From 15 November 2018 through 25 August 2019, the LVR-LandesMuseum in Bonn presents the exhibition Europa in Bewegung. Lebenswelten im frühen Mittelalter (‘Europe on the Move. A Journey through the Early Middle Ages’). After Amsterdam and Athens, this is the third venue of the international exhibition that has been developed in the framework of the CEMEC project.
The Western Roman Empire ended in 476 CE with the onslaught of the Great Migration of the Peoples. To our way of thinking, this date marks the beginning of the “Dark Ages”, with the decline of the culture of Antiquity in economics, trade and education. In all of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, the Roman Empire that had united them was followed by the politically splintered Early Middle Ages with the Germanic successor empires of the Franks, Visigoths, and many others. In the eastern part of the Mediterranean world, however, the cultural heritage of Antiquity lived on yet for centuries in the Byzantine Empire.
This exhibition presents a surprisingly complex and multifaceted picture of the Late Antique and Early Medieval period in the regions between Ireland and Spain in the west and Egypt and Hungary in the east. For all the differences in the way they dealt with their antique heritage, this epoch has been characterized by fascinating connections between the various life worlds with their downright exuberant cultural diversities. Ca. 150 precious objects from the most important European museums give eloquent testimony to the active exchange of ideas, beliefs, traditions, and traded goods. In the exhibition you will encounter remarkable people, who traversed, explored, and mediated between the distant worlds for us in their lives as pilgrims, scientists, tradesmen, and travelers.
The museums and technical partners of the CEMEC consortium have made it possible to present outstanding objects from their collections, in connection with innovative media and mediation techniques. In this way, exciting and often new notions come about of a world unjustly regarded as being so far away. With its ideas, religions and cultures, it continues to influence Europe and the Mediterranean region even today.