culture. This is the main reason the Middle East of today is so heavily Muslim.)
18th Jun '17 12:39:15 PM karstovich2
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The Crisis had also been something of an EnemyCivilWar for enterprising barbarians who had remained unconquered. With UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire weakening, its enemies began to nibble away little by little. The Parthians (Later supplanted by the Sassanians, though both were Iranian/Persian) carved out their own large empire in Persia and parts of Mesopotamia. Germans[[note]]or, to be more precise, Goths, Visigoths, and other tribes[[/note]] would ever encroach on the borderlands of Roman territory. Their frequent raids on the crippled Empire depopulated entire regions. The civil war drew away valuable border troops that kept raiders and bandits at bay. Gaul was said to be plagued by pirates in the absence of the Roman navy, and the withdrawal of the Legions to fight in Italy left entire towns vulnerable to large bands of criminals. Banditry was becoming a ever-aspiring prospect. The war also crippled the economy. Rome suffered intense inflation and taxes were raised to help pay for the military. This led to a myriad of internal issues. One was de-urbanization. The middle class became extinguished as few individuals had the money to purchase once thriving services. Stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths, artists, and tutors were finding themselves without jobs. This forced many to sell their homes in the city and turn to the tried-and-true business of agriculture. Meanwhile, poor farmers (many of whom were ex-legionaries or descendants of legionaries) found themselves unable to pay their taxes. They began to sell their farms and move to plantations that would later become manors, then estates, then finally known as counties or lordships. These plantations were owned by the wealthy patricians, the only class of people who could still afford comfortable living. The advantage for the poor farmers was tax exemption, as a lack of land-ownership and bondage to the plantation owners meant you couldn't be taxed, as you were no longer an independent earner. The advantage for the plantation owners was the ability to have vast farms that could make money by sheer quantity of output.

The other problem following the Crisis was that Roman military power began to wane. The legions, at least in the West, were no longer the state funded, organized armies that had once led to Empire to great victories. Instead, the Western Roman Empire had grown ever reliant on mercenaries and auxiliaries, who were often cheaper. [[note]]If a soldier from Italy dies, that is one less man to collect taxes from and one less person outputting goods. If some barbaric German dies, it has no real financial impact on the Emperor.[[/note]] More than a cost saving measure, it was also a political maneuver to try to tie the armies to the central government instead of the generals. The Legions tended to be tied more to their generals than to Rome, as the lands the generals led them to conquer would later be divided up into farms. However, the Roman government tried to subvert this to prevent another Crisis by creating mostly paid armies. The mercenaries would be loyal to the source of their pay, which was the Roman treasury and not their generals. Thus, this, in theory, insured that the Legions would not betray the central state again. However, the lack of discipline made the West increasingly vulnerable to other threats. This was ever noticed during the Gothic War, in which Goths, fleeing the migrating Huns, resettled on Roman territory, but they rebelled due to mistreatment. The Goths won a decisive battle against the Roman troops at the Battle of Adrianople, which exposed the weakness of the decaying Roman Empire. And when the Romans did break down and become unable to pay these ''feodorati'', they often rebelled and attacked the Empire anyways.

to:

The Crisis had also been something of an EnemyCivilWar for enterprising barbarians who had remained unconquered. With UsefulNotes/TheRomanEmpire weakening, its enemies began to nibble away little by little. The Parthians (Later supplanted by the Sassanians, though both were Iranian/Persian) carved out their own large empire in Persia and parts of Mesopotamia. Germans[[note]]or, to be more precise, Goths, Visigoths, and other tribes[[/note]] would ever encroach on the borderlands of Roman territory. Their frequent raids on the crippled Empire depopulated entire regions. The civil war drew away valuable border troops that kept raiders and bandits at bay. Gaul was said to be plagued by pirates in the absence of the Roman navy, and the withdrawal of the Legions to fight in Italy left entire towns vulnerable to large bands of criminals. Banditry was becoming a ever-aspiring prospect.

