What Were the Dark Ages?
The “Dark Ages” is a term once used to describe the period between the 5th and 11th centuries in western Europe. “Dark” refers to the supposed lack of learning and to the decay of culture during that period.
In the Dark Ages, few people learned to read and write. Many of the art skills, and much of the craftsmanship of the ancient world were lost.
But while such “darkness” existed in western Europe, life was much brighter in other parts of the world. The Arab world was at its cultural height, and there was a brilliant civilization flourishing in China.
On the rare occasions when the term “Dark Ages” is used by historians today, it is intended to be neutral, namely, to express the idea that the events of the period often seem “dark” because of the scarcity of artistic and cultural output, including historical records, when compared with both earlier and later times.