I was on twitter one day arguing with randos in the comments on an Ed Snowden tweet about biblical names. I noticed a (since deleted) tweet extoling the virtues of Christianity, and replied that the last time Christians were in charge, Europeans were stuck in the Dark Ages, burning witches & scientists while using Roman Numerals, as Arabs were inventing algebra & incorporating the concept of the number zero (via Hindus). At which point an account with 133k followers called Fake History Hunter (@fakehistoryhunt) interceded, claiming that actually the Dark Ages is a myth. Rather than Dark Ages, they distinguish between early & late middle ages.
My reaction was that this was ridiculous. I learned about the Dark Ages in school. Some rando on twitter, regardless how many followers they have, isn’t going to just re-educate me on history that easily.
They claimed that the bad things we associate with the Dark Ages, like “witch” burnings and accusing scientists of heresy, occurred later, during the Renaissance, so the Renaissance was actually the “dark” times in Europe. It was Renaissance-era historians with a bias toward Rome who fabricated the Dark Ages myth, intending to create a false narrative about the fall of Rome ushering in dark times for Europe. When actually Europeans still made advancements such as inventing eye glasses & wrist watches.
And it isn’t just randos on twitter. There are tons of books on the myth of the Dark Ages. The head medieval history guy at Cambridge U, Seb Falk, even has one.
Again, I’m still quite skeptical. Some stuffy white elites wrote some propaganda? Unimpressed. Sounds to me like what these people mean to communicate, is that Europeans are #1, and have been since at least ancient Greece. Sounds like some bs form of historical race-science or something.
So what if Europeans invented eye glasses & wrist watches? They still had conditions amenable to the terrible Plague. The brutal Crusades. Feudalism. The church in charge of art; suppressing science. Behind in math…
So, yes, the Inquisition and witch burnings occurred later, during the Renaissance. And the whole chattel slavery, intercontinental slave trade thing were also initiated during the Renaissance-era. So perhaps the Renaissance wasn’t dramatically more enlightened than the Dark Ages, as we’ve been led to believe. And maybe it’s just me misremembering my public school education…
Sure, no one called it the “Dark Ages” at the time. Historians invented the term later. Because they were creating a narrative: that the fall of Rome signified a fall of western civilization as a whole.
And sure, pro-Rome historians also fabricated the Byzantine Empire – which never called itself that. Even after the fall of Rome, it was still the Roman Empire – the Eastern Roman Empire. The “Byzantine” term was affixed post-mortem by biased historians.
We all know the term, “history is written by the victors.” And as current events illuminate, especially in regards to politics & foreign policy, consensus among elites is often diametrically opposed to reality. Their primary concern is not truth & accuracy, but narrative control & manufacturing consent.
Is the whole “Dark Ages” thing, a myth? Are the “Dark Ages myth” people quiet as kept just pushing white supremacy? Dunno. But it’s certainly a narrative, created by story-telling eites with motive & bias.