As soon as their ending was determined,

the Middle Ages have caused no end of trouble.

It is the first age named since Hesiod

postulated the Greek’s fall from

the godliness of a Golden Age,

passing through Silver, Bronze, and Heroic

to arrive finally at an Iron Age,

each one worse, with one exception,

than the last.

Coined in the Renaissance, and englobing

nearly one thousand years of European history,

the negative connotation

was present from the very beginning:

«dark» ages, «middle» ages, ages-in-waiting,

dim anteroom to the brilliant Renaissance.

Since we have inherited this awkward taxonomy,

we have hardly been at ease to deal with it.