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Ch 6: The Dark Ages

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on the Dark Ages to learn about Germanic tribes, the spread of Islam, Byzantine art, and more. Each lesson is accompanied by a short multiple-choice quiz you can use to check your understanding of these history topics.

The Dark Ages - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Join our knowledgeable instructors on a journey back in time. This chapter covers the Dark Ages, a historical period following the collapse of the Roman Empire. In these lessons, you'll be introduced to Germanic tribes, the birth and spread of major world religions, and early Roman economy, among other topics. By the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with:

  • Europe's loss of classical culture
  • The peoples who took the place of the Romans in the former empire
  • The differences and similarities between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
  • Muslim scientific, artistic, medical, and literary accomplishments
  • Mohammed
  • Iconoclasm or the destruction of art for religious purposes

VideoObjective
The Dark Ages: Loss of Classical CultureLearn what aspects of classical culture were lost and gained during the Dark Ages.
Germanic Tribes: Invasion in RomeUse this lesson to study the tribes who invaded Rome.
Heirs of Rome: The Church and the ByzantinesLearn about the role the church and the Byzantines played in maintaining Roman culture.
Early Church Conflicts: Arianism and IconoclasmReview church conflicts brought about by iconoclasm, Arianism, and more.
Roman Economy in the Dark AgesLearn about the trade habits of the early Roman economy.
Mohammed and the Birth of IslamReview a biography of Mohammed and an overview of the Near East before his conquest.
People of the Book: Comparing Judaism, Christianity and IslamCompare the content of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Spread of Islam and the Progress of the CaliphatesStudy how Islam spread throughout the world.
Muslim Learning: Scientific, Artistic, Medical & Literary AccomplishmentsReview scholarly accomplishments during the Islamic Golden Age.
Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & CharacteristicsLearn about the art of the Byzantine Empire.
Byzantine Architecture: History, Characteristics & ExamplesExplore the architecture of the Byzantine Empire.
Frankish History: Clovis and the MerovingiansReview Frankish history from Clovis up to Charlemagne.

12 Lessons in Chapter 6: The Dark Ages
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Dark Ages: Loss of Classical Culture

1. The Dark Ages: Loss of Classical Culture

During a period known as 'The Dark Ages,' there was a serious loss of knowledge and information that caused a setback in Europe's education quality. Learn more about the loss of classical culture in the Dark Ages and how it contributed to Europe's low quality of life.

Germanic Tribes: Invasion in Rome

2. Germanic Tribes: Invasion in Rome

Several Germanic tribes invaded Rome, reducing the Roman Empire's centralized control and helping bring about the fall of Rome. Learn about these tribes, including the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Vandals, the Franks, and the Anglo-Saxons. Understand their role in ending the Roman Empire.

Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines

3. Heirs of Rome: The Church and the Byzantines

The Roman line of succession has an interesting history of heirs that resulted in a tumultuous relationship with the Catholic Church. Learn more about the Byzantines, the increased power of Roman Catholicism, Constantinople, and the growth of Islam.

Early Church Conflicts: Arianism and Iconoclasm

4. Early Church Conflicts: Arianism and Iconoclasm

While the early Catholic church was popular and growing in dominance, it had issues that created threats such as Arianism and Iconoclasm. Learn more about their definition, roles, and issues that they caused in early church conflicts.

Roman Economy in the Dark Ages

5. Roman Economy in the Dark Ages

The Roman economy suffered in the Dark Ages under an onslaught of foreign invaders and the continuous interruption of ancient trade routes that made the city powerful. Learn how Rome would grow from a collection of farms to a center of commerce and the impacts of its rise and fall on the economy in Europe during the Dark Ages.

Mohammed and the Birth of Islam

6. Mohammed and the Birth of Islam

Mohammed came of age in a polytheistic world, but he would go on to lead a monotheistic religion that changed that world. Learn about the life of Mohammed and the birth of Islam, and compare the pre-Islamic world and the world after his death.

People of the Book: Comparing Judaism, Christianity and Islam

7. People of the Book: Comparing Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Three of the world's major religions that have significantly formed the societal landscape and seemingly stem from each other are Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Read more on an analytical comparison of each and the importance of these religions in cultural traditions.

The Spread of Islam and the Progress of the Caliphates

8. The Spread of Islam and the Progress of the Caliphates

The title of caliphate is given to the appointed successors to Mohammed, and so it carries significant responsibility and power. Understand the historical significance of the caliphate in the spread of Islam through the Arab world, northern Africa, and Asia.

Muslim Learning: Scientific, Artistic, Medical & Literary Accomplishments

9. Muslim Learning: Scientific, Artistic, Medical & Literary Accomplishments

From 750 CE until the Mongol invasion in 1258 CE, Muslims experienced the Golden Age of Islam and controlled an empire that spanned from Spain to China. Explore this period to understand Muslim learning and the scientific, artistic, medical, literary, and mathematical accomplishments of Muslims.

Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics

10. Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics

Byzantine art (circa 6th century CE through the fall of Constantinople in 1453) was heavily influenced by the imperial court at Constantinople, especially under Emperor Justinian, and had many ties with early Christian art. Discover the history and common styles of Byzantine art including religious propaganda, iconography, and mosaics, plus several periods of iconoclasm or destruction of religious images.

Byzantine Architecture: History, Characteristics & Examples

11. Byzantine Architecture: History, Characteristics & Examples

Byzantine architecture emerged in the 6th century during the rule of Emperor Justinian. While there were some similarities to early Christian architecture, this lesson examines some key features unique to Byzantine architecture like central-planned churches, rounder designs, and high pendentive domes.

Frankish History: Clovis and the Merovingians

12. Frankish History: Clovis and the Merovingians

A major figure in Frankish history, Clovis united the Franks, which formed the Merovingian Dynasty. Discover the rule of Clovis over the Merovingians, including this unification, his conversion to Catholicism, cultural advancements, and the eventual decline of the dynasty.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in The Dark Ages.

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