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Reading Like A Historian:

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Mr. Smith

on 19 March 2015

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Transcript of Reading Like A Historian:

Reading Like A Historian:
Were the “Dark Ages” really dark?

“The Dark Ages is a term applied in its widest sense to that period of intellectual depression in the history of Europe from the establishment of the barbarian supremacy in the fifth century (400 AD) to the revival of learning at about the beginning of the fifteenth (1400 AD), thus nearly corresponding in extent with the Middle Ages.”

- The American Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary of
General Knowledge, 1883
The “Dark Ages”

Was the time period between 400 AD and 1400 AD a “Dark Age” for Europe?

Was this a time of cultural decay and decline?

Central Historical Question


Today many historians disagree with this term.

They think it is not the proper way to describe this period of time.

But, people continue to use term “Dark Ages.”

What do you think:

Was Europe really in a “Dark Age” for almost 900 years?

Why “Dark”? (Continued...)

Historians, and others, since Petrach continued to use the phrase “Dark Ages.”

They argued that during the centuries following the fall of the Roman Empire, Europe was in a state of cultural where. A time that:

Did not support learning
Created very little culture (art, literature, architecture, etc.)
Was repeatedly invaded
Had no central government
Had a bad economy
Was basically a miserable place to live

Why “Dark”?

The metaphor of “dark” and “light” was originally used by Christians to describe the “darkness” people lived in before God sent Jesus Christ to bring “light” to the world.

Petrarch was an Italian scholar during the 1300s who loved Greek and Roman writing.

He used the terms “dark” and “light” to describe learning instead of religion. He believed that Europe was in the “dark” after the “light” of the Greek and Roman empires were gone.

I have a cool hat
Reading Like A Historian:
Understanding the Black Death
Priest Blessing Plague Victims, 1360-1375

The Black Death

Spread of the Black Death through Afro-Eurasia

Spread of the Plague

Excavated Mass Grave of Plague Victims
Martigues, France

Human Costs

Flagellants from a 15th Century Woodcut

Understanding and Explaining the Plague

How did people in the 14th century understand the Black Death?

Central Historical Question
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Read Textbook A - Answer Guided Questions
Read Textbook B - Answer Guided Questions
- Flip to the Claims Organizer (answer the first claim)
Read Document C - Answer Guided Questions
Read Document D - Answer Guided Questions
Read Document E - Answer Guided Questions
- Flip to the Claims Organizer (answer the second claim)
Read Document F - Answer Guided Questions
Read Document G - Answer Guided Questions
- Flip to the Claims Organizer (answer the third claim)
Use Textbook A and B to support your claim
Use Documents C, D, and E to support your claim
Use Documents F and G to support your claim
Full transcript