What were the transitions, How long did each transitional period last.


The western Empire was totally overrun, and very little Roman culture was left. Many families fled abandoning estates, especially the aristocracy. It was quite a sudden transition, but many buildings survived and were used by the occupiers. The technology and knowledge that the Romans had left in each province was lost, and you can imagine how throughout the dark ages and well into the middle ages, people must have marvelled at the skill apparently needed to have left the elegant villas, bridges, aqueducts behind. Stone building was a rare skill for centuries afterwards, and concrete had to be rediscovered. In England for example, the main Roman towns became the main cities of the Anglo Saxons. Wintanceaster (Winchester) was the court of Alfred the Great, previously Venta Belgarum. Lundenwic (London), used to be Londinium. York, Eboracum. The crumbling fortifications were supplemented with simple palisades and utilized as 'burhs'. I could certainly tell you much more about this time, but please be more specific, in case I end up writing a book. And I would too.

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    I know this is a closed post but.. "you can imagine how throughout the dark ages... " While in Augsburg West Germany, in the '80's, I stood on a stone bridge in disrepair, while gazing up at a portion of Roman Aqueduct. I didn't live in the times, but rather more than a thousand years later.... – CGCampbell May 23 '14 at 16:02
  • It must be amazing. In Italy especially, and in several places in Europe, I hear that roman roads are still actually used by traffic. If we marvel at them now in our so-called 'advanced' age, imagine what it looked like to a fellow with a flock of sheep and a wattle and daub hut! – Duncan May 24 '14 at 21:37
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    I'm quite interested by this! For example, where did all the skilled artisans and aristocrats go? Did the invading barbarians not think to reacquire these skills they wonder so much about? Also re: roads in europe, here in Britain I can tell you that yes, they actually are, but most roads have been paved over because even the Romans couldn't have foreseen the modern day 10-ton container lorry :). The fact that they are usually the best routes to connect 2 cities also doesn't help their surival rates. You can still find them though, and they're certainly still usable for bicycles and such. – Evil Washing Machine Jun 9 '14 at 11:00
  • @Evil Washing Machine we should think up a question or two about those matters. There's some terrific mystery in that post roman/dark ages period that I'd love to see explored on here! – Duncan Jun 10 '14 at 12:19
  • I read a book by the historian Peter S Wells, Barbarians to angels. According to him, they stopped writing about their time. That's the reason we don't know much about the dark ages. Most likely, the romans left the cities in the previous western roman empire. But if we look at archeological evidence, it seems like the cities were never depopulated. They still functioned as cities, but now with inhabitants that weren't roman. The dark ages don't have to be as dark as they seem without written records. – Ulf Tennfors Oct 5 '16 at 22:49

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