Name once commonly but erroneously applied to the Middle Ages, chiefly by writers and others who sought to create the impression that during those ages, from about 500 to 1500, the Ages of Faith, as they were also called, there was little or no progress in any field of life, government, social organization, craftsmanship, art, learning, or even in religion.
As Maitland suggests in his "," they were dark chiefly because those who spoke of them as such were in the dark about them.
As more becomes known about this period, the phrase "Dark Ages" is no longer applied to it.
Recently the term dark has been applied only to the first half of this period, as scholars who are not Catholics are establishing facts to prove that the 13th, 12th, and even the 11th centuries were remarkable for enlightenment.
New Catholic Dictionary