Education In The Dark Ages

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“The Dark Ages were stark in every dimension.” - A World Only Lit By Fire The fall of the great Roman Empire sparked a devastating period in European history. From 476 to 1350 CE Europe was regarded as a prolonged hell. Tragedies during the period included: black death, natural disasters, violence and barbarism, lack of innovation, limited education, power struggles, and blurred lines between church and state authority. The conglomerate of these catastrophes produced a negative connotation that overshadowed the entirety of the period. Therefore, the “Dark Ages” is an appropriate name used to describe the Middle Ages in European history because education was limited, violence ran rampant, and disease plagued entire societies. The Europeans…show more content…
Following the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe spiraled into a stark period where education was ignored. According to Manchter’s, A World Lit Only By Fire, “Even Charlemagne, the fìrst Holy Roman emperor and the greatest of all medieval rulers, was illiterate”(Manchester, A World Lit Only By Fire, pg 3) The quotation reinforces the idea that education was sparse during the Middle Ages through emphasizing that King Charlemagne, the greatest of all medieval leaders, himself was “illiterate.” furthermore, Manchester writes, “Indeed, throughout the Middle Ages, which lasted some seven centuries after Charlemagne, literacy was scorned.” (Manchester, A World Lit Only By Fire, pg 3) Through the quotation, Manchester stresses the lack of education throughout the entirety of the period. Additionally, the denotation of “scorned” captures the absence of intellectual life during the Middle Ages. The rarity of education was highlighted in the Journey to Chartres written by Richer, a French monk during the 900’s. Richer devoted an enormous part of his life searching for knowledge. Even Richer, a well-acquainted monk, who focused most of his energy on the pursuit of knowledge, struggled to find someone who was able to teach him. Until “One day a horseman from Chartres came to Rheims and we [Richer and horseman] began to talk. He told me that Heribrand, a clerk of Chartres, had sent him here to bring a message to a monk…show more content…
After surviving the stagnant society that lack of education imposed, and living through the constant violence and bloodshed, Black Death was Europe’s final “test.” Within a few years of the Black Death’s arrival, around 25 million Europeans were already dead. Italian native, Stefano Buonaiuti described the plague as, “a frightful thing that when it got into a house, as was said, no one remained. Frightened people abandoned the house and fled to another. Those in town fled to villages; Physicians could not be found because they had died like the others. And those that could be found wanted vast sums on hand before they entered the house….In all the city there was nothing to do but to carry the dead to a burial.” (Black Death Renaissance, FINALSITE) Buonaiuti’s first-hand account captures the horrors of the plague. Furthermore, the scarce number of educated doctors and researchers allowed the disease to spiral out of control. More importantly, civilians were uneducated about the Black Death which prompted the plague to spread rapidly throughout the European continent. “Symptoms were as followed: either between the thigh and the body, or under the armpit, there appeared a lump, and a sudden fever, and when the victim spat, he

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