The Middle Ages was a time period in Europe that extended from 500 to 1400 A.D. This time period started because of the decline of the Roman Empire. During this time period there were many devastatingly horrible things that happened however there were also many cultural, technological, religious, and architectural advancements that took place. There are many labels that can describe this era, but the two that stand out the most are the labels: Age of Faith, and Age of Feudalism. Now these two labels will be further examined and explained throughout the duration of this essay.
During the Middle Ages there was a lot of chaos, death, and destruction which gives enough evidence for the Middle Ages to also be called the Dark Age. Many invasions occurred in Western Europe by a series of Germanic tribes. These Germanic Tribes disrupted trade by destroying cities that stood as economic centers. As a result the cities were abandoned and left as centers of administration, and the people left the cities for rural areas. The downfall of these cities was a result from the invasion of these barbaric tribes. These towns were demolished and terrorized. The societies no longer had any form of government, and there was only violence and anarchy. The citizens were forced to hide, and take refuge in other places. (Document 1) When these cities were invaded they slaughtered the inhabitants there, and would even steal their belongings or in some cases even there loved ones. Then they would return to their own country after laying waste to these cities and burning them to the ground. (Document 3) The Goths and Vandals are only two of the early invaders that flooded Europe. These Germanic tribes migrated into Italy, Gaul, Spain, and North Africa as well as many other countries as well. Since these tribes had a strong military, and warriors who were fierce and loyal to their leaders, this made it even easier for them to destroy these multiple cities. With all this death and destruction during the time of these terrible invasions, it can be understood why the Middle Ages would also be called the Dark Ages.
The Middle Ages could also be known as the Age of Faith because of the important role the Catholic Church had during this time period. During this time religion became an essential part of life. The people not only relied on the church for spiritual or religious knowledge but for also political guidance. The Catholic Church was the one true unifying force that united all of the kingdoms and monarchs. Over time though the church gained more power and was viewed differently than a church ever was in any other time period. In this time period the monarchs would occasionally even ask the pope in the church for guidance on how to rule their kingdoms. The church had so much power over the people there that in order for them to convert they would give up their worldly possessions and devote their lives to God. (Document 8) They promised to give up their parents, brothers and relatives, friends, and possessions. The church as I said before was not only a place of for religion, but also a great influence on political and economical life within the society. These churches and their faith tried to restrain people from commiting murder, arson, robbery, or assault for certain days throughout
the year on every Sunday, Friday, and Saturday. They were trying to positively impact their society using the influence that they held during that time. (Document 5) The church was trying to accomplish peace throughout the land whether it was through declaring laws for others to follow, or giving advice to monarchs on how to run their kingdoms peacefully and without problem.
In conclusion the labels the Dark Age and the Age of Faith that best fit the description for the Middle Ages. There is more than enough evidence that we have found throughout our history that suggest that these two labels work. The Middle Ages was a dark time that lead to a lot of death, chaos, and destruction. There were not many cultural advancements during this time period, however one aspect that had advanced a lot was religion and faith. There was a mixture of both good and bad during the span of this era and I have enclosed information on these mixtures in the essay above.