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Debates in Continental PhilosophyConversations with Contemporary Thinkers$
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Richard Kearney

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780823223176

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823223176.001.0001

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Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco

Chaosmos: The Return of the Middle Ages

(p.223) Umberto Eco
Debates in Continental Philosophy

Richard Kearney

Fordham University Press

According to Umberto Eco, one can speak of the Dark Ages in the sense that the population of Europe fell by twenty million. The only flourishing civilization was the Irish one, and that was not by chance. Irish monks went to civilize the continent. However, immediately after the millennium, one can no longer speak of the Dark Ages. European culture and European society grew with the new feudalism and the new bourgeoisie, the birth of Italian and Flemish communes, the free cities, the invention of the bank and the check, and of credit. In one of Eco's essays, he actually talks about the return of the Middle Ages, whereby he wants to stress certain common elements in the sense in which his era is undoubtedly an era of transition.

Keywords:   Umberto Eco, Dark Ages, civilization, Irish monks, Europe, culture, society, Middle Ages

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