How did monasteries manage to stay out of many of the problems of the dark ages? Write an essay answering the question. Support your ideas with citations and relevant arguments. List 2-3 sources in the references.
During the Dark Ages, a period of a thousand years from about AD 500 to about AD 1500, a huge importance was given to monasteries, where religious communities assembled to shape arts, culture, and spirituality, that could be later spread to the society.
Some monasteries were built during the rule of Charlemagne, from 768 to 814 AD, playing a central role against paganism, as well as in the promotion of arts and education for the literacy of the clergy.
Monasteries managed to stay out of invasions from the barbarians, one of the problems that people had to face during the Dark Ages, in part because they were closed and secure buildings whose construction followed accurate instructions for both disposition and design:
“The ninth-century plan preserved at the abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland, for example, depicts an ideal meant to inspire both emulation and devotion” Sorabella, Jean (2001). Monasticism in Western Medieval Europe. Retrieved from http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mona/hd_mona.htm
Monasteries achieved such a social significance that received donations of lands, which enriched many of them to a great extent. They were also sought as a burial place by noblemen, who offered contributions hoping that prays from monks would guarantee their salvation.
The devotion to spirituality showed a huge increase of both religion and religious art, as well as religious literature, as a way to take distance of the earthly problems in this period, shaping a bastion to face reality and reach peace through spirituality.
Sorabella, Jean. “Monasticism in Western Medieval Europe”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mona/hd_mona.htm (originally published October 2001, last revised March 2013).
History World International. “The Middle Ages”- http://history-world.org/middle_ages.htm (accessed on 11/22/15).
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