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medieval studies
Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered
 
 
Author
Peter S. Wells.
Publisher Norton/BOMC  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 8.5 x 5.75 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780393060751
Pages/Publication Date 240/2008
Daedalus Item Code 10482
This item is not available.
Description
As archaeologist Peter Wells makes clear in this concise history, the received picture of the "Dark Ages" in Europe—of civilization demolished by barbarian hordes, with random violence, squalor, mass migration, disease, and starvation as the standard way of life—was written largely by Roman chroniclers bemoaning the loss of the empire. Now that historians and archaeologists together can better understand the physical record, says Wells, a different picture emerges: one of thriving trade, robust culture, artistry, technology, and learning.

"Evidence accounts for vast trade networks that ranged from Byzantium and the Black Sea through the Baltic to Ireland, and across the Alps and Pyrenees; artifacts from as far away as India have been uncovered in Scandinavia. Buildings, metalworking and gem-cutting sites, and evidence for continuous occupation of many modern European cities, also provide rich proof that, contrary to the Roman-centric collapse-of-civilization narrative, the post-Roman world pulsed with robust, vital activity. Wells's aim is obviously a wide audience of armchair historians and archeologists; they won't be disappointed, and they'll have a fine reading list in Wells's sources and suggestions."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
 
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