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Beginning in 1981, Richard Hodges supervised the excavation of the Benedictine monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, one of the great centers of Dark Age Europe, situated in spectacular mountain country in central Italy. The existence of the monastery has long been known from a twelfth-century illuminated manuscript, and the excavations threw vivid light on its epic history. This richly illustrated book tells of the discoveries made by Hodges's team, with the Samnite and Roman origins of the site charted in detail and the magnificence of the monastery's early medieval period fully elaborated. Light in the Dark Ages traces the history of San Vincenzo from the monastery's spectacular rise as a result of Charlemagne's patronage to its cataclysmic sack by Arab marauders in 881, demonstrating the relation between the treasures unearthed and their political context.
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