Friday, March 17, 2017

Exceptional View of the Dark Ages from the History Channel

Unknown why I did not pick up the inspiration for this period in history and it's too easy to simply blame that on teachers; I just didn't.  Now I find the survey of the period makes a number of loose parts fit within the overall image of things.

I knew there had been Moors in Spain but not much about them nor where they originated.  On watching the video, the Moors make sense within the overall evolution of Europe and that helps integrate them into the flow so it's not just centuries of unmitigated chaos.

From the top, there were revelations for me.

I had heard the name of Clovis but did not realize his significance toward the Franks and the major impact they had in European history.  I knew they were important but there were many important tribes or unities of that nature in Europe and I didn't give them much significance.   I see from this the original Frankish kingdom dominated in France and eventually evolved to the kingdom under Charlemagne which dominated the largest empire since Rome had fallen.

The separation of the Roman Empire into two which created the Byzantine Empire wasn't known at all.  I had never reviewed how the Byzantine originated.  That was clarified and Justinian is frequently heard in history but I knew little and there was a focus on his attempts to recapture the Roman Empire after it collapsed.

There's a focus on Charles Martel and his defeat of the Moors who were Islamic invaders from northern Africa.  That aspect which related this back to the Middle East was missing previously so that made it like a jigsaw puzzle as I watched.

The plague years get an obvious focus and that segment gives an excellent perspective on how bad it got beyond the horror of the process of the disease.  Instead it goes to showing how countries had so few living there.

I did not fully realize the magnificence of Charlemagne and the accomplishments he made in his reign nor was I much aware of his efforts toward bringing enlightenment back to Europe toward which he was achieving success.

That segment was followed by the destructiveness of the Vikings and how their rampages set the evolution back substantially.  I didn't realize how far they had gone with it either.  I knew they had made it to North America but did not know the extent of their penetration across Europe.

The closing focus was on the Crusades and the reawakening of Europe was attributed to the influx of knowledge throughout Europe which came back with the Crusaders.  That aspect of the evolution wasn't clear either and this explains what drove, culturally and academically, the Renaissance.

There's the briefest mention so it's not really a focus on the effect of climate change on the course of climbing out of the Dark Ages.  There are periods during European history which were caused by a volcanic eruption which changed the weather for the colder for years.  They didn't have time for much depth but it's important after it happened more than once during the period.

I wasn't taking notes and I should have been so the result you see above is the post-game review.  It looks like it covers the parts which really were illuminating for an excellent effect of aha, so that's how that works.

Unequivocal five star recommendation

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