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Finnur Jonsson's history of old Norwegian and Icelandic literature (Den oldnorske og oldislandske Litteraturs Historie, 1894); Kelle, Geschichte der deutschen Litteratur, 1892-1896; Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur, second edition, 1897.

Mr Stevenson's welcome edition of Asser, with strong arguments in favour of the Life of Alfred as an authentic work, has only been published within the last few days.

I am greatly indebted to Mr H. W. C. Davis of Balliol for many suggestions in chapter iii.; to Dr Kuno Meyer for advice about Celtic literature; and to Mr Saintsbury for his editorial care throughout.

W. P. K.

London, 25th January 1904.

THE DARK AGES.

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

The Dark Ages and the Middle Ages—or the Middle Age—used to be the same; two names for the same period. But they have come to be distinguished, and the Dark Ages are now no more than the first part of the Middle Age, while the term mediaeval is often restricted to the later centuries, about 1100 to 1500, the age of chivalry, the time between the first Crusade and the Eenaissance. This was not the old view, and it does not agree with the proper meaning of the name. The Middle Age, however lax the interpretation might be, distinctly meant at first the time between ancient and modern civilisation. It was a large comprehensive name that covered everything between Eomulus Augustulus and the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, or between Claudian and the revival of Learning; it might include any

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