A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age Themes

William Manchester
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Chapter I, The Medieval Mind, is most focused on reviving the oft-scorned term "the Dark Ages." For a long time over the last several centuries, it was commonplace to see the time period that last roughly from 400 A.D. to 1400 A.D. as a culturally backward and impoverished period of time. The rough social image is one of a declining Western civilization after the barbaric destruction and decay of the Roman Empire. It would not be until the rise of a number of social movements, the rediscovery of antiquity and the creation of modern science. Then the Western World would emerge from the darkness and enter the light through social periods like the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

In more recent decades, historians have moved decisively away from the historiography that gave rise to the conception of the medieval world as "Dark." The term "middle ages" is universal among...

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This section contains 717 words
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Buy the A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age Study Guide
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