The Dark Ages period (or Early Middle Ages) is the early medieval period of western European history, usually specified as the time (476–800 AD) when there was no Roman (or Holy Roman) emperor in the West or, more generally, the period between about 500 AD and 1016 AD, which was marked by frequent warfare and a virtual disappearance of urban life.
The Anglo-Saxons ruled England from the 5th Century until the Norman Conquest of 1066. Anglo-Saxon England was classically divided into seven competing kingdoms of Mercia, Northumbria, Wessex, East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex. The Anglo-Saxons fought the Normans, the Norse and each other. Their armies fought as a shield wall with spears, shields and the mighty great axe.
The Duchy of Normandy came into being in 911 AD when Rollo the Viking became the first Duke. The Norsemen adopted the use of cavalry and in 1066 AD, invaded England resulting in Duke William the Bastard becoming King William the Conqueror. The Normans also founded kingdoms in Sicily and Southern Italy.
The Norse, also known as the Vikings, were skilled sailors and explorers as well as fierce raiders, mainly speaking the Old Norse language, who raided and traded from their Northern European homelands, now known as Scandanavia, across wide areas of northern, central, eastern and western Europe, during the late 8th to late 11th centuries. Norsemen also settled in Britain and were gifted land in France that is now known as Normandy.
Scant evidence exists for Picts, they are only mentioned briefly in Roman sources and from remaining sculptural evidence. Their key strength is their spearmen, their screens of archers and skirmishers along with their ubiquitous light cavalry to harass the enemies flanks.