Skip to comments.WERE THE DARK AGES REALLY DARK?
Posted on 12/10/2002 11:12:37 AM PST by Mike Darancette
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Physical Aspects Of The Dark Ages
Let's first look at the onset of "the" Dark Ages in the sixth century AD. The Roman Empire was finished, nothing was happening in the sciences, and worse was happening in nature. The Italian historian Flavius Cassiodorus wrote about conditions that he experienced during the year AD 536 :
"The Sun...seems to have lost its wonted light, and appears of a bluish colour. We marvel to see no shadows of our bodies at noon, to feel the mighty vigour of the Sun's heat wasted into feebleness, and the phenomena which accompany an eclipse prolonged through almost a whole year. We have had a summer without heat. The crops have been chilled by north winds, [and] the rain is denied."
Other writers of the time described similar conditions :
Procopius : "...during this year a most dread portent took place. For the Sun gave forth its light without brightness...and it seemed exceedingly like the Sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear."
Lydus : "The Sun became dim...for nearly the whole year...so that the fruits were killed at an unseasonable time."
Michael the Syrian : "The Sun became dark and its darkness lasted for eighteen months. Each day it shone for about four hours, and still this light was only a feeble shadow...the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes."
Was this a local phenomenon? According to the book "Volcanoes of the World", Dr. Timothy Bratton has noted that there was a small eruption of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in AD 536. Could this be the cause? It may well have contributed to the scene (although the eruption was much smaller than the big one of AD 79), but it can not really account for the similar conditions that were experienced around the world.
In China, "the stars were lost from view for three months". Records indicate that the light from the Sun dimmed, the expected rains did not eventuate, and snow was seen in the middle of summer. Famine was widespread, and in the midst of the turmoil, the Emperor abandoned the capital.
Bad luck tends to get bunched together, and thus came the plague. The Justinian Plague, named after the Byzantine Emperor of the time, is reported to have begun in central Asia, spread into Egypt, and then made its way through Europe. By some accounts, it was as bad as the Black Death which "plagued" Europe in the Middle Ages.
(Excerpt) Read more at gchbryant.tripod.com ...
"Constantine is perhaps most famous for the great city which came to bear his name - Constantinople. He came to the conclusion that Rome had ceased to be a practical capital for the empire from which the emperor could exact effective control over its frontiers. . . .
He decided on the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. And on 8 November AD 324 Constantine created his new capital there, renaming it Constantinopolis (City of Constantine). He was careful to maintain Rome's ancient privileges, and the new senate founded in Constantinople was of a lower rank, but he clearly intended it to be the new center of the Roman world."
Note: this topic is from 12/10/2002. Thanks Mike Darancette.
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Note: this topic is from 12/10/2002.
Did you come back and read this?
No I forgot. Sending a freepmail.
I guess they could have used a bit of global warming back then.
algor was born 1500 years too late. Such a pity, then and now.