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The Dim Light Ages: New Name for the Dark Ages

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Is the Dark Ages an appropriate name? Should it be renamed or should the name stay the same? The Dark Ages took place roughly between 500 to 1500 AD. It started when in 395 the Roman Empire split into its eastern and western component, but as time passed the western empire collapsed and the eastern empire gradually evolved into a new organism. During the time period people couldn’t read or write, there was a food shortage and many more. The Dark Age is an appropriate name but ‘the Dim Light Ages’ is better because ‘dim’ means dark but also not dark, and that was the time period. The time period should be named ‘the Dim Light Ages’ because famine began, the plague broke out, and agriculture boosted.

The first reason is because the famine broke out. What the famine was is food was hard to grow. Climate was really bad so nothing could grow and there was poor harvest. Starting the 14th century is when the famine began. There was poor weather which meant temperatures dropped and it soon later turned into a little ice age. According to, “these conditions caused widespread crop failures; the straw and hay for the animals could not be cured and there was no fodder for the livestock. The price of food began to rise”. What this meant was crops were hard to grow and animals couldn’t be fed. People couldn’t even afford to buy food because food prices were going up because at that point food was rare. Even the livestock was low. Not only do the humans need food, so do the animals so they can grow and then be eaten, but there was no food so livestock was out of the picture as well. According to, “Those that were near starvation ate what they could find, the last of their livestock, cats, dogs even vermin, and then finally fellow human beings”. These people were starving to the point they would eat dogs and cats. Those were probably their pets they ate, but they had to do what they had to do even if it meant they had to eat one another. That’s right they had no choice but so they had to result to cannibalism. They chose to eat each other because there was nothing to feed on. Some parents would even abandon their children so they could fend for themselves. But why did the weather turn like this and resulted to people feeding on each other? According to historic-uk, “Some historians think that this terrible weather may have been caused by a volcanic eruption, perhaps that of Mount Tarawera in New Zealand which is known to have erupted around 1314”. Was it the volcano that made the weather turn bad? No one knows for sure but sooner or later the weather has to turn back to normal and it did. In spring of 1317 the weather starting turning back to normal, but something even more worse was around the corner ready to strike!

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Shortly after the famine, the plague broke out. According to The West a New History, “rodents carrying fleas infected with the plague were spreading the highly contagious disease in Asia” (319). There were rodents carrying fleas which had the disease. It started in Asia but it would soon spread quickly. It caused people to get painful swellings and hemorrhages. People were terrified and tried to escape but the plague moved too quickly. Medical treatments were done but nothing was able to stop it. According to Ducksters, “Many people thought that the Black Death was punishment from god”. Back then people believed anything that happened was caused by God. Everyone admired God and when the plague struck, they assumed it was punishment from God. Since the plague had never happened before they didn’t know it was fleas that caused the disease. Not only did they think it was punishment, they had another theory that it was bad pockets of air that was released by earthquakes. But of course, it wasn’t. There were also special doctors. These special wore all black and look terrifying. They also wore a long beak-like mask and it made them look like a bird. On all that’s interesting, “The nose is half a foot long, shaped like a beak, filled with perfume”. Since some people thought the disease was in the air, the doctors would stuff the nose with flowers and herbs to act as a perfume to get rid of the bad air. The plague also either took a couple hours to kill you or days. 4 years later the plague had stop and an estimated 75 million to 200 million people were affected and died. Years later after the plague happened the answer everyone was asking was answered. Where did the plague come from? National Geographic says, “Alexandre Yersin discovered the bacterium responsible for causing plague”. Alexandre has spent his time trying to find out why it had happened. He was finally able to solve the case and discovered it was fleas that were on rats that had caused the plague. The fleas had gotten their way to humans and ended up infecting the human race and killing millions of humans.

A reason the Dark Ages wasn’t so dark was that during the time period agriculture had boosted. World history patterns of interactions says, “For hundreds of years, peasants depended on oxen to pull their plows. They were easy to keep, but they moved very slowly” (348). Peasants used oxen because they were easy to keep but they were to slow. They wanted something better which was horses, but would need better food and they would need a better harness. They decided to give horses a try, but the harness they used would choke the horses. World history patterns of interactions says, “sometimes before 900, farmers in Europe began using a new technology” (348). The new technology they created was a harness for the horses. They were able to create a new harness which wouldn’t choke the horses and in result they were able to farm faster. Agriculture was also able to grow because of it. At the same time, villagers decided to use a new method of farming, According to World history patterns of interactions, “Some villagers began to organize their land into the three fields”. They named it the three fields system. What they would do is they would use certain acres of land to grow food and at certain times of the year they would grow another plant. Farmers would also be able to use two-thirds of their land instead of half and as a result food production increased. If the food production increased people would be able to feed their children and potentially have more children meaning the population would increase. The population growing would be a good thing. These were the good things that happened. Agriculture growing along with food and the population increasing. Now there’s nothing dark about that.

In conclusion, the Dark ages should be renamed ‘the Dim Light Ages’ because famine began, the plague broke out, and agriculture boosted. There were Dark things that happened but that doesn’t mean nothing not dark could happen. Yes, famine began and the plague broke out but if it didn’t happen in that period, then it would’ve happened later in the future. Everything happens for a reason. The Dark Ages was also when agriculture boosted. Farmers found a way for food production to increase. They used horses instead of oxen and made a special harness for the horses so the horses wouldn’t choke. The Dark Ages should be called ‘the Dim Light Ages’ because some dark things happened but at the same time, things that weren’t dark happened in the period named the Dark Ages.

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The Dim Light Ages: New Name for the Dark Ages. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 8, 2023, from
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