I was recently reading the book of Hans-Georg Beck "The Byzantine Millennium". In this book, he says much about Byzantium (the East did not have the same "dark ages" like the West) but one thing struck me as the most important: How logical can a claim that the 1,100 years of the Byzantine Empire was an era of decadence actually be? What kind of decline lasts for 1,100 years? I have written an article about the Byzantium scholars but it is in Greek and I do not know if it will be of any use to you.WanderingLands wrote:Looking above all of the perceptions of the Middle Ages, I'd say that you may have a point when considering there were the scholastics during that era. However, do you have any sources for me and others to help explore this further?skakos wrote:Many people refer to the Middle Ages as a “dark” era. But why do they say that?
The main reason is that during these ages research in sciences like mathematics, geometry, astronomy et cetera was not so intense as, e.g., in the era before Christ. But is that really bad? Do we need cold geometry more than divine inspiration? Do we need raw mathematics more than the acknowledgement of our higher essence? Do we need astronomy more than a reason to look at the stars?
Why is research in more humanistic issues “bad” and does not constitute “progress”? Why is the Enlightenment… “light”? Don’t forget that history is written by the winners. And the winners in this case were crude enough to verify their win by naming their era with a name which is synonym to Light!
Any thoughts are more than welcome!
The same applies for the west part of Europe as well. How can we tag a whole era as "dark"? Can there even be such a thing?
What we know today about the ancient Greeks, about philosophy, about science, about Aristotle, was preserved thought religious people (Arabs included). The people who started the Renaissance were raised by religious people. Even things we laugh at today - e.g. that the Earth is at the center of the solar system (even though we now KNOW that ANY PLANET can be at the center if we choose so since reference systems are arbitrarily selected - see "Why Galileo was wrong after all" http://harmoniaphilosophica.wordpress.c ... tists-too/) - was the SCIENTIFIC view of the cosmos at those days. There was no separation between religion and science as we know it with Dawkins today. Monks actually DID DO SCIENCE.
Science was for a long time based on the hypothesis that man was made in the image of God and - thus - could ultimately understand how God constructued the Universe. This was the foundation of scientific thinking for Newton and many other greats.
Start your research with the fact that monasteries were the universities of the time. This is the most important if you ask me. At the time of Galileo there were many Jesuites which conducted research on the Heliocentric system as well (!) - but this is not something that suits the agenda of people promoting a "war" between science and religion.
There were many scholars in the "Dark Ages". But not physicists.
This is of course a great problem for todays mentality, where we have Physics and other "I measure, thus I exist"-sciences as the new "Gods"...