The latest Hardcore History podcast elegantly covers about 500 years of history in four years; from the Fall of Rome in the 476 CE through the general Christianization of the Germanic tribes shortly before the Crusades. Coincidently, my son and I spent about 4 hours in the car driving back and forth to Richmond this weekend. Stuff I learned…
Historians don’t actually use the term Dark Ages anymore. While it’s true that it took Europe about 1000 years to get back to the general level of technological advancement of the Roman empire, the Chinese and the Southern American cultures were advancing just fine during this time.
I had never heard of the Battle of Tours prior to today. Some believe that battle is what halted the spread of Islam into the West. Others believe it was a skirmish with a raiding party and of no real importance.
I’ve often wondered how the religion of a pacifist like Jesus Christ ended up being used to justify so much war. It may have all started with the Christian conquest of the Germanic tribes. Christianity changed from a pacifist movement to a religion where killing was kind of ok if it was in defense of a divinely appointed king. Once that was accepted, it wasn’t a huge leap to the Crusades, where killing the right people actually took previous sin off your permanent record.
Apparently people are still arguing about whether Charlemagne was French or German.
My son is scary. At least a dozen times during the podcast, as Carlin was leading into the next subject, Breck knew in advance what was coming. His AP History test scores should be fabulous