Dress like an emperor or empress.
THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
To learn more out about the period dubbed, “The Dark Ages,” I consulted Google and found an article on the website “Cracked” that was really interesting. Cracked writes funny myth-buster type articles for mature audiences. Basically, the author states that a 14th century writer thought anything that happened after the fall of Rome was bad. He viewed this period as an age of no progress, so he called it the “Dark Ages.” And that name stuck for a long time.
We tend to think of this as a time of dirty toothless peasants with horrible lives. In reality, the standard of living wasn’t that bad; in comparison to other historical eras. In the Early Middle Ages, new technologies in farming meant slaves were no longer needed to work in the fields. People who had been slaves became free workers.
Much of the wealth was held by the church. The church set up a system of charity that provided food, shelter, and clothing to those in need. The concepts of hospitals and shelters for the poor were invented in the Middle Ages.
Most of us think of the “Dark Ages” as a time when the majority of people were uneducated and couldn’t read or write. That’s true of most eras until recent times. During this time, scholars made huge advances in writing. They invented uppercase letters to begin sentences, punctuation, and spaces between words to make reading and writing easier.
TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE EARLY MIDDLE AGES
#10 – GREGORIAN CHANT – This type of singing in unison is also known as plainchant or plainsong. It was the music of the Roman Catholic church. Neumes (the predecessor of musical notes) were invented. (You can listen to the 1990s version of Gregorian Chant as performed by Enigma or the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo.)
#9 – ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS – These book pages have decorated borders and large fancy initial letters. Monks wrote each page of the bible and other books by hand.
#8 – CHRISTIAN RELIGION was frowned upon. Early Christians met secretly in the catacombs of Rome.
#7 – EMPEROR CONSTANTINE – Constantine the Great approved all religions.
#6 – THE WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRE grew large and was constantly under attack.
#5 – THE FALL OF THE WESTERN ROMAN EMPIRE in 476 A.D.
#4 – BYZANTINE EMPIRE – The Eastern Roman Empire grew large and became powerful.
#3 – THE PLAGUE OF JUSTINIAN – Egyptian rats carrying a disease were brought to Constantinople in grain baskets that were loaded onto merchant ships. The disease spread quickly and killed about 40% of the population. It was one of the worst plagues in history.
#2 – LEARNING WAS “KEPT ALIVE” IN MONASTERIES – Monks lived in the monasteries. They knew how to read and write and provided education to boys in the community. Monasteries were inns where travelers could stay. Monasteries fed the poor and took care of the sick.
#1 – INCORRECTLY CALLED THE “DARK AGES”
Make The BYZANTINE CROWN CRAFT. Click the link to view or print the PDF.
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