Waiting for the End? Apocalypticism, Heresies, Pax Dei and Invasions Around Anno Domini

Ivelin Ivanov


The article discusses mass millenarian and apocalyptic attitudes and expectations around Anno Domini 1000. Despite the fact that a number of written sources have painted a vivid picture of apocalyptic and millenarian sentiments, no answer has been provided to the question of the root cause of such sentiments, that is, the factors that gave rise to them on the eve of, and following, Anno Domini 1000. The author argues that the outburst of millenarian and apocalyptic moods was just “the tip of the iceberg” of the mass insecurity and fear which had been around for generations and were recorded by some chroniclers. The uncertainty and fear resulted from foreign invasions, rising anarchy and the lack of strong authority and order in most of western Europe. Therefore the question of apocalyptic sentiments can be approached not in terms of spiritual and religious attitudes only, but as a desperate outburst of fear. The author concludes that instead of the popular name “Time of The End,” the decades around 1000 AD could be defined as “Time of Fear.” The fear in question operated at both the personal and social levels and affected souls and bodies alike.

Ключови думи:

millenarianism, apocalypticism, Anno Domini 1000, Pax Dei, Treuga Dei, heresies, Viking invasions, Saracen invasions, Magyar invasions


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