About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Dark Ages chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday|| The Dark Ages|
Ireland's Golden Age
|What was lost after the Roman Empire fell;|
The peoples who invaded the old Empire;
Art of Ireland and Britain
|Tuesday||The church and the Byzantines|
Conflicts in the early church
Dark Ages economy
|How the Byzantine Empire and the church maintained aspects of Roman culture;|
Overview of arianism, iconoclasm;
How the economy disintegrated in the Dark Ages
People of the Book
Spread of Islam
|Overview of Islamic beliefs, the Quran, Sharia, the Five Pillars of Islam;|
Similarities and differences among Judaism, Christianity and Islam;
Progress of the Caliphates;
Scientific, artistic, medical and literary achievements in the Islamic world
|Thursday|| Byzantine art|
The Fatimid Empire and Shi'ism
Rise of the Turkic peoples
|Characteristics and history of Byzantine art, mosaics;|
History and characteristics of Byzantine architecture, examples;
Shi'ism in the Fatimid state;
The domination of the Near East by Turkic peoples from Central Asia
|Friday||Decline of Islamic Spain|
Islam's response to the Latin Crusades
Cultural elements that unified the Islamic world
|What caused the downfall of Islamic Spain;|
How Islam responded to the Latin Crusades;
Commonalities of culture in the Islamic world of 1100 to 1300;
Clovis and the Merovingians
1. The Dark Ages: Loss of Classical Culture
This lesson explores the loss of classical culture during the Dark Ages. We compare the life of a medieval peasant to that of a Roman pleb. We then examine the causes of this decline, as well as its repercussions.
2. Germanic Tribes: Invasion in Rome
As the Roman Empire became bigger and bigger, tribes from Germany began to invade various areas. Eventually the continuous attacks led to the break-up of the Empire. This lesson explores a few of the more dominant tribes.
3. Insular Art: Ireland's Golden Age
This lesson covers the Insular Art of Ireland's Golden Age. It examines the unique cultural and religious factors that made Ireland the religious and cultural leader of Northern Europe. It then examines the roots of Insular art in the interlacing bands of Anglo-Saxon metalwork. Finally, we explore how those bands found their way onto stone crosses and manuscript illuminations.
4. Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines
The Roman Empire covered a vast area, and when it fell, its people were in danger of losing their civilization. This lesson explores some of the things that remained as the Empire fell, as well as how they affected Roman citizens.
5. Early Church Conflicts: Arianism and Iconoclasm
This lesson explores two conflicts that occurred in the early church: Arian Christianity, which taught a taboo belief regarding the Holy Trinity, and iconoclasm, which was the destruction of religious images.
6. Roman Economy in the Dark Ages
This lesson explores the Roman Empire's economy from its beginnings as a farming culture to its expansion into trade and finally its deterioration after invasion from surrounding tribes.
7. Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith: Overview, the Quran & Sharia Law
The Five Pillars of Islam are the foundation of the world's second largest faith. They are characterized by a simplicity that encourages peaceful cooperation between people, which is one reason for the religion's widespread devotion. This lesson will detail each of the five and show how they relate to the daily lives of practicing Muslims.
8. People of the Book: Comparing Judaism, Christianity and Islam
The religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are often seen as competing doctrines and faiths by observers and adherents. Yet, a summary investigation of their doctrines illustrates they have much in common. This lesson will examine these similarities in greater detail.
9. The Spread of Islam and the Progress of the Caliphates
After the death of Mohammed, Islam continued to spread through Arabia, the Middle East and Africa. This lesson is an overview of Islam's progress from the faith of Mecca to a faith for all the world.
10. Muslim Learning: Scientific, Artistic, Medical & Literary Accomplishments
The Abbasid caliphate (750-1258 CE) oversaw the Golden Age of Islam. Learn about the accomplishments of Muslim scholars in art, literature, science, medicine and mathematics during this time.
11. Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics
This lesson covers Byzantine art and explains the difficulties of imposing artistic periods. Justinian is introduced as the man behind the Byzantine Golden Age. We explore the interesting dynamic between Byzantine imperialism and Christian religion. Finally, we take a brief look at eastern religious icons.
12. Byzantine Architecture: History, Characteristics & Examples
In this lesson, we look at the development of Byzantine architecture. We examine its relationship to the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. We then compare Byzantine architecture to early Christian architecture and enumerate the distinctly Byzantine elements of their art and architecture: central-plan, domes and pendentives. Finally, we touch briefly on how these architectural masterpieces were decorated.
13. The Fatimid Empire & the Role of Shi'ism
With a lineage reaching back to the Prophet Muhammad himself, the Fatimids were heavily influenced by their Shi'a beliefs, yet open enough to create a society that saw the role of Jews, Christians, and Sunnis increase.
14. Turkic Peoples' Domination of the Near East
Pushed by the same Great Migration that led to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Turkic people rose to dominate much of the Middle East by 1100, despite originally arriving in the region as slaves.
15. Factors that Led to the Decline of Islamic Spain
Islamic Spain was once the most advanced and open civilization in Europe or the Middle East. This lesson explains how the societies there eventually succumbed to a variety of internal and external pressures.
16. The Islamic World's Response to the Latin Crusades
Few in the Muslim world could have imagined that in 1095, a series of wars would start that would not only change their world, but continue to impact foreign relations almost a thousand years later.
17. Cultural Elements that Unified the Islamic World
Despite stretching from Morocco to the Philippines, the Islamic world managed to maintain a surprising amount of cultural coherence during the Middle Ages.
18. Frankish History: Clovis and the Merovingians
This lesson will focus on Clovis and the rise and fall of the Merovingian Dynasty. It will highlight his unification of the Franks, his conversion to Catholicism, and the cultural advancements of the dynasty's rule.
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