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The Medieval Expansion of Europe$
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J. R. S. Phillips

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198207405

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207405.001.0001

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Classical discoveries and Dark Age transformations

Classical discoveries and Dark Age transformations

(p.3) 1 Classical discoveries and Dark Age transformations
The Medieval Expansion of Europe

J. R. S. Phillips

Oxford University Press

Of all the activities of western European travellers during the so-called Dark Ages, the Scandinavian expansion which began at the end of the 8th century was to be the most extensive. This chapter explores many fundamental developments within western Europe. The Roman empire had acquired a lot of land and also built many contacts beyond its administrative and military boundaries. Several observations regarding the earth's surface and its different zones were made during that time. But later the Roman empire suffered a political and military crisis which almost brought it down. There was also a decline in the understanding of the Greek language, which had been the vehicle of earlier scholarship, throughout the western empire. Geography, lacking an independent status, was treated only under the heading of geometry, and suffered accordingly. However, after the continuous efforts made by many scholars, geography was once again studied and the earth's shape was better understood.

Keywords:   Roman empire, Dark Ages, Mediterranean, trading, Moslem, Vikings

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