The Dark Ages: 476-918

Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 19 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: History, Ancient History
4.5 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Dark Ages is the story of the birth of Western civilization. It was a harrowing crucible of war, destruction, and faith. For over 100 years, Charles Oman's famous history has remained one of the finest sources for the study of this period. Covering a period of 500 years and an area stretching from Northern Germany to Egypt, this is the definitive history that will alter your conceptions of a period of history that gave birth to the civilization we live in today.

Table of contents:

Chapter 1: Odoacer and Theodoric, 476-493
Chapter 2: Theodoric King of Italy, 493-526
Chapter 3: The Emperors at Constantinople, 476-527
Chapter 4: Chlodovech and the Franks in Gaul, 481-511
Chapter 5: Justinian and His Wars, 528-540
Chapter 6: Justinian (Continued), 540-565
Chapter 7: The Earlier Frankish Kings and Their Organisation of Gaul, 511-561
Chapter 8: The Visigoths in Spain, 531-603
Chapter 9: The Successors of Justinian, 565-610
Chapter 10: Decline and Decay of the Merovingians, 561-656
Chapter 11: The Lombards in Italy and the Rise of the Papacy, 568-653
Chapter 12: Heraclius and Muhammed, 610-641
Chapter 13: The Decline and Fall of the Visigoths, 603-711
Chapter 14: The Contest of the Eastern Empire and the Caliphate, 641-717
Chapter 15: The History of the Great Mayors of the Palace, 656-720
Chapter 16: The Lombards and the Papacy, 653-743
Chapter 17: Charles Martel and His Wars, 720-741
Chapter 18: The Iconoclast Emperors: State of the Eastern Empire in the Eighth Century, 717-802
Chapter 19: Pippin the Short: Wars of the Franks and Lombards, 741-768
Chapter 20: Charles the Great: Early Years, 768-785...Conquest of Lombardy and Saxony
Chapter 21: The Later Wars and Conquests of Charles the Great, 785-814
Chapter 22: Charles the Great and the Empire
Chapter 23: Louis the Pious, 814-840
Chapter 24: Disruption of the Frankish Empire: The Coming of the Vikings, 840-855
Chapter 25: The Darkest Hour, 855-887: From the Death of Lothair I to the Deposition of Charles the Fat
Chapter 26: Italy and Sicily in the Ninth Century, 827-924
Chapter 27: Germany, 888-918
Chapter 28: The Eastern Empire in the Ninth Century, 802-912
Chapter 29: The End of the Ninth Century in Western Europe: Conclusion

Public Domain (P)2016 Audio Connoisseur

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An Excellent Production

This was a masterful presentation of some very complicated history. Focused on the dysfunction that beset Europe following the fall of Rome, the growing schism between the Empires of the East and the West, and the continuous onslaught of heathen tribes and the Saracens from without, Charles Oman weaved together a comprehensive and compelling book, culminating in his understanding of why this dark period of feudal history was ultimately the only way that Western civilization could have been preserved in that time. The narration was clear and the high production values only enhanced this book for me.

15 people found this helpful

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I thought I knew most of this...I was surprised

What did you love best about The Dark Ages: 476-918?

The depth of the historical information. Well researched.

What does Charlton Griffin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Makes the reading compelling and alive.

5 people found this helpful

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Old, but still great!

First things first. You must love history in order to enjoy this book. Do not expect to just give this a listen without knowing a little background on the topic. You will get horribly lost. I have a decent understanding of the time but I still got lost occasionally and had to relisten or reread, since I have the physical text as well.

The book shows it's age at some points with it's method of narrative and occasional opinion stated as fact. Oman focuses mainly on military campaigns and dynasties and doesnt go into too much detail about administration and economic policies.

I very much enjoyed my listen and found this book to be very informative. I'd suggest anyone else interested in the time period to give this a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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Broad sweep with a careful eye for detail

An outstanding study of Western Civilization in its lowest period. Brings personalities to life. Magisterial. Authoritative narration well-suited to the content.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Great production with some questionable content

Wonderful narration and detailed coverage. The history is focused on Christendom and is very unfavorable to other religions. I still recommend this audio book to anyone with the interest and time but any future listeners should understand the bias of the publication.

5 people found this helpful

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Intense History

This was a great read! I really enjoyed the author's very direct appraisal of a very turbulent and exciting period of European history. Mr. Oman gave me a better sense of how European developed into their contemporary countries. liked his narrative as carried from the Franks, Germanic tribes, the Papacy, the Northmen, the Danes, the Byzantium, the Saracens, and a whole host Slavic invaders. This was a tremendous and exciting period of World History which is just as important for understanding how our country and culture evade in modern United States. I can understand better this sense of European and American History. The narrator had lot of energy and was quite entertaining.

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Pedantic

Boring. I struggled through it hoping it was going to improve. No such luck. I should have known better than to buy an older history book. More like a book on religion.

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Superb Audiobook!

This was with little doubt, a long and arduous effort by Charles Oman. Source material due to the lack of extensive writing of the period, was probably the greatest hinderan. Nevertheless, the finished text as presented here, is very thought provoking. Additionally, Charlton Griffin did a truly excellent job reading the text. With these things said, I can easily recommend this superb audiobook!

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Oman covers history of Europe before middle ages

Nobody today likes the term "dark ages", but historians certainly had their reasons for calling this period of the first millennium as dark. From the fall of the Roman empire to the rise of Christendom there were many factions contending for power, but little was being done to move humanity forward. Oman is a bit more readable than Gibbon. The audio narration is well done, but the serious student may prefer the text due the number of similar names used during this period.

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Detailed History

This is a thorough and detailed history, not for casual readers.
The narrarator is excellent, he captures Oman perfectly.
Oman's beliefs are dated but he is still one of the better historians that we have to enjoy.