This period, known to historians as the Early Middle Ages, is still referred to by most laymen as the Dark Ages. In fact the term "dark ages" is almost as ancient as the period itself – it was coined in the 1330s by Petrarch, the Italian scholar, to refer to the decline of Latin literature. It was later taken by the protestant reformers (16th century) and then the members of the Englightenment (18th century) as a derogatory term with much broader implications, because they saw their own "enlightenment" as absent from the earlier period. Hardly a fair judgement on the past. Fortunately for modern students of history, the term is now officially known as the Early Middle Ages – a name which has no connotations at all. So, having given you the background on the terms, here are ten reasons that the dark ages were, in fact, a period of great progress and light.
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