It may have been a Dark Age for some, but certainly not for all. Dark ages are defined as an era of ignorance, superstition, or social chaos or repression or the early or crude stage in the history or development of something. The “Dark Ages” in Europe were a time of little writing, education, trade. There was severe political fragmentation with many leaders had less power because countries were divided into areas controlled by feudal lords. It was a time of decline, death, disease and fear. From about 550 C. E until about 900, Western Europe suffered a number of problems.
The empire was constantly fighting to defend itself against an endless onslaught of invasions from the Huns and other Barbarians from the East, Vikings from the North and the Muslims from the south. They destroyed many fine buildings and works of art that had existed during Roman times. These attacks also made it difficult to develop durable government or economic forms. Outbreaks of plague and religious persecution added to the mayhem. With weak rulers and poor agriculture, intellectual activity unsurprisingly declined. There were very few schools and fewer records were kept leaving the age fittingly “in the dark” for today’s historians.
Manorialism was the system of economic and political relations between landlords and peasant laborers. In those times most people were serfs, living on self-sufficient agricultural estates called manors. Serfs received some protection in return for some of their goods and to remain on the land. The manorial system was strengthened by the decline of trade and lack of a larger political structure. Life for serfs was difficult although they were not slaves because they were not sold and had housing. Plowman, shepherds, oxherders, and fisherman all faced hardships in their daily work.
Final Paper: The Political Culture of Germany The Country of Germany is known for many things Oktoberfest, the autobahn, the Rhine River and a very horrific and turbulent past. The Germany of today continues to be forged out of the mistakes of its past. From Hitler, to Nazism to concentration camps, Germany has worked diligently to move past its horrible past and become a true political and ...
Muslim writers who encountered Europeans during the Crusades viewed them as tragically backward. One wrote, “Their bodies are large their manners harsh, their understanding dull and their tongues heavy. Those who are farthest to the north are the most subject to stupidity, grossness, and brutishness. ” Their economy was less advanced, and their manners were less polished. (322) 1 Ibn Fadlan a diplomat from Baghdad recounted his travels to Russia and the Swedish Vikings. He described them as “the filthiest of God’s creatures. ” And remarked about how they only washed with a community wash bowl which had everyone’s spit and hair in it already. The Catholic Church was the only extensive example of a solid organization and was one of the very few “bright spots” of the time. They preserved ancient and biblical writings and helped unify the people of Europe with their centralized authority and hierarchical nature. It was truly the only constant. During the times of the middle ages two of the most celebrated dynasties ever occurred in China. The Tang and Song rule was highlighted by Chinese advancement in virtually all areas; new patterns of trade and commerce, renewed urban expansion, artistic and literary expression and technological innovation.
The empires featured the earth’s largest numbers in population and territory. Great cites would total over a million people including Hangzhou which was renowned for its beauty and sophistication, wealth, and cleanliness. 1 Under Tang rule state officials would be educated on the Confucian classics. The examination system was greatly expanded and those who did well were highly respected, receiving special social status. These civil service examinations could give power to some people, but birth and family connections were still very important.
By the time of the Tang unification Buddhism had become a strong social, political and economic force in China overtaking Daoism (and its Zen offspring) and Confucianism. During the Song dynasty the Neo-Confucians had a great impact on the Chinese intellectual life by stressing personal morality. Position of women improved during these times as well, although traditions like foot-binding could make some think otherwise. Marco Polo actually traveled to China late in the Song dynasty and wrote in his diary about the beauty he saw. He described the great cities, the never-ending roads and busy markets.
When talking about Song history, most scholars were focusing on political, economic and cultural aspects that the role of courtesans in Song social life has seldom shed a light. This paper will first define the word of “courtesans” and its origin. Some case studies then will be cited to examine how the relationship between courtesans and literati is and to illustrate the role of courtesans in Song ...
He even remarked how one might by led to “imagine himself in paradise” considering then grandeur and beauty. 2 The time often referred to as the “Dark Ages” spanned from the fall of Rome’s western empire and continued for many centuries. Europe had seemingly disappeared into ignorance and isolation. Life was clearly difficult for many what with disease and chaos, and there were virtually no good characteristics outside of the unifying church. There were however limitations to this widespread negativity as civilizations like China were thriving under the Tang and Song as evident in the writings of Marco Polo during his time there.