When the Sun failed--Beginning of the Dark Ages

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by SeaAndSky, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    This is something I was completely unaware of, and apparently something that relates to the naming of the epoch that followed the dark ages. The Northern Hemisphere went through around 18 months of "dusk" rather than sunlight as the result of a massive volcanic eruption, causing temperatures to plunge, famine, disease and massive mortality. I thought this was interesting from a variety of standpoints. First, because there may be some who have memories of a time when the sun never shone and don't know when/where that could be. Second, because it shows what a massive volcanic eruption can do. Third, because it makes me wonder how we would cope if this happened today (not well). Fourth, because on the "Future" thread, one of the themes that comes up is that something has happened that radically impacted the planet. This could be one candidate:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6397621/Why-536-AD-worst-year-alive.html

    For me there was also another, strangely enough. This was just a few years after the anathemas were pronounced against Origen and the alleged doctrines of the Origenists. Somehow it seemed appropriate that darkness should follow.
     
  2. baro-san

    baro-san Senior Member

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    :) dailymail journalism ... (a.k.a. "fake news")
    The international devastation triggered by the unidentified fog gave rise to the moniker 'The Dark Ages' which has been used to refer to this ominous time

    wiki:
    The "Dark Ages" is a historical periodization traditionally referring to the Middle Ages, that asserts that a demographic, cultural, and economic deterioration occurred in Western Europe following the decline of the Roman Empire.[1][2]

    The term employs traditional light-versus-darkness imagery to contrast the era's "darkness" (lack of records) with earlier and later periods of "light" (abundance of records).[3] The concept of a "Dark Age" originated in the 1330s with the Italian scholar Petrarch, who regarded the post-Roman centuries as "dark" compared to the light of classical antiquity.[3][4] The phrase "Dark Age" itself derives from the Latin saeculum obscurum, originally applied by Caesar Baronius in 1602 to a tumultuous period in the 10th and 11th centuries.[5] The concept thus came to characterize the entire Middle Ages as a time of intellectual darkness between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance; this became especially popular during the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment.[3]

    As the accomplishments of the era came to be better understood in the 18th and 20th centuries, scholars began restricting the "Dark Ages" appellation to the Early Middle Ages (c. 5th–10th century).[6][7][8] The majority of modern scholars avoid the term altogether due to its negative connotations, finding it misleading and inaccurate.[9][10][11] The original definition remains in popular use,[1][2][12] and popular culture often employs it as a vehicle to depict the Middle Ages as a time of backwardness, extending its pejorative use and expanding its scope.[13]
     
  3. helz_belz

    helz_belz Super Moderators Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Take anything you read in the Daily Mail with a MASSIVE pinch of salt!
     
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  4. briski

    briski Senior Registered

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    Yeah its called the Daily Fail for a reason
     
  5. KenJ

    KenJ Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

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    If my memory serves me correctly, we have had several periods of ash blocking sunlight that affected vegetation. The debris from Iceland was probably not as much as Krakatau or Yellowstone, but those events, like Vesuvius, changed the lives of many people and certainly led to sickness and death. The association of "Dark Ages" with volcanic activity was "news" to me, the article was interesting in other regards.

    That is why i dread winters where I am too reliant upon "utilities" for my survival. We had freezing rain yesterday where our generator kicked on for several hours when power lines were downed.
     
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  6. SeaAndSky

    SeaAndSky Senior Registered

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    Hi All,

    Thanks for the tip on the "Daily Mail". They may have been reaching in talking about this being the beginning of the dark ages. However, the event definitely happened, and it was near or at the beginning of the period called the Dark Ages. A quick google of "536 a.d. catastrophe" brought in a host of hits. Here are some of the first ones up:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_weather_events_of_535–536

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scie...ied-not-one-two-volcanic-eruptions-180955858/

    https://www.historicalclimatology.c...ed-the-world-in-the-sixth-century-what-was-it

    https://www.thoughtco.com/dust-veil-environmental-disaster-in-europe-171628

    https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/aag-eruption-el-salvadors-ilopango-explains-ad-536-cooling

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/03/536-ad-and-all-that/

    There is even one that states that: "Scientists have uncovered evidence from around the world that the early Dark Ages may have been triggered by an actual event that occurred around 535 A.D." --

    http://customers.hbci.com/~wenonah/history/535ad.htm

    There is some disagreement in terms of what caused it, etc. but it was hugely disruptive and destructive. I pray it doesn't happen again.

    Cordially,
    S&S
     
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