Many misunderstand the 'Dark Ages' as a lost period for cultural achievement. This BBC 4 documentary re-examines what was in fact a glorious age of art - when pictures and letters 'came together in cosmic adulation.'
The BBC writes that 'history has identified the period following the fall of the Roman Empire with a descent into barbarism - a terrible time when civilisation stopped.
'Waldemar Januszczak disagrees. In this four-part series he argues that the Dark Ages were a time of great artistic achievement, with new ideas and religions provoking new artistic adventures.
'He embarks on a trip across Europe, Africa and Asia, visits the world's most famous collections and discovers hidden artistic gems, all to prove that the Dark Ages were actually an 'Age of Light'.
'In this, the fourth episode of the series Waldemar looks towards the north of Europe. 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.'
Waldemar challenges conventional assumptions about the 'barbarity' of the Vikings, and examines the extraordinary creative energies of the Christians of that epoch - offering a view on what influenced the differing Christian art styles of the epoch.
Dur: 1 Hour
To view the documentary on YouTube, CLICK HERE.
Men of the North (BBC 4)