In the 1901 issue of the American Historical Review, George Lincoln Burr published an article in which he summarized for American historians the new consensus among European historians that there were no apocalyptic expectations associated with the arrival of the first millennium since the Incarnation.2 This position represented a complete reversal of the previous view. In the mid nineteenth century, led by Jules Michelet, many historians had drawn a dramatic picture of mass apocalyptic expectations climaxing in the year 1000. For Michelet, the liberating power of this eschatological fervor-- arousing hope in the oppressed and terror in the oppressors -- was the key to the transformations of eleventh-century France.3 Other historians of the period readily embroidered on this theme of Apocalypse and Revolution, although in time the emphasis shifted from revolutionary hope to paralyzing terror.4
Shortly after the Paris Commune in 1871, however, a powerful reaction set in among both ecclesiastical and increasingly "professionalized" secular historians who categorically rejected these "terrors of the year 1000" as an apocryphal legend, born of the fevered imaginations of the Romantics. There was, these historians argued, simply no evidence to support such a ludicrous and insulting picture of an entire society quaking in fear at the approach of a date few contemporaries even knew about.5 On the contrary, nothing distinguished the year 1000 from any other in the sources. This revisionist position became an integral part of European and, through Burr, of American historiography by the early twentieth century. By the mid-twentieth century a historian could merely note in passing that this "myth has been effectively banished from serious historical writing," without even citing a reference.6 And those who bothered to go further simply repeated, sometimes verbatim, the late nineteenth-century arguments.7
This consensus continues to dominate our view of the year 1000 to an extraordinary extent, despite several developments that one might expect to give historians pause.
And yet, like some needle which refuses to be threaded, the closer medievalists come to such a step, the farther they seem to move from the issue: some discuss issues with obvious eschatological dimensions without the slightest reference to such matters; others continue to dismiss the "terrors" even by citing in support historians -- Focillon, Duby and Hugenholtz -- who argue for their existence;12 most recently, some deny there was anything more than a slight "readjustment" lying behind the seeming upheavals of the generations surrounding 1000.13 Most historians, even ones doing broad surveys from early Christian times through the Middle Ages, continue to pass over the year 1000 either in silence or with a sentence of dismissal.14 Whatever the consensus among scholars, however, the subject will not die, even, as a recent modern historian has noted, among those most opposed to the Romantic interpretation.15 On the threshold of the year 1900 the year 1000 exerted its appeal,16 and again at the approach of the year 2000.17 There may even be a correlation between wishing to minimize present-day apocalyptic concerns and denying any reality to earlier ones. One historian, while reassuring his readers they need not fear a "grande peur de l'an 2000," has insisted that we must "wring the neck" of this absurdly resilient legend of l'an mil.18
Part of the conceptual problem here lies in the lack of a middle ground. The curious nature of the documentation and its traditions of interpretation suggest either a Romantic vision of universal expectation or a revisionist one of indifference. And given the choice, historians tend, understandably, to prefer depicting a society neither more nor less taken with such mistaken beliefs than at other times, to one swept up in chiliastic madness. In part, it may even be the effort to "spare" our subjects from the ridicule of having incorrectly anticipated the end of the world, that medievalists deny such attitudes to their subjects.19 In this sense, the emphasis on the two "renaissances" -- Carolingian and Twelfth-Century -- are part of an argument that "medieval" folk are just as interesting and enlightened as the great figures of the Renaissance.
