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Dark Ages

RJ Allison , Christopher Cassel    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 32.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Dark Ages + The History Channel Presents The Crusades - Crescent & The Cross + Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire
Price For All Three: CDN$ 77.47

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Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 1000 years of history Oct. 10 2010
Verified Purchase
I enjoy history but I found that there was a huge gap in time that no one wanted to talk about. There was a thousand years in there that no one really disused, from 200AD to 1200AD.

This video takes you through the missing years talking about the collapse of the Roman Empire, which created a huge void. That fractured the empire and then several people then tried to take over through war only grabbing a piece of it. Most of Europe was created in the absence of the Roman Empire. The video takes you through the next thousand years stopping at the most notable events roughly every hundred years.

There was a lot of war, disease and sadness after the fall of the Roman Empire. It was the years that saw religion rise and nations being built all with a huge cost to all that lived in those times.

They did a good job of filming it too. There were actors filling the screen on how it likely unfolded with a narrator in the background telling you what you were seeing. Occasionally an expert or pictures of the time were shown so you can see why they thought that this was the way it happened.

Rome fell because leadership was corrupted and they only cared about themselves and not the nation. It also shows that sometimes you need a strong man to run an empire with an iron fist to keep the law and order. We certainly have seen what happens when they are removed. Our leaders today would do well to watch this video and avoid the known consequence of there actions. We certainly don't need another dark age.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  74 reviews
183 of 184 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Introduction to the Dark Ages! July 12 2007
By Matthew S. Schweitzer - Published on Amazon.com
The History Channel really delivers in this awesome documentary on the history of The Dark Ages, the period between the Fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Middle Ages. It is generally remembered as a bleak period when civilization in the West teetered on the verge of total collapse and barbarian warlords fought with each other when they weren't busy fighting Viking hordes, Muslim invaders, or Byzantine armies.

The Dark Ages uses recent scholarship and high production values to recreate the period just after the fall of Rome in the late 5th century A.D. The Roman Empire in the West had collapsed and a ragtag band of barbarians made up of Goths, Vandals, Franks, and Lombards wage bloody warfare against each other to divide up the pieces of the once-great Empire. In the East, the remnants of the Empire live on under the Emperor Justinian who becomes obsessed with recapturing Rome and reconquering the West. Meanwhile, the Franks, easily the most powerful of the post-Roman tribes, have begun to establish a great kingdom under the Merovingian dynasty, led by King Clovis, whose conversion to Christianity helps secure its place in the history of Europe. The documentary then touches on the Viking raids along the English and Irish coasts, the desperate struggle to crush the invading Muslim armies that threaten to capture all of Spain and France, and ultimately, the consolidation of Western Europe as part of the Holy Roman Empire under Charlemagne.

This is probably one of the best History Channel DVDs out there and shows that a good amount of time and effort went into create this production. While of course it cannot tell every detail of the nearly 500 year period of the Dark Ages, it does a good job of providing an excellent introduction to the subject. It is one which recommends itself to anyone who claims to be a student of history.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History of Dark Ages; Early Christian -vs- pagan in europe Sept. 29 2007
By Kathleen Lee Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If have an avid curiosity about history, this is for you! Especially if you are interested in the history of Europe during the dark ages. While it is very informative, it is spoken in a language that retains your interest. In other words, it is not dry and boring, BUT like a walk through a period of time you have never seen. The challenge in Europe of the plague, pagan -vs- Christianity, ending at the reign of Charlemage. I loved it!
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so dark ages Sept. 7 2007
By Stratiotes Doxha Theon - Published on Amazon.com
A fascinating and entertaining account of the not-so-dark ages. Solid scholarship wrapped in colorful graphics and reenactments. Very well done. The only criticism might be that it is far too short and leaves one wanting more details.
44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doomed from the beginning June 5 2011
By Nico1908 - Published on Amazon.com
Trying to pack 1000 years of history into a one hour program is setting oneself up for failure from the start.

In this production, we learn little about social or political organizations and absolutely nothing about the daily lives of people, the technologies available to them and how those developed and improved over the years. We don't get as much as a hint at which crops they grew, how they grew them, how they stored and prepared food, built their homes and other structures, made clothing, treated injuries and illnesses, or defended themselves against wild animals.

Instead, we are treated to the usual "the Dark Ages were filthy and violent" fair, complete with detailed descriptions of torture. We witness the same mutilations and executions time after time, hear the same screams over and over, and see the same battle scene reenactments again and again (complete, as another reviewer pointed out, with cavalry using historically inaccurate gear, such as saddles, horseshoes and stirrups). Unfortunately, we don't get much information about why these people fought, and this leads me right back to the start of this review: It is impossible to give more than the most superficial overview of 1000 years of history in one hour.

This low-budget program does not educate viewers. All it does is depict popular prejudices against the Middle Ages.

If you want an educated introduction into this fascinating time period, including its innovations and progress, you will have to pick up a book. My personal favorite is Morris Bishop's "The Middle Ages".
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An illuminating look at the Dark Ages Dec 16 2007
By James D. Crabtree - Published on Amazon.com
An excellent program on the Dark Ages, beginning with the old Roman Empire and its collapse and ending with the Crusades and the Renaissance. The rise of the barbarian kingdoms (which would later become nation-states), Byzantine intrigue, the Plague, the role of the Church, the expansion of Islam and the Viking raids are all presented to the viewer. The use of some computer graphics and actor portrayals makes the subject come alive. Of course, this can hardly be considered an in-depth look but as an introduction or just a dalliance into a field you have no intention of becoming an expert in it serves well. The seperate program on The Plague is also quite interesting and well done.
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