The Dark Ages
The Dark Ages, or Middle Ages, was the time period between the Fall of the Western Roman Empire around 476 BCE and the beginning of the Early Modern period, in roughly the fourteenth century. After the collapse of a great empire that ruled the vast majority of Europe, literature, language, intellectual thought, even cultural advancement seemingly deteriorated. Many perceive this time to be one of ignorance, where religion and superstition overtook common sense and rationality. Population decline, migrations, and invasions during the Early Middle Ages are just some of the reasons this point in history has such a negative connotation. In the first century AD, widely known as the "Migration Period," several Germanic, Slavic, and other peoples who were once enemies of Rome finally moved into areas previously under Roman rule. Thus, the integration of different cultures and skills allowed for technological and agricultural innovations to flourish later on, in approximately 1,000 AD, during the High Middle Ages. In the Late Middle Ages, between 1,347 and 1,350, the Black Death killed at least one third of the entire European population. Plague, famine, and war continued like this until new cultural and technological advances launched this region into the Early Modern period, starting with the Renaissance.