Peter S. Wells


On his book Barbarians to Angels: The Dark Ages Reconsidered (now in paperback

Cover Interview of October 28, 2009


My intention in writing this book was to show an interested reading audience that our ideas about the human past are often very different from what was actually going on at that time.

Until recently, people tended to readily accept written texts as reliable information about the past, even when they were written by members of different societies from those that they were describing.  The so-called Dark Ages are a particularly good example, because at least since the publication of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, peoples of this period, including those whom we know by names such as Alamanni, Franks, Goths, Huns, and Saxons, have regularly been considered “barbarians.”

By looking closely at what those peoples were actually doing, and not just at what Late Roman commentators said about them, we get a very different picture.

© 2009 Peter S. Wells