During the period from the collapse of the Roman Empire in the West and about A.D. 1000, much of Roman civilization was lost, but much was retained and developed, and many new ways of life were adopted. New kinds of social relationships arose, combining Roman and barbarian practices.
The Early Middle Ages in Western Europe
Between historians used to call the centuries from 500 to 1000 by the name still generally used for the centuries between 1100 and 800 B.C.: the Dark Ages. This suggests a gloomy barbarian interruption between a bright classical flowering and a later bright recovery or rebirth (Renaissance). But today historians prefer the more neutral term early Middle Ages, for they have come to believe that “dark” is a misleading exaggeration.