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ISBN:0393335399
Author: Peter S. Wells
ISBN13: 978-0393335392
Title: Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered
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ePUB size: 1875 kb
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Language: English
Category: Europe
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (August 24, 2009)
Pages: 256

Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered by Peter S. Wells



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Barbarians to Angels book. Peter S. Wells, one of the world's leading archaeologists, surveys the archaeological record to demonstrate that the Dark Ages were not dark at all. The kingdoms of Christendom that emerged starting in the ninth century sprang from a robust, previously little-known, European culture, albeit one that left behind few written texts.

Main Barbarians to Angels - The Dark Ages Revisited. Barbarians to Angels - The Dark Ages Revisited. ISBN 13: 978-0-393-06937-2. Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read. Whether you've loved the book or not, if you give your honest and detailed thoughts then people will find new books that are right for them. 1. Mobile Marketing - How Mobile Technology is Revolutionizing Marketing, Communications and Advertising (2nd E.

Barbarians to Angels is what you might call a summary of the so-called "Revisionist" view of the Dark Ages, specifically, that the Dark Ages weren't that dark, and that the period between of 400 AD to 800 AD was actually a time of urban growth and creative vitality. At this point, I'm not sure that there are any scholars out there actively defending the "old" view- which is exemplified by Edward Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and two hundred years of subsequent scholarship by those inspired by Gibbons. My biggest problem with the book's style is that Wells goes into many catalogue-like descriptions of artifacts and other details, but does not provide clear enough direction for what it means. I got to the end of many chapters and felt, "so what" or asked "what is he getting at?" As such, the book lacked the density I needed to accept his arguments.

His writing style is engaging and enjoyable. His treatment of the subject is excellent for the average reader of history. Barbarians to Angels. Published by Thriftbooks. The term "Dark Ages" has a long and complicated history ever since its invention by Italian Humanists in the 14th and 15th centuries

Peter Wells, one of the world’s leading archaeologists, surveys the archaeological record to demonstrate that the Dark Ages were not dark at all. The kingdoms of Christendom that emerged starting in the ninth century sprang from a robust, previously little-known European culture, albeit one that left behind few written texts. Download from icerbox.

In this book, Peter S. Wells surveys these discoveries and constructs a picture of a vibrant period that was not "dark" at all. The kingdoms of Christendom that emerged starting with the reign of Charlemagne in the late eighth century sprang from a robust, previously little-known European culture, albeit one that left behind few written documents. This recently recognized civilization achieved new heights in artistry, technology, craft production, commerce, and learning. see all 2 descriptions.

Barbarians to Angels, The Dark Ages Reconsidered - Peter S Wells. epub 5 torrent download locations. se Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered Other E-books. com Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered book. org Barbarians to Angels, The Dark Ages Reconsidered - Peter S Wells. Barbarians to Angels, The Dark Ages Reconsidered - Peter S Wells. You cannot download any of those files from here.

Peter S. This recently recognized culture achieved heights in artistry, technology, craft production, commerce, and learning. Future assessments of the period between Rome and Charlemagne will need to incorporate this fresh new picture.

Wells, PS 2008, Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered. Lindau, Turin, Italy. Wells PS. Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered. Turin, Italy: Lindau, 2008. Wells, Peter . Barbarians to Angels : The Dark Ages Reconsidered. Turin, Italy : Lindau, 2008. T1 - Barbarians to Angels. T2 - The Dark Ages Reconsidered

A rich and surprising look at the robust European culture that thrived after the collapse of Rome.

The barbarians who destroyed the glory that was Rome demolished civilization along with it, and for the next four centuries the peasants and artisans of Europe barely held on. Random violence, mass migration, disease, and starvation were the only ways of life. This is the picture of the Dark Ages that most historians promote. But archaeology tells a different story. Peter Wells, one of the world’s leading archaeologists, surveys the archaeological record to demonstrate that the Dark Ages were not dark at all. The kingdoms of Christendom that emerged starting in the ninth century sprang from a robust, previously little-known European culture, albeit one that left behind few written texts.24 illustrations
Reviews: 7
Hap
I was curious to read more about "The Dark Ages" to find out why this period has been given the designation of "Civilization in Reverse Gear." I found in this book an attempt, with considerable success, to disprove this somewhat dubious designation. Meticulous detail has been given to point out more recent findings, often from archaeological findings or from techniques currently available to support the premise that the period was not entirely a "Dark Age."
I should say the author is quite thorough in a successful attempt to question this "Historical Misnomer."
Malogamand
Barbarians to Angels is what you might call a summary of the so-called "Revisionist" view of the Dark Ages, specifically, that the Dark Ages weren't that dark, and that the period between of 400 AD to 800 AD was actually a time of urban growth and creative vitality. At this point, I'm not sure that there are any scholars out there actively defending the "old" view- which is exemplified by Edward Gibbons Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and two hundred years of subsequent scholarship by those inspired by Gibbons.

To Gibbons and his followers, the Barbarian invasions of Europe between 300 AD and 600 AD were the functional equivalent of someone snuffing out a candle- with Europe only pulling itself together after the turn of the millennium.

