The Dark Ages were known as as time before the Renaissance when Classical Works were ‘rediscovered’. This is somewhat simplistic since Alfred the Great and Charlemagne were both known to have collected as many Classical Works as they could find. But there were a large number of important works which did remain largely unknown in the Dark Ages. Jefferey Chaucer did not know about the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ even though he was probably aware that there was someone named Homer.
(The Great Courses – The Medieval World)