Introduction | Filmstrip | Research | Bibliography

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a book being copied. note the unrealistic image of man.Barbarians is a term which comes from those who didn't know the language mimicking the sounds used. They were the uncivilized cultures who did not live in large cities or build a large amount of permanant structures. This included Goths, Vikings and Celts, who eventually spread across the West, fighting the resistance by the Romans.
In Medieval Europe, literacy was not particularly common. Ideas essentially had to be preserved in one of two ways. They would either be passed on through word of mouth, or if they were to be permanent they had to be recorded by the Christian church. Monks were literate and would spend their days in seclusion praying and translating and recording. The catch to this was the the church could alter or omit anything they wanted. Thigns that did not conform to their beliefs, or were simply deemed to not matter would not appear in the books put out by the church, and so we often have little knowledge of them. What is best recorded is church-related documents.