The Dark Ages : an age of light – DVD recordings

Pendants depicting Viking heroes

Pendants depicting Viking heroes

Image courtesy of Bridgeman Education


The Dark Ages : an age of light

Waldemar Januszczak challenges the prevailing wisdom that civilisation stopped after the fall of the Roman Empire and argues that the Dark Ages were actually a time of great artistic achievement, with new ideas and religions provoking new artistic adventures.

Prog. 1 : The Clash of the Gods

This programme examines how Christianity emerged into the Roman Empire as an artistic force in the third and fourth centuries. But with no description of Jesus in the Bible, how were Christians to represent their God? Waldemar explores how Christian artists drew on images of ancient gods for inspiration and developed new forms of architecture to contain their art

Prog. 2 : The Wonder of Islam

Along with Christianity, the Dark Ages saw the emergence of another vital religion – Islam. After emerging in the near East it spread across North Africa and into Europe, bringing its unique artistic style with it. Waldemar examines the early artistic explorations of the first Muslims, the development of their mosques and their scientific achievements

Prog. 3 : What the Barbarians did for us

The Barbarians are often blamed for the collapse of the Roman Empire, but in reality they were fascinating civilisations that produced magnificent art. focusing on the Huns, Vandals and Goths, Waldemar follows each tribe’s journey across Europe and discovers the incredible art they produced along the way

Prog. 4 : Men of the North

The Carolingians saw themselves as successors to Rome, reflected in their art. Elsewhere, the Vikings were constructing long ships with intricate decoration and marking their territory with powerful rune stones. And on the British Isles, the Irish and Anglo-Saxons were creating unique works of manuscript illumination and remarkable jewellery


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