The dark ages in western Europe were a time of great political instability and economic decline. During this period, the Roman Empire had previously collapsed, trade was disrupted and Christianity became the dominant religion in Europe. The term “dark ages” was first used by the Italian Renaissance scholar Petrarch to describe this period of history. The term is now applied to any period that has been characterized by ignorance, illiteracy and superstition.

Petrarch Who Coined The Term Dark Ages | Source: Wikipedia

Different Views of the time

The Dark Ages in Western Europe is a diverse field, with many conflicting viewpoints. One of the most prominent debates revolves around the question of whether or not there was a period of time that could be called “dark” for all of Europe.

Tommaso Laureti – Triumph of Christianity | Source: Wikipedia

Many historians argue that there was no period in history during which all of Europe experienced an equal level of darkness. Instead, they propose that the term “Dark Ages” should be reserved for specific areas within Europe and should not be used as a blanket term for the entire continent. For example, some scholars argue that while the Early Middle Ages were marked by turmoil and political upheaval, they were not necessarily as bleak as some other periods in European history.

19th-century portrayal of the Huns as barbarians by A. De Neuville | Source: Wikipedia

Was it really a dark time?

Some historians also point out that many societies outside of Europe suffered from similar problems during this time period. However they did not experience such severe consequences as those witnessed within Western Europe. They argue that this makes it difficult to label this time period as “dark” without considering other parts of the world at the same time period.

The Dark Ages: A Collection of Four Coins | Source: Banknote World

Historians have since looked at ways to improve upon the idea of the Dark Ages as being a period devoid of culture or advancement. Some historians believe that there were advances made during this period in areas such as trade and technology but that these advances were not recorded because writing was not widely used until much later in history. Others think that although there may not have been much written evidence from this period, there were still people who lived their lives normally with no knowledge or awareness. So do you think the term “dark ages” is justified?

Coins of the Dark Ages

Medieval Europe: A Collection of 12 Silver Coins | Source: Banknote World

The Dark Ages coin box set contains four bronze coins struck during the Dark Ages. The coins included in the set are a Late Roman bronze nummus, a Red Hun/ Kidarite bronze coin. In addition an Early Byzantine bronze 40 nummi coin, and an Ummayad bronze fals coin. Coins during the Dark Ages were crudely made. The Medieval Europe coin collection contains 12 silver coins from the Dark Ages of Europe and the Levant. These silver coins have a crude shape and design due to the coin production process in the Dark Ages. The coins included in the set are an Abbasid dirham coin, two Hungarian denar coins. A Spanish dirham coin, a German heller coin. Also an Austrian pfennig coin, a Venetian tornesello coin, a Frankish Greek denier tournois coin, a Bohemian groshen coin. In addition a Bavarian pfenning coin, a Hungarian parvus coin, and a Russian kopek coin.

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