The war also crippled the economy. Rome suffered intense inflation and taxes were raised to help pay for the military. This led to a myriad of internal issues. One was de-urbanization. The middle class became extinguished as few individuals had the money to purchase once thriving services. Stonemasons, carpenters, blacksmiths, artists, and tutors were finding themselves without jobs. This forced many to sell their homes in the city and turn to the tried-and-true business of agriculture.

Meanwhile, poor farmers (many of whom were ex-legionaries or descendants of legionaries) found themselves unable to pay their taxes. They began to sell their farms and move to plantations that would later become manors, then estates, then finally known as counties or lordships. These plantations were owned by the wealthy patricians, the only class of people who could still afford comfortable living. The advantage for the poor farmers was tax exemption, as a lack of land-ownership and bondage to the plantation owners meant you couldn't be taxed, as you were no longer an independent earner. The advantage for the plantation owners was the ability to have vast farms that could make money by sheer quantity of output.

The other problem following the Crisis was that Roman military power began to wane. The legions, at least in the West, were no longer the state funded, organized armies that had once led to Empire to great victories. Instead, the Western Roman Empire had grown ever reliant on mercenaries and auxiliaries, who were often cheaper. [[note]]If a soldier from Italy dies, that is one less man to collect taxes from and one less person outputting goods. If some barbaric German dies, it has no real financial impact on the Emperor.[[/note]] [[/note]]

More than a cost saving cost-saving measure, it was also a political maneuver to try to tie the armies to the central government instead of the generals. The Legions tended to be tied more to their generals than to Rome, as the lands the generals led them to conquer would later be divided up into farms. However, the Roman government tried to subvert this to prevent another Crisis by creating mostly paid armies. The mercenaries would be loyal to the source of their pay, which was the Roman treasury and not their generals. Thus, this, This, in theory, insured that the Legions would not betray the central state again. again.

However, the lack of discipline made the West increasingly vulnerable to other threats. This was ever noticed during the Gothic War, in which Goths, fleeing the migrating Huns, resettled on Roman territory, but they rebelled due to mistreatment. The Goths won a decisive battle against the Roman troops at the Battle of Adrianople, which exposed the weakness of the decaying Roman Empire. And when the Romans did break down and become unable to pay these ''feodorati'', they often rebelled and attacked the Empire anyways.



From the crossing of the Rhine in 406, the Western Roman Empire (or whatever shell of it remained) was effectively conquered by the Germans, who rapidly claimed many of Rome's former provinces. The Visigoths, a people originally from the area around Dacia, took Gaul [[note]]modern day France and Belgium[[/note]] and Hispania [[note]]Spain and Portugal[[/note]] for their own, while the Ostrogoths, who were of similar origin, took Italy. The Vandals set up a short-lived Germanic kingdom in North Africa. The Angles and eventually the Saxons settled in what is today England, where their culture was largely adopted by the native peoples. The Celtic peoples in what is today Wales remained independent and largely retained their own culture. While it used to be thought that the Angles and Saxons had ''displaced'' the native Britons, but the prevailing theory is that they simply took over as the dominant political class. The Empire itself didn't entirely collapse, as some of its institutions survived and evolved. The power of the Emperor was largely preserved with the Papacy, as the Pope still held central authority over the kings of Europe. Although the secular kingdoms still fought each other and retained ''de facto'' independence, the Pope could still manipulate them and command them in some way, acting as an incredibly marginalized Emperor. Roman military positions gradually transformed as well. The new kingdoms recycled the Roman military organization, even using the title of ''comitatenses'' for the loyal troops who served the Germanic kings who first invaded the Empire. This was later shortened to ''comes'', which became ''count'' in modern English. These troops were rewarded for their fealty by the grant of land, and land meant social status. This was a holdover from the Roman system of granting land to the legionaries.

to:

From the crossing of the Rhine in 406, the Western Roman Empire (or whatever shell of it remained) was effectively conquered by the Germans, who rapidly claimed many of Rome's former provinces. The Visigoths, a people originally from the area around Dacia, took Gaul [[note]]modern day France and Belgium[[/note]] and Hispania [[note]]Spain and Portugal[[/note]] for their own, while the Ostrogoths, who were of similar origin, took Italy. The Vandals set up a short-lived Germanic kingdom in North Africa. The Angles and eventually the Saxons settled in what is today England, where their culture was largely adopted by the native peoples. The Celtic peoples in what is today Wales remained independent and largely retained their own culture. While it used to be thought that the Angles and Saxons had ''displaced'' the native Britons, but the prevailing theory is that they simply took over as the dominant political class.

