The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages

Front Cover
Cambridge University Press, Nov 20, 2014 - History - 254 pages
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


how the world ends
The end of civilisation c 380c 575
The new urgency c 550c 604
de France lat 17644 f 2r page
The ends of time and space c 600c 735
Petrus Monachuss Preface to PseudoMethodius
Charlemagne pater Europae c 750c 820
A Golden Age in danger c 820 c 911
Munich Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
The Year 1000 and other apocalypticisms c 911c 1033
the end c 400c 1033
Select bibliography
Index of manuscript references

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

James Palmer undertook a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the University of Nottingham in 2006 (on Time and Power in the Early Medieval West). In 2007 he was appointed Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of St Andrews, where he has taught widely on the Middle Ages, including a course on Medieval Apocalyptic Traditions. His well-reviewed first book on Carolingian hagiography, Anglo-Saxons in a Frankish World, 690 00, was published in 2009. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society the following year. In 2011 2 James held a much-sought-after ARHC Fellowship, which allowed him to complete his research for The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages. He was a founding editor of The Medieval Journal, an international forum for interdisciplinary medieval studies. He is also a member of the Medieval Academy of America and the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists.

Bibliographic information