“However when we get to the early 700’s AD life begins to change drastically: coinage disappears, artisans are forced to give up their trades and go back to living on the land, books disappear, schools close, the roads and aqueducts and other infrastructure are no longer maintained and the standard of living throughout the Roman world begins to decline sharply.
What happened? The answer is quite simple. This was when the Islamic armies began their war against the West. Starting in the late 600’s AD these armies invaded Egypt, North Africa and the old Fertile Crescent area. With them they not only brought Islam they also brought practices, which resulted in economic catastrophe for the entire region from which it has never recovered even to this day.
Roman, Egyptian and Persian agricultural practices were destroyed in most of the conquered territories. As a result food production plummeted and ancient agribusiness was replaced by subsistence farming. Cities were abandoned as their inhabitants were forced back on to the land in order to avoid starvation. The Fertile Crescent area of Iraq and Iran suffered particularly harshly as the loss of the old technology, especially well planned irrigation works, resulted in the use of crude methods of irrigation, which led to the contamination of the Tigris – Euphrates Basin through salt percolation and turned it into the barren desert seen today.
The other economic killer was the Islamic destruction of the old overland trading system. In the ancient world there had been large scale foreign trade extending from China to Britain. The Islamic refusal to deal with the “Infidels” led to the decline of this trade and the destruction of the second most important component of the ancient economy: trade with India, China, Persia, Egypt and the other advanced economic centers of the ancient world. This trade did not recover until the Age of Exploration when Europeans discovered how to sail around the Islamic barrier to foreign trade.
Why is this Important?
The Dark Ages were an enormous setback for European civilization. Today most of the world believes that Christianity shares a great deal of the blame for causing this disaster, even going so far as to compare it unfavorably in a revisionist version of history which depicts Islam as the savior of ancient western knowledge.
This revisionist version of history is far from the truth, if you doubt it I challenge you to read “Mohammed and Charlemagne.” See more at the below website.”
http://www.idscience.org/2007/07/28/islam-the-real-cause-of-the-dark-ages/

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