Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dark Age fun

My talk on the Dark Ages went well, with some good questions. The most striking question was:
Do you think the Romans were rather statist and the Goths and Huns libertarian?
My response: I do not believe the Goths and Huns were noted for their respect for property rights.

The questioner thought that was fair comment.

The talk was fun to do. I used data on shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, average skeleton heights, lead in Greenland ice cores and temperature as measured by Greenland ice cores to make the point that there was a serious economic and population collapse in Western Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire which well pre-dated the beginning of the Muslim conquest of half the Mediterranean in 639.

The Dark Age after the Bronze Age collapse made a useful comparison point.

A reminder that a list of useful texts is here.

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