Dark Ages

The Dark Ages was an era that took place in western Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire (around 455 CE) when much previous learning and literacy was forgotten, until Charlemagne helped reinstate it in 800 CE. Most modern historians don't use the term Dark Ages anymore, and prefer Early Middle Ages.

The Dark Ages get their name because we have very little records of what life was like during this time, thus we are "in the dark" about it. Much of what we know is taken from historians from the later Middle Ages.