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advance, yet we are to break off our pursuit as the morning breathes upon us, and the twilight reddens into the lustre of day. — Hallam.
Whichever way we look at the organization proper to the Middle Ages, its provisional nature is evident from the fact that the developments it encouraged were the first causes of its decay. — Comte.
In modern Europe, the Middle Ages were called the Dark Ages. Who dares to call them so now? They are seen to be the feet on which we walk, the eyes with which we see. 'T is one of our triumphs to have reinstated them. Their Dante and Alfred and Wickliffe and Abelard and Bacon; their Magna Charta, decimal numbers, mariner's compass, gunpowder, glass, paper, and clocks; chemistry, algebra, astronomy; their Gothic architecture, their painting, — are the delight and tuition of ours. — Emerson.
(500 - 600.)
Eastern Roman Empire. A great change takes place in this century under Justinian, who rules from 527 to 565, during whose reign the Vandals are driven from Africa in 534, the South of Spain recovered from the Visigoths, and the Ostrogoths in Italy are conquered (535 - 553), thus winning back much of the lost dominion of the old Roman Empire. The Byzantine Empire is at the height of its glory under Justinian, and the Roman territory again reaches "from the ocean to the Euphrates, round the greater part of the Mediterranean." After Justinian's death, in 565, this great power declines again. The Lombards conquer the northern part of Italy, and the empire is threatened at the end of the century by the Slavonian and Turanian nations from the north and the Persians in the east. Part of the dominion in Spain is won back by the Visigoths.
Franks. The Franks, under Clovis, become strongly established, their kingdom embracing parts of modern France and Germany.
Lombards. The Lombards pour down into Italy in 568, and conquer the northern portion, founding there the kingdom of Lombardy, and leaving to the Eastern Empire part of Southern Italy, the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the islands of Sicily, Sardinia, and Corsica, with Venice.
Italy, in the first of the century nominally a part of the Eastern Empire but really in the hands of the Ostrogoths, is conquered in the time of Justinian, and becomes actually a part of the Eastern Empire. After the death of Justinian, the Lombards conquer part of Italy, forming the kingdom of Lombardy
Ostrogoths. The Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy is overcome by the Eastern Empire in the time of Justinian, and also by the Lombards, who form the kingdom of Lombardy in the northern part of Italy.
Visigoths. The Visigoths lose part of the South of Spain, which is conquered by the Eastern Empire in the time of Justinian. A portion of this lost dominion is, however, won back by the Visigoths. The Visigoths seize the remaining territory of the Suevi, in Northwestern Spain, in 585.
Vandals. The kingdom of the Vandals in Africa comes to an end in 534, becoming part of the Eastern Empire.
Angles, Saxons, Jutes, continue their migrations to Britain.
Britain. See Angles, Saxons, Jutes.
Persia is a powerful kingdom, and a threatening rival to the Eastern Empire.
Slaves. An important branch of the Aryan stock — the Slaves — deserves notice during this century.
Avars, Etc. In the lands north of the Danube the kingdom of the Avars — a Turanian race — is set up, and in the territory adjacent to the Black Sea the Chazars establish a great dominion.