A thousand years ago our forebears lived in what was known as the “Dark Age.” They themselves did not think it was dark, and they were only half wrong…
A good share of the fragmented world was precariously ordered by the social-governmental-economic system of feudalism. The word itself, and its vocabulary of vassalage, fiefs, homage, have taken on ugly connotations. To condemn, for instance, our “feudal labor code” is unfair to feudalism. The feudal system arose in response to needs- the need of the poor man for protection and the need of the strong man for soldiers and for upkeep of his strength. Feudalism was a bargain; the poor man exchanged freedom for security, for he would rather be safe than free, and anyway freedom meant little when there was no place to go and nothing to do when one got there.
Feudalism had its elevated doctrine, its ethos of loyalty, courage, honor. The feudal lord was not necessarily an oppressor. His interest was to promote the welfare of his workers, not to starve and destroy them. The system was at least a workable one, based on land and the land’s products, not on money. If the serf was bound to the land, the land was bound to him; he could not be dispossessed and driven into an unwelcoming world. Feudalism encouraged a certain peace of mind. Every man’s status was fixed, his destiny and his duties clear.
Of course, the feudal ideal was open to dreadful abuse. Force could readily usurp right. A brutal lord could rob, torture and kill his serfs without offending his overlord or his conscience. He could go to war with his neighbors at will, to adjust a boundary, claim a daughter’s or a wife’s dowry, avenge a slight to his honor, or merely to beguile boredom. War was the noblest of sports.
(see link at end)…I believe that we can safely say that the period of man’s history from 476 AD to 1000 AD is the most maligned of all. This period, known to historians as the Early Middle Ages, is still referred to by most laymen as the Dark Ages. In fact the term “dark ages” is almost as ancient as the period itself – it was coined in the 1330s by Petrarch, the Italian scholar, to refer to the decline of Latin literature. It was later taken by the protestant reformers (16th century) and then the members of the Englightenment (18th century) as a derogatory term with much broader implications, because they saw their own “enlightenment” as absent from the earlier period. Hardly a fair judgement on the past. Fortunately for modern students of history, the term is now officially known as the Early Middle Ages – a name which has no connotations at all. So, having given you the background on the terms, here are ten reasons that the dark ages were, in fact, a period of great progress and light.Read More:http://listverse.com/2008/06/09/top-10-reasons-the-dark-ages-were-not-dark/