Relative age dating superposition

[Warning: non-historian arguing about history, which is always dangerous and sometimes awful.

I will say in my defense that I’m drawing off the work of plenty of good historians like Bryan Ward-Perkins and Angus Maddison whom I interpret as agreeing with me.

And that the people I am disagreeing with are not historians themselves, but other non-historians trying to interpret historians’ work in a popular way that I interpret as wrong.

The entire concept is complete and utter horseshit cobbled together by a deluded writer.

The term “Dark Ages” was first used in the 14th century by Petrarch, an Italian poet with a penchant for Roman nostalgia.

Petrarch used it to describe, well, every single thing that had happened since the fall of Rome. Surely no period that produced all that can be called ‘dark’!

He didn’t rain dark judgment over hundreds of years of human achievement because of historical evidence of any kind, by the way; his entire argument was based on the general feeling that life sucked absolute weasel scrotum ever since Rome went belly-up. All of those are from after the period 500 – 1000 AD.

Likewise There Were No European Dark Ages, The Myth Of The Dark Ages, The Myth Of The “Dark Ages”, Medieval Europe: The Myth Of The Dark Ages, Busting The “Dark Ages” Myth, and of course smug Tumblr posts. Many people’s idea of medieval times is exaggerated. Suppose someone tells you that the middle of America contains the Great Plains, a very flat region.

Not every scientist was burned at the stake, not everyone thought the world was flat and surrounded by space dragons, and the High Middle Ages were notable for impressive levels of material progress which in some cases outpaced the Classical World and which set the stage for the upcoming Renaissance (the continuity thesis). But I worry that as usual, this corrective to an overblown narrative of darkness has itself been overblown. But you know that actually there are lots of tall mountains, like the Rockies.People are now talking about how you’re a gullible rube if you still believe in a so-called “Dark Age”, and how all the real intellectuals know that this was a time of flourishing civilization every bit as good as the Romans or the Renaissance. The period from about 500 to about 1000 in Christian Western Europe was marked by profound economic and intellectual decline and stagnation relative to the periods that came before and after it. And not even all of Europe – not in the Eastern Roman Empire, not in al-Andalus… Have you debunked the so-called Great Plains narrative and proven that its believers are credulous morons?This is incompatible with the “no such thing as the Dark Ages” claim except by a bunch of tortured logic, isolated demands for rigor, and historical ignorance. I wonder if these people interrupt anyone who talks about the Warring States period with “actually, there were only warring states in China. Or have you just missed that there’s a natural and well-delineated area suitable to be called “Great Plains” that doesn’t include your supposed counterexamples?Many other areas during this period had no warring states at all! Huge swathes of the Earth’s land area remained un-Hellenized. Actually, outside of Russia there were no more troubles than usual. Maybe there were a bunch of bad feelings not in the US. The period after 1000 AD did indeed have lots of great accomplishments.Guess you fell victim to the Myth Of The Warring States Period.” What about the Bronze Age? Every other historical age name is instantly understood by everyone to refer to both a time and a place. That’s because Europe at that time had 500 years to recover from the civilizational collapse that demolished its economic and intellectual capacity – a collapse whose immediate aftermath we call “the Dark Ages”.The only time anyone ever gives anybody else grief over this is when they talk about the Dark Ages. And if this is really your true objection, let’s just agree to call it the Western European Dark Ages, as long as we can also agree it existed and was bad. I agree there are some concepts of the Dark Ages that mistakenly include some of the time after the recovery, and that Petrarch’s original version commits this error.

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