So obvious and rational a preference for a sound-minded generation of the year 1000 -- which even Focillon accepted for the operative elites -- nevertheless leaves an explanatory void. Few historians would deny the consensus that the turn of the millennium marks a turning point in French and more generally, Western European history.20 Indeed the rare historians who bother to mention the year 1000 do so in order to dissociate their observations about dramatic social change from the mythical "terrors".21 And yet, without Romantic yarns of eschatological relief to explain the new spirit, historians are left invoking everything from demographic and climatic trends to technologically driven economic change as triggers for (unspecified) religious crises and intuitive leaps in the collective imagination.22 As one historian pointed has out, these "explanations" are woefully inadequate and circular, leaving a causal aporia at the heart of our discussions of the first phase of the European "industrial revolution" (1000-1300).23
Today historians seem to be travelling two parallel tracks. Few, without any serious arguments, have reintroduced the notion of apocalyptic expectations to motivate their narratives; most continue to ignore the issue. The former group remains largely marginal to the historiography of the period; and even when a major historian like Georges Duby invokes the issue, others cite him to the contrary.24 The latter group consequently dominates: most serious treatments of the turn of the millennium ignore the issue entirely, even studies specifically concerned with apocalypticism.25 In some ways this exclusion of the "so-called terrors of the year 1000" from serious historical analysis of the "mutation de l'an mil" constitutes one of the invisible foundations of modern historiography both of the central Middle Ages, and of Christian apocalypticism.26
This exclusion of 1000 is true not only among generalists, but also among specialists of the eleventh century dealing with topics where apocalyptic tensions might be relevant. For example, no discussion of the meaning of the year 1000 accompanies: 1) studies of Otto III which commonly refer to him as "L'empereur de l'an Mil" and describe him as an unbalanced religious mystic;27 2) extensive discussions of the sudden rise in popular and elite heresies in the first decades of the eleventh century;28 3) analyses of the Cluny of "l'an Mil," whether looking at the central role of the book of Revelation in the self imagery of the monks,29 or trying to understand the motives of aristocrats donating so much land to Cluny from the 980s to the 1030s.30
The real self-impoverishment, though, seems to come from this uncritical, even unconscious, acceptance of the thesis of the "anti- Terrors" school. In what other area of historical research do modern scholars still base their approach on an argument first made over a century ago in a strongly polemical and politically charged atmosphere, based on a historical method and a knowledge of the phenomenon which subsequent scholarship have rendered obsolete? Rather than go over the arguments of the "anti-Terrors" school about the year 1000, in what follows I shall try to trace the cultural process whereby I think the year 1000 took on its apocalyptic significance, and the peculiar effects this process had not only on our documentation but also on our manner of interpreting it.31 After briefly defining my terms and surveying its social dynamics, I shall trace the ways that apocalypticism influenced the dating systems of Latin Christendom and thereby produce two great millennial (and millenarian) dates -- 1000 and 1033. Returning to the problems of modern historiography's "unconscious Augustinianism," I shall conclude with some reflections on the role of an apocalyptic year 1000 in the cultural mutation historians have detected at the turn of the millennium. My argument is not that we should return to the "Romantic" vision, which is itself deeply flawed in its conception of how apocalyptic expectations work. In that sense both Romantic and Positivist historians (Michelet excepted) over-emphasized fear and relief as the defining emotions of apocalypticism; the more significant and creative emotions at work here are hope and disappointment.
The Nature of Apocalyptic and Millennial Expectation: On the Persistence of the Irrational
Let me first clarify my terms: I use eschatological to refer to any belief in a climactic, God-wrought conclusion to history in which the good are rewarded and the evil suffer. Apocalyptic refers to the belief that this Eschaton (however conceived) is imminent, a period ranging from a generation to within the year; the emotions this belief provokes increase exponentially as the anticipated waiting period shortens. Chiliasm (often called millenarianism or millennialism) refers to the expectation that this End will bring about a prolonged period (1000 years) of peace, harmony, and joy here on earth, which may or may not be inaugurated by a messiah, specially anointed agent of God. Millennialism I use here to refer to any eschatological expectations -- earthly or heavenly -- anticipated at the completion of a 1000-year period. Of the varieties of eschatological belief, apocalyptic chiliasm is the most radical and dangerous in that it expects the imminent overthrow of the current powers (lay and ecclesiastical) and the inauguration of God's kingdom here; and apocalyptic millennialism is among the most dramatic in that it can affect not merely sects, but whole societies.
The research in the century since the "anti-Terrors" argument was first articulated -- in anthropology and sociology on modern-day apocalyptic groups, in history on the origins and development of Christianity -- has shown that, as a social phenomenon, apocalypticism defies all expectations of fundamentally "rational" behavior. Far from facing facts (i.e. acknowledging the failure of apocalyptic expectations), most believers in fact redate and reformulate their prophecies in order to preserve them.32 This unexpected response derives from one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of apocalyptic expectations: for many believers, this is a time of fear and trembling, of great hope and anticipation, which Michelet captured in his expression "l'effroyable espoir du Jugement Dernier."33
Day of Wrath, Day of Joy
