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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Dark Age TV - Secrets of the Dark Ages

The Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain was a consequence of the migration of Germanic peoples from continental Germania during the Early Middle Ages, after the demise of Roman rule in the 5th century. These peoples are traditionally divided into Angles, Saxons and Jutes, but historical and archaeological research conducted in the early 20th century suggests that a wide range of Germanic peoples from the North Sea coasts of Frisia, Lower Saxony, and Jutland may have moved to Britain in this era, including Frisians and Franks. In their new homeland, they consolidated into unified Germanic identities through war and other forms of social interaction.

In the late sixth century the king of Kent was a prominent lord in the south; in the seventh century the rulers of Northumbria and Wessex were powerful; for a brief period around the year 616, East Anglia was the most powerful of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England, and its king Raedwald was Bretwalda (overlord of the Anglo-Saxons kingdoms). In the eighth century Mercia achieved hegemony over the other surviving kingdoms. Successive kings of Wessex (and especially Æthelstan) progressively reinforced the English unitary state, until, with the simultaneous dissolution of Mercia and submission of Northumbria upon Edgar's succession in 959, the old constituent kingdoms in effect became consolidated into one.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Christianity - A History

Theologian Robert Beckford 's personal view of the dark ages in which he explores how warring pagan tribes became one nation under a single religion - Christianity and asks if this is the most misunderstood and underrated moment in Britain's history.

In this extraordinary story, which begins with the fall of the Roman Empire 400 years after the birth of Jesus, we chart the precarious survival of Christianity in the Celtic West and Ireland following a struggle for souls between three different religious traditions: the warrior pagan religion of the Anglo-Saxons, Celtic Christianity and a resurgent Roman Christianity, which arrived with St Augustine in 597.

With the aid of noted experts in the field, Robert reveals how these conflicts were resolved and why Christianity was a vital element in the eighth century creation of an alternative identity for the English peoples. This was a spectacular cultural achievement with a revolutionary agenda, which became, in the Kingdom of King Alfred, the basis of the nation we live in today.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Dark Age TV - The Franks

The Franks were a West Germanic confederation, uniting the peoples in Magna Germania north and east of the Lower Rhine River. Modern scholars of the Migration Period are in agreement that the Frankish identity emerged in the first half of the 3rd century out of various Germanic groups, including the Salii, Sicambri, Chamavi, Bructeri, Chatti, Chattuarii, Ampsivarii, Tencteri, Ubii, Batavi and the Tungri, who inhabited the area between the Zuyder Zee and the river Lahn and extended eastwards as far as the Weser, but were most densely settled around the IJssel and between the Lippe and the Sieg.

From the third to fifth centuries the Frankish armies raided Roman territory and expanded their influence among the Germanic peoples previously living under Roman rule on the left bank of the Rhine. In 358, the Salian Franks came to some form of agreement with the Romans that allowed them to settle in Toxandria (roughly Noord-Brabant, Antwerpen and Vlaams-Brabant).

Each tribe within the Frankish confederation consisted of extended kinship groups centred around a particularly renowned and noble family. The importance of the family bond was made clear by the Salic Law, which ordained that an individual had no right to protection if not part of a family.

Dark Age TV - The Book of Kells

The Book of Kells (Irish: Leabhar Cheanannais) (Dublin, Trinity College Library, MS A. I. (58), sometimes known as the Book of Columba) is an illuminated manuscript in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was transcribed by Celtic monks ca. 800. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphyand represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.
The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells surpass that of other Insular Gospels in extravagance and complexity. The decoration combines traditional Christian iconography with the ornate swirling motifs typical of Insular art. Figures of humans, animals and mythical beasts, together with Celtic knots and interlacing patterns in vibrant colours, enliven the manuscript's pages. Many of these minor decorative elements are imbued with Christian symbolism and so further emphasise the themes of the major illustrations.
The manuscript today comprises 340 folios and, since 1953, has been bound in four volumes. The leaves are on high-quality calf vellum, and the unprecedentedly elaborate ornamentation that covers them includes ten full-page illustrations and text pages that are vibrant with historiated initials and interlinear miniatures and mark the furthest extension of the anti-classical and energetic qualities of Insular art. The Insular majuscule script of the text itself appears to be the work of at least three different scribes. The lettering is in iron-gall ink, and the colours used were derived from a wide range of substances, many of which were imports from distant lands.
The manuscript takes its name from the Abbey of Kells that was its home for centuries. Today, it is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library, Dublin. The library usually displays two of the current four volumes at a time, one showing a major illustration and the other showing typical text pages.
Music by K. Jarrett, 'Hymn of Release'.

Dark Age TV -The Story Of Ireland

This BBC documentary series covers the history of Ireland - from pre-history right through until the present day. It is probably the most detailed Irish history series and covers migration between the British Isles, invasions, plantations, wars and uprisings, emigration and the independence of the Irish free State in the 20th century.

Dark Age TV - A History of Scotland with Neil Oliver

Presented by Neil Oliver, A History of Scotland is a television series first broadcast in November 2008 on BBC One Scotland and later shown UK-wide on BBC Two during January 2009.[1] The second series began on BBC One Scotland in early November 2009, with transmission at a later point on network BBC Two. In Australia, series one aired on SBS One Sundays at 7:30pm from 6 December 2009 to 3 January 2010.

Dark Age TV - Tintagel Castle

Dark Age TV - The Lindisfarne Gospels

Dark Age TV - The Celts

How the Celts Saved Britain

Provocative two-part documentary in which Dan Snow blows the lid on the traditional Anglo-centric view of history and reveals (in part 2 of 2) how the Irish saved Britain from cultural oblivion during the Dark Ages of 400-800AD. Travelling back in time to some of the remotest corners of the British Isles, Dan unravels the mystery of the lost years of 400-800 AD, when the collapse of the Roman Empire left Britain in tatters. In the first episode, Dan shows how in the 5th century AD Roman 'Britannia' was plunged into chaos by the arrival of Anglo-Saxon invaders. As Roman civilisation disappeared from Britain, a new civilisation emerged in one of the most unlikely places - Ireland. Within a few generations, Christianity transformed a backward, barbarian country into the cultural powerhouse of early medieval Europe. This is a visually and intellectually stimulating journey through one of the least known chapters of British and Irish history. 


Dark Age TV - The Anglo Saxons

Dark Age TV - The Dark Ages

At its height in the second century A.D., the Roman Empire was the beacon of learning, power, and prosperity in the western world. But the once-powerful Rome - rotten to the core by the fifth century - lay open to barbarian warriors who came in wave after wave of invasion, slaughtering, stealing, and ultimately, settling. As chaos replaced culture, Europe was beset by famine, plague, persecutions, and a state of war that was so persistent it was only rarely interrupted by peace. THE DARK AGES profiles those who battled to shape the future, from the warlords whose armies threatened to cause the demise of European society, such as Alaric, Charles the Hammer, and Clovis; to the men and women who valiantly tended the flames of justice, knowledge, and innovation including Charlemagne, St. Benedict, Empress Theodora, and other brave souls who fought for peace and enlightenment. It was in the shadows of this turbulent millennium that the seeds of modern civilization were sown.