Random Quote

“Asking “If there is no God, what is the purpose of life?” is like asking, “If there is no master, whose slave shall I be?””
by Dan Barker


Okay, I know I’m an archaeologist, but surely I can indulge myself in a bit of history occasionally…

My big thing is the so-called Dark Ages of Britain, the period from the abandonment of Britain by the Roman government early in the fifth century to the consolidation of the kingdoms of England and Scotland in the ninth and tenth centuries. I object to the term ‘Dark Ages’, but it’s difficult to think of a better phrase to sum up this difficult period. ‘Early medieval’ is the continental term but in Britain, we tend to use it to mean 1066-1200 (or thereabouts); ‘Sub-Roman’ effectively excludes the English, Picts and Scots, and only applies to the fifth and sixth centuries anyway; ‘Anglo-Saxon’ excludes the Welsh, Picts and Scots… I’m at a loss to find a decent term.

So, with that proviso, these links take you into my pages on the ‘Dark Ages’

2 Responses to History

  • Petroc:

    We welsh use the term

    Oes y Seintiau. – Age of the Saints, as they and their prolific writings provide not only most of the sources in Wales, Ireland and Brittany but also show a continuity in the sub Roman period for Christianity and Latin/Greek scholarship. Far from Dark! (apart from the ravishes of the Vikings, Saxons and Franks and the usual Celtic fraternal warship)

  • I know the term originated as comparing “the light” of classical antiquity, and that this is not an accurate view. However, I, too, see no better term for the era in Britain, and I don’t think there is any reason why we can’t change the meaning of the term to refer rather to the sparsity of written records and our ability to “see” into the era.
    Love your work, Keith!

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