Does this begin to sound familiar? This, from The Age of Arthur: a History of the British Isles from 350 to 650, by John Morris.
[As the Roman occupation of Briton ended]
“Old men mourned; but younger men were capable of looking to the future with confidence, even welcoming escape from a dead past. One young Briton wrote home from Sicily:
“You tell me that everyone is saying that the world is coming to an end. So what? It happened before. Remember Noah’s time…. but after the flood men were holier.”
The continuous history of a thousand years of Greek and Roman civilization had suddenly snapped, leaving men nakedly aware, at the time, that the end had come. Those who could look beyond the deluge with assurance had already written off the headless corpse of the Roman Empire. They were the conscious architects of Christendom, impatient to clear away the debris of the past that they might build upon its ruins a new society, that which in retrospect we call the “middle ages.”