UGH. I had a whole blog started about my adventures in Ancestry Searching and how I became fascinated by the plagues that struck Europe and why my eldest of all elder ancestors, a Swiss/German man by the name of Clewi became my end man in 1350 . I went back to check a fact and Windows snuck in and started "fahting about" as my Best-Brit friend used to say, and shut me down! Never had a chance to save the blog. Darn. it really was fabulous, too.
Anyway, so my searching for 15xGG FatherClewi kind of got me interested in the Middle Ages, maybe because I'm reading Thomas Cahill's book:
Mysteries of the Middle Ages, the Rise of Feminism, Science and Art from the cults of Catholic Europe.
My husband made a comment that he believed that the Dark Ages were the religion related ones. Well. What can one say about that? He is solidly planted in the 1950s and the Beat Generations brand of Atheism. He did give up smoking in the 1970s, which proves that he can have an open mind now and again.
Anyway, I decided to see if he was right and looked it up in my 30-year-old Time Life Series book on Ancient Civilizations and found the Barbarian's story which absolutely floored me.
Let me tell you about this raggedy band of ten or fifteen thousand Scandinavian villagers who on December 31, 406 were fed up with freezing-ass-cold dark and nasty weather, packed up the wives, kids and farm animals and were on the move in a Southward direction. That New Years Eve permanently rocked our world!
It was so cold that the Rhine River was rock solid that night and they crossed it on foot! They carried on, for the better part of a century plundering and pillaging the villages along the way until they stumbled upon a bankrupt and crumbling Roman Empire. They saw an opportunity and over a few hundred years pretty much sacked it These were the Dark ages, and the people who brought it on are dubbed the Barbarians. Brutal outlaws: whole families of them. And their outlaw cows, too!
But it was about toppling the rather corrupt Western Roman State, and it did interfere with the classical culture they had built. The Western Roman State made themselves vulnerable to persons looking for an opportunity in my opinion!
It happens that these crude and brutal Barbarians were filled with uncommon ideas such as sexual fidelity, individual rights, law, and traditional democracy. And their gift for organization was spread throughout Europe. It does appear to me that we might see some rough weather regarding the Barbaric Organization in Europe at the moment..
My brain is popping with thoughts about this idea of sexual fidelity which today seems to be little more than a lapel button some people wear to pretend who they really are. I figure it was much easier and more fun to stay home with the mate and have a jolly good time than to quietly dig your way out of ten feet of snow to go have a date with that hot momma ten miles away!
Twenty-First Century taste for a Smorgasbord 'O' Love Partners seems very crass when compared to Barbarians. I wonder what they would think of modern humans. The only real difference is that.. hmmm, Religion happened on the way to Western Civilization!
So. Could my husband have a point? And........will I tell him??
NOTE: regarding Mr. Cahill, I've read several of his books. They are fast reads considering the abundance of factual information they contain. He is foremost a lively, entertaining writer and I solidly recommend him. Understand: if Cahill can get Melanie so turned on to history, he's doing something right.