So what changed? Basically, in the last fifty years, anthropologists, historians and archeologists have applied investigatory techniques developed for "primitive" civilizations and applied them to settlements of Northern and Central Europeans during this period.

What they discovered is that from a trade/economic/urban growth perspective, Northern Europe did quite well during the dark ages, with multiple northern cities/trading centers emerging out of nothingness during this period.

This new knowledge has been combined with information that was traditionally ignored about the Roman Empire, specifically that it wasn't such a great place if you were poor, a slave, or a poor slave. The Roman Empire was a hugely unequal place, and if you were at the bottom, it was probably tough to distinguish the pre vs. post barbarian invasion environment.

As someone who likes to focus on continuity instead of difference, I'm sympathetic to the argument, but Barbarians to Angels is a very brief summary of a complex, multi-strand argument: It's useful for people trying to grasp the idea of the revised Dark Ages, but will leave intermediate and advanced readers feeling like there is no new information to be found in this volume.
Winotterin
This book was an enjoyable read, not the least because about halfway through I kept thinking that it was yet another vindication of Henri Pirenne's thesis that the transition from the Late Roman to Medieval world was characterized more by continuity than catastrophic disruption. Probably the most important point I think this book makes are that details matter. No matter how compelling the narrative derived from ancient Roman authors by truly great writers like Gibbon, in the end the details finally brought to light by archeology can't be ignored. We all owe a debt of thanks to the many archeologists who worked so hard to bring us the "true facts" about this crucial turning point in Western history.
Frlas
This is a revisionist exercise that attempts to de-bunk the visions of post-Roman collapse and chaos that were disseminated by distant contemporary Christian authors. What the author adds that is new, at least to me, is to marshall archaeological evidence to prove that the dark ages do not represent a radical discontinuity, but rather evolved naturally on a different far more positive course that we typically assume. So far as it goes, Wells does get the reader to re-think things, but in the end there is not enough evidence to support his claims.

Wells attacks the question from a number of angles. First, he examines the leaders that stepped into the vacuum left by the withdrawal of Roman protection from its former territories in the wake of the empire's implosion. It was here, in the fourth chapter, that I became uneasy and confused about the direction the author wanted to take. A large part of the chapter is an imagined reconstruction of the transfer of power at Childeric's burial to his son, Clovis, who eventually converted to Christianity and supposedly established the first kingdom of France (in spite of being a German Frank). The problem for me was that I could not see where Wells was going with this long passage, however much it was based on a scrupulous interpretation of the archaeological evidence. So far as I can tell, he wanted to establish that 1) authority continued to exist in many locations where similar burials were done and 2) reference to Roman power, often in a form resembling clientage, remained strong. This is fine, but I continue to wonder how significant this finding is and what it proves.

Second, Wells embarks on a discussion of what happened to Roman cities, from a few examples, esp. Londinium (i.e. London). Once again, I can accept that the new powers took over some Roman traditions of architecture and urban organization, adapting them to their own needs (e.g. demolishing certain stone structures for building materials, ending monumental undertakings for a time, etc.). However, it is unclear that this took place in more than a handful of locales, when compared to the gigantic expanse that enjoyed relative peace and easy commerce with the protection of laws for hundreds of years. It is a question of both scale and quality, which cannot be definitely addressed with the available evidence. He also argues that new cities opened up in the North, all of which were on a more impressive scale than assumed, but again, this fails to convince.

Third, and most interesting to me, he looks at evidence for what occurred in the countryside, in particular agricultural technologies and practices. In particular, this period benefitted from the development of the horse collar, which enabled farmers greater plowing power than oxen or horses with harnesses designed for oxen that choked them. In addition, they began to use a metal plow that turned the soil over rather than merely cut furrows, which along with crop rotation replenished chemical nutrients and greatly enhanced productivity. As proof that people were eating very well, he cites height statistics. This was the most convincing argument for me by far that the vitality of the dark ages is under-valued.

Fourth, Wells looks at trade patterns. The most he can say here, in my view, is that it continued, only with distinct craft traditions. This is fine, but it is not the same as proving that trade equalled or surpassed that of the Roman period. There just isn't enough evidence to prove that, in spite of a Bhuddah statue that was found in the Sweden of 6C BCE. Related to this is a rather tedious description of the crafts that were under development; this is interesting, particularly as I had just visited one site he describes, Sutton Hill, as he added context to what we saw. There were common design patterns that were incorporated into artifacts. But again, I do not see that trade networks and new crafts prove that overall the dark ages overall were a time of flourishing. ALso, examples of local coinage did not convince me that most areas had in fact degenerated into barter economies.

Finally, Wells discusses the spread of Christianity alongside innumerable survivals of pagan practices. Again, this is fun and interesting, but it did not prove anything much that would advance his thesis. They did preserve literacy and stimulated many new avenues of intellectual activity, but this is already well known.

My biggest problem with the book's style is that Wells goes into many catalogue-like descriptions of artifacts and other details, but does not provide clear enough direction for what it means. I got to the end of many chapters and felt, "so what" or asked "what is he getting at?" As such, the book lacked the density I needed to accept his arguments. I did learn a bit about dark age archaeology and the section on agriculture was very interesting, but overall I felt unsatisfied.

Recommended for students of archaeology and the interested general reader.