The History Channel examines the Dark Ages from the fall of the Roman Empire to the First Crusade.

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Philip Daileader ...
Himself - William and Mary College
Kelly DeVries ...
Himself - Loyola College
Bonnie Effros ...
Herself - SUNY Binghamton
Adnan Husain ...
Himself - Queen's University
Michael Kulikowski ...
Himself - University of Tennessee
Thomas Martin ...
Himself - College of Holy Cross
Jim Masschaele ...
Himself - Rutgers University
Vilma Raubaite ...
Brett Whalen ...
Himself - UNC, Chapel Hill
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The History Channel examines the Dark Ages from the fall of the Roman Empire to the First Crusade.

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4 March 2007 (USA)  »

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1.78 : 1
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murder was nothing; everybody killed someone (but in some ways, things haven't changed much)
13 March 2007 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

We've probably all heard of the period in European history between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance. But unless we see this documentary, we can't even begin to understand how unpleasant it was (and what we see here is probably tame compared to how things really were). "The Dark Ages" shows how Rome's collapse led to the balkanization of Europe and the rise of the Catholic Church, then the Holy Roman Empire and the Vikings, and all the while a semi-successor to Rome was going on in Constantinople. Not to mention the Bubonic Plague.

There is a brief look at how the Catholic Church and the monarchs were intent on forcing their religion on conquered people, but I think that the documentary could have looked more at how vile the Catholic Church got in its full-scale corruption. But the part about the Crusades was well done, in that it showed how the soldiers went over there with the aim of conquering the region but found a more advanced society (the Arabs were keeping alive the knowledge that the Catholic Church suppressed in Europe).

Anyway, we get a sense of how the Dark Ages - or Middle Ages, if you want to call them that - led to the Renaissance. Hearing about some of what happened during the Dark Ages, it seems like in some ways, things haven't gotten much better: we still have wars, oppression, and disease. Can technological advancements really mean anything? Overall, I recommend this documentary.


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