The concept of “Middle ages” originated in Italy in the 14th -16 centuries in the circle of historians and writers, advanced people of the time. They bowed before the culture of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, tried to revive it. “Middle ages” they called the time between antiquity and its era. Further in science the division of history into ancient, medieval and new was fixed.
The middle ages in the modern periodization of world history cover the time from the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century BC to the era of great geographical discoveries (the turn of the 15th -16 centuries). Also it covers the complete domination of medieval culture in Europe is not associated with the entire period, and with 5 -13 centuries. Then, in Italy, a transitional cultural era is born-a Revival that covers the end of the middle ages, and the beginning of a New time.
The assessment of the Middle ages in science changed. Renaissance humanists (who introduced the term) and 18th century educators (Diderot, Voltaire, Montesquieu) named them “the dark ages”, wrote about the deep decline of culture. In contrast to them, the romantics of the 19th century in scientific and, especially, in the works of art idealized the middle ages, were inclined to see in it the separation of the highest morality. Modern scientists mostly avoid extremes. It is recognized that in comparison with antiquity, many cultural achievements were lost, but at the same time, new nationalities were involved in the sphere of cultural development, national cultures were born.
The formation of the medieval type of culture on the territory of the former Roman Empire took place in different ways. The Eastern Roman Empire retained its statehood and unity. Byzantium throughout the middle ages remained a large and influential state, Byzantine culture has become a direct continuation of the ancient.