Hope is the key. The divine oracles, said Rodulfus Glaber, had been pronounced to inspire "as much hope as terror (tam spem quam formidolositatem)."34 The annalist from Saint-Amand wrote in recording a globe-shattering earthquake on Easter of 1000: "from here already our hope grows more certain..."35 The problem, of course, is that often these hopes speak to those oppressed, not the powerful; they thus seem to anticipate a now-unwelcome Marxist language of revolution.36 As a result these hopes rarely express the attitudes we find in the written sources which reflect the views of the potentes, the dominant aristocratic elite; and at the same time such hopes find their greatest audiences among the pauperes, those powerless masses who do not leave us documentary evidence of their thoughts and deeds. When, however, on the rare occasions that we can track the voices of popular apocalyptic fervor, they often express desire for violent vengeance against the potentes. As one black slave cried out in her despair:
Nor are these poles of emotion mutually exclusive: destructive prodigies could change self-confident joy to real terror; genuine repentence could change dread to joy; and disappointment could turn joy into sorrow and rage. Thus, whether through fear or hope, the approach of the End was the occasion for great, even superhuman efforts to prepare oneself and one's community for the coming judgment of God. Since apocalyptic expectation brings God's judgment rather than meaningless annihilation, it often engenders feverish activity: to convert the heathen, to spread the ardent spirituality of the apostles, to assist the Lord in bringing about his kingdom of peace and justice, to give generously to the Church and the poor, to reform society in order to allay the wrath of both an indignant God and an aroused populace.40
Such a perspective undermines many of the assumptions of a positivist social science, one that expects most people to have "rational" attitudes towards disconfirmation,41 one that treats any given instance of apocalyptic ferver as discrete, with no connection to previous or later ones,42 one that considers evidence for terrorized paralysis as the sole legitimate index of apocalyptic expectation.43 But the essence of apocalypticism is resilience. Far from being susceptible to rational argument, committed apocalyptic believers are impervious to disconfirmation, even after the most egregious failures.44 They respond to the passing of their Doomsdate by recalculating, reformulating their expectation and redoubling their efforts to convince others of its truth.45 Everything is done to preserve the hope (and the collective solidarity that hope has engendered) rather than abandon it. This is not merely a modern pattern: it is evident in Gregory of Tours' account of the followers of the assassinated "False" Christ of Bourges (591), in the resilience of the Montanists (150 to 300+), indeed in the apostles' attachment to a Second Coming.46 Just as the historian of theology, Hans Kasemann could write that "apocalyptic is the mother of theology," so the historian of religion can claim that it is the mother of the Christian Church, no matter how antiapocalyptic the tradition of that Church may eventually have become.47
We can thus fairly conjecture that the date of the coming Eschaton -- a speculation endemic in Christian and Jewish culture -- was of great interest to a rural population who might not otherwise be sensitive to such learned notions as linear time. Even prisoners keep count of the time until their release; and the evidence suggests that the church offered the populace a promise of eschatological release from the sufferings of this world throughout the Middle Ages.48 Indeed numerous documents -- including several tenth- century ones -- point out that the bishop's particular task was to distribute the food of apocalyptic hope and fear to his congregation.49 Thus, far from a paralyzing horror everyone wished exorcised, Michelet depicted the "effroyables espoirs" of the year 1000 in terms of an apocalyptic moment when a "terrible laugh would have exploded from amidst the tears, rising from the dungeon, from the plowed furrow in the shadow of the odious tower, from the silences and abstinences of the cloister."50
Of course such a reconstruction of the attitudes of commoners is speculative, but no less so (and considerably more realistic) than the one which attributes to them Job-like patience and utter disregard for linear time. It would be hasty, therefore, to conclude that the (relative) documentary "silence" here means indifference.51 Peasants -- and some clerics for that matter -- clearly got quite excited when prophetic figures announced the Apocalypse for the near future;52 and Bede had already complained about rustics importuning him about how many years remained in the millennium.53 As we shall see, moreover, the period around 1000 does not lack for such evidence.
Clerical Hostility to Apocalyptic and Chiliastic Expectation and the "Consensus of Silence."
This brings us to the key problem in this debate: the relationship between the largely anti-apocalyptic clerical elites who produce our sources and a far larger population, both clerical and lay, whose voice rarely appears in the texts. The "anti-Terrors" school explicitly denies this configuration, dismissing it as an impossible "conspiracy of silence": according to them, one may not privilege mentions of apocalyptic activity as indicative of wider "popular" attitudes while interpreting silence as a cover-up.54 Again, such positions may strike the non-specialist historian as methodologically sound, but as we shall see, in the peculiar case of chiliastic and apocalyptic expectations, they are mistaken: on the one hand, we have ample evidence of an explicit theological and political agenda designed to suppress evidence of these beliefs (e.g. Augustine's work), which, for psychological reasons has largely succeeded; on the other, on the rare occasions when apocalyptic beliefs are, in fact, mentioned, they almost always explicitly describe the popular appeal of such beliefs. I will argue, therefore, that silence is the Church party line -- one that unites clerics who might disagree (violently) on a host of other issues;55 and, therefore, that we should therefore consider most explicit pieces of testimony as the exception that pierces that veil. Most historians correlate the (limited) documentary evidence for apocalyptic and chiliastic beliefs in the Early Middle Ages with its limited impact -- random documentary fragments, the remaining flotsam and jetsam of a ship Augustine and other anti-chiliastic, anti-apocalyptic theologians sank. I contend, on the contrary, that they represent the tip of an iceberg, a small protuberance into a documentary medium profoundly hostile to their expression.56
Apocalyptic Chiliasm and Popular Religiosity
As we have seen, few Christian teachings more directly concerned and excited the commoners than chiliasm, with its promise of a time of heavenly peace, dreