The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages

Your essay question is:
“Is ‘the Dark Ages’ an appropriate term to describe the Middle Ages?”
DOCUMENT A: Dictionary Entry for “The Dark Ages”
1. What time period does The American Cyclopaedia use to explain the “Dark Ages”?
2. Does “intellectual depression” refer to the people of the “Dark Ages” or historical knowledge of the time?
3. Does this definition resemble more the original meaning of the “Dark Ages” or the meaning it gained over time?
DOCUMENT B: Magna Carta
4. How did religion influence the Magna Carta?
5. How did the Magna Carta limit the power of King John?
6. How did the Magna Carta lay the foundation for democracy?
7. How does this painting show the influence of religion on politics?
8. Do you think the painter of this picture viewed Joan of Arc as a heroine? Explain.
9. How does this painting combine the style of the ancient Greek and Roman artists with that of the artists of the Middle Ages? Give examples.
DOCUMENT D: Kokin Wakashū anthology
10. Do you think the style of the book suggests anything about its value? Explain.
11. When was the edition in this image published? How does that relate to its original publication?
12. What do the types of poems in this collection tell you about Japanese society at this time?
DOCUMENT E: Major Trade Routes of Afroeurasia c.1300 CE, Map
13. How do you think the Crusades may have influenced the trade routes shown on this map? Explain.
14. Which cities shown on the map do you think were most affected by ideas from foreign lands?
Which cities were least affected by ideas from foreign lands? Explain.
15. How might trade have affected the culture of people living in the areas shown along the trade routes?

DOCUMENT F: Excerpt for Secondary Source

16. Based on this excerpt, do you think trade was instrumental in the spread of Buddhism to Japan? Explain.
17. Summarize the trade relations described in this excerpt. Do you think the geographic locations of Japan, China, and Korea contributed to this trade? Explain.
18. How do you think people in Japan, China, and Korea were affected by the trade described here? Explain.
NEXT, You will use 3 of the 6 DOCUMENTS to help defend your thesis in your essay. Use details from the documents! (Tip: In your essay, be sure to reference the specific document used for support. For example: “According to the Magna Carta…”)
• Using details from the documents for support, write a three- to five-paragraph essay in response to the prompt.
• Submit both the analysis questions for your three selected documents and your essay to your instructor for grading.
Your essay question is:
“Is ‘the Dark Ages’ an appropriate term to describe the Middle Ages?”
You will need a thesis (the answer to the essay question), so what’s your answer?:
NOW: Start writing your essay!
a. Intro, including thesis, introduce the 3 documents you will use.
b. Explain why your first document is important.
c. Explain why your second document is important.
d. Explain why your third document is important.
e. Conclude your essay.


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