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February 06 , 2009

The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages


This groundbreaking study reveals the distinctive impact of apocalyptic ideas about time, evil and power on church and society in the Latin West, c.400–c.1050. Drawing on evidence from late antiquity, the Frankish kingdoms, Anglo-Saxon England, Spain and Byzantium and sociological models, James Palmer shows that apocalyptic thought was a more powerful part of mainstream political ideologies and religious reform than many historians believe. Moving beyond the standard 'Terrors of the Year 1000', The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages opens up broader perspectives on heresy, the Antichrist and Last World Emperor legends, chronography, and the relationship between eschatology and apocalypticism. In the process, it offers reassessments of the worlds of Augustine, Gregory of Tours, Bede, Charlemagne and the Ottonians, providing a wide-ranging and up-to-date survey of medieval apocalyptic thought. This is the first full-length English-language treatment of a fundamental and controversial part of medieval religion and society.

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