The Empire itself didn't entirely collapse, as some of its institutions survived and evolved. The power of the Emperor was largely preserved with the Papacy, as the Pope still held central authority over the kings of Europe. Although the secular kingdoms still fought each other and retained ''de facto'' independence, the Pope could still manipulate them and command them in some way, acting as an incredibly marginalized Emperor. Roman military positions gradually transformed as well. The new kingdoms recycled the Roman military organization, even using the title of ''comitatenses'' for the loyal troops who served the Germanic kings who first invaded the Empire. This was later shortened to ''comes'', which became ''count'' in modern English. These troops were rewarded for their fealty by the grant of land, and land meant social status. This was a holdover from the Roman system of granting land to the legionaries.



Around this time, we start to see the often exaggerated and mythical "dark ages" in which supposedly scientific advancement, social advancement, and learning came to a crushing halt. So what happened? Did people get stupider? Of course not. With the breakdown of the centralized Roman government in the West, trade and communication began grinding to a halt. The complex, urban metropolises once supported by Greco-Roman civilization would fall to pieces under the management of German administrators who had no concept of cities. Aqueducts fell into disrepair and were often deconstructed to be used as building materials, and famous Roman relics like the Colosseum became the ruins they are today. But, contrary to popular belief, the Low Middle Ages was not a period of immense stupidity or total collapse of all that is good in the world. In fact, some things improved. Generally speaking, you were less likely to go to war and get killed in the Low Middle Ages than in Roman times (a lack of big civil wars certainly helps) and previous knowledge was still preserved by monks and scholars. The nutritional situation improved. Taxes were ''far'' lower than in the Roman age. The Roman chattel slavery gradually disappeared and was superceded by serfdom, which was a ''vast'' improvement. Yes, things were certainly ''worse'' when compared to the Pax Romana, but it wasn't the abysmal time most history teachers love to paint it as. And from what sources we have, it appears very little actually changed between the Roman Empire's collapse and the conquest by the Germanic Kingdoms as far as living standards.

to:

Around this time, we start to see the often exaggerated and mythical "dark ages" in which supposedly scientific advancement, social advancement, and learning came to a crushing halt. So what happened? Did people get stupider? Of course not. With the breakdown of the centralized Roman government in the West, trade and communication began grinding to a halt. The complex, urban metropolises once supported by Greco-Roman civilization would fall to pieces under the management of German administrators who had no concept of cities. Aqueducts fell into disrepair and were often deconstructed to be used as building materials, and famous Roman relics like the Colosseum became the ruins they are today.

But, contrary to popular belief, the Low Middle Ages was not a period of immense stupidity or total collapse of all that is good in the world. In fact, some things improved. Generally speaking, you were less likely to go to war and get killed in the Low Middle Ages than in Roman times (a lack of big civil wars certainly helps) and previous knowledge was still preserved by monks and scholars. The nutritional situation improved. Taxes were ''far'' lower than in the Roman age. The Roman chattel slavery gradually disappeared and was superceded superseded by serfdom, which was a ''vast'' improvement. Yes, things were certainly ''worse'' when compared to the Pax Romana, but it wasn't the abysmal time most history teachers love to paint it as. And from what sources we have, it appears very little actually changed between the Roman Empire's collapse and the conquest by the Germanic Kingdoms as far as living standards.



Things were also going strong in the new Muslim world. By the time of Charlemagne's rule, the Umayyads had been overthrown, and the Abassids had taken over. There are too many scholarly works from the Muslim world in this time to even count, and numerous sources were translated and many books and theses were written. Schools were being established, as were hospitals. Being right along the largest trade route (the Silk Road) at the time helped the Islamic world progress. After all, to have writers, philosophers, and scientists, you need money to pay them. Beyond that, the Islamic world had a curious mixture of faith and reason that contrasted the deeply religious lifestyle of Europeans. Although Muslims were deeply faithful at heart, they rarely let it get in the way of the march of progress. Also unlike Europeans, the Muslims were surprisingly tolerant of the other Abrahamic Faiths. Jews and Christians were allowed to live in Islamic society, so long as they paid the necessary tax. As a trade off, they weren't required to go to war, so therefore they didn't have to go get killed. All in all, the Muslim world was excelling by leaps and bounds at this time, and the Abassids were at the top of their game.

Back in Europe, things weren't going so well. Following Charlemagne's death, his Empire was divided in three. There was the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Germany separated by the Kingdom of Lotharingia. The first two would survive well into the Main/TheHighMiddleAges, while most of Lotharingia would fall to Germany, which eventually took the Roman name, becoming the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, which would fall apart into quarreling states. Then it goes FromBadToWorse, as the [[HornyVikings Vikings]] start looting and pillaging Europe. It is unknown as to why the Vikings suddenly started going on an obscene murder frenzy (Though the warming of the European region in the time period may have had something to do with it, as previously the northern seas froze over in winter- meaning the vikings could now send their ships out all year round), but everybody has ''sure heard of them since'', and for good reason. The Vikings were skilled warriors, but what made them truly scary were their boats.

to:

Things were also going strong in the new Muslim world. By the time of Charlemagne's rule, the Umayyads had been overthrown, and the Abassids had taken over. There are too many scholarly works from the Muslim world in this time to even count, and numerous sources were translated and many books and theses were written. Schools were being established, as were hospitals. Being right along the largest trade route (the Silk Road) at the time helped the Islamic world progress. After all, to have writers, philosophers, and scientists, you need money to pay them.

Beyond that, the Islamic world had a curious mixture of faith and reason that contrasted the deeply religious lifestyle of Europeans. Although Muslims were deeply faithful at heart, they rarely let it get in the way of the march of progress. Also unlike Europeans, the Muslims were surprisingly tolerant of the other Abrahamic Faiths. faiths. Jews and Christians were allowed to live in Islamic society, so long as they paid the necessary tax. some extra taxes. As a trade off, trade-off, they weren't required to go to war, so therefore they didn't have to go get killed. All in all, the Muslim world was excelling by leaps and bounds at this time, and the Abassids were at the top of their game.

game. (Eventually, the majority of Christians and Jews in that region determined that the lower tax rates and the opportunities for advancement afforded to Muslims were worth the risk of conscription, which is the main reason the Middle East of today is so heavily Muslim.)

Back in Europe, things weren't going so well. Following Charlemagne's death, his Empire was divided in three. There was the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Germany separated by the Kingdom of Lotharingia. The first two would survive well into the Main/TheHighMiddleAges, while most of Lotharingia would fall to Germany, which eventually took the Roman name, becoming the UsefulNotes/HolyRomanEmpire, which would fall apart into quarreling states.

Then it goes FromBadToWorse, as the [[HornyVikings Vikings]] start looting and pillaging Europe. It is unknown as to why the Vikings suddenly started going on an obscene murder frenzy (Though (though the warming of the European region in the time period may have had something to do with it, as previously the northern seas froze over in winter- meaning the vikings Vikings could now send their ships out all year round), but everybody has ''sure heard of them since'', and for good reason. The Vikings were skilled warriors, but what made them truly scary were their boats.
18th Jun '17 12:30:37 PM karstovich2
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The arrival of the Normans in 1066 is as good a cut-off point as any, especially since they were the ones who really started building castles with a vengeance. After that, see TheHighMiddleAges.

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The arrival of the Normans in England in 1066 is as good a cut-off point as any, especially since they were the ones who really started building castles with a vengeance.vengeance. Normans also began invading other parts of Europe (everywhere from Ireland to Italy) after they took England. After that, see TheHighMiddleAges.
20th May '17 5:06:25 PM nombretomado
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* ''VinlandSaga'', set right towards the end of the dark ages.

to:

* ''VinlandSaga'', ''Manga/VinlandSaga'', set right towards the end of the dark ages.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.TheLowMiddleAges