Defining the years from 300-1000 CE as "The Early Middle Ages" indicates, more than anything else, the perspective of modern historians and Renaissance writers who looked back with disgust on the disorder and inelegance of preceding years. Writing in a time of arguably secular societies and unitary states, historians have tried to understand as "middle" the near millennium of time in between the demise of the Roman state, valued for its political centralism, security, technological advances, territorial spread, and legal systems--all those things that comprised a Pax-Romana--and the first hints of increased international trade, unitary states, and cultural-linguistic identities centering on Europe as a whole. While this "middle" conception is helpful in reminding us of
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