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Continuing Education: The Dark Ages, or Maybe the Age of Light!

Posted on 
June 19, 2021

Written by Marly Wilson

This TV series is an excellent BBS four-part historical view of this period of history, 476-800 AD, that is often forgotten. Yet it was the origin of modern architecture and art. If you enjoy history, art or both, this production is worth your while.

This Education Program is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, May 9, at 2 p.m., in the Ballroom and will continue every Tuesday for four weeks. A notification and sign-up sheet will be posted in the Mail Room to determine the level of interest.

Episode one: The Clash of the Gods

Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire as an artistic force in the third and fourth centuries. Early Christians had no art, but they practiced in secret. The Rotas Square, found throughout the Roman Empire in locations like Pompeii, the were early Christian symbols along with the fish and anchor. With no description of Jesus in the Bible, the Christians represented their God as a young slightly feminine man until the emergence of Saint Mary and with the adoption of Christianity by Emperor Constantine.

Episode two: What the Barbarians Did for Us

The Barbarians are often blamed for the collapse of the Roman Empire, but in reality they were fascinating civilizations that produced magnificent art. Focusing often on the already Christian Huns, Vandals, and Goths, the moderator follows each tribe's journey across Europe to settle in new lands and reveals the incredible art they produced along the way.

Episode three: The Wonder of Islam

Along with Christianity, the Dark Ages saw the emergence of another vital religion — Islam. After emerging in the Near East, it spread across North Africa and into Europe in such a short time there was originally no art. In more settled times, highly decorated mosques began to be built based on home of the prophet Mohammad. Their architectural and scientific achievements, including the mapping of the stars, dwarfed anything existing in the western world. Visit the Dome of the Rock, desert palaces forgotten by modern Islam with their more sensual artwork, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, where it was believed Noah's Ark landed, and the Mosque of Cordoba.

Episode four: The Men of the North

This episode concentrates on the Vikings and their inventive craftsmanship, the expansive Carolingians art of exquisite finesse and richness and the skillful, hardworking ingenious Anglo Saxons. Understand the Viking skill in making ships and their attacks on Christian centers such as Lindisfarne, not only to loot, but to defend their own Norse gods. Visit the Jelling stones that commemorated the Danes conversion to Christianity. Charles Martel and the Franks believed they were God's chosen people. This occurred after the defeat of Muslim forces that later led to Charlemagne being declared Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope and the creation of the largest domain since the Roman Empire.

History in this marvelous TV production is explained and depicted with beautiful scenery and photography, all narrated by British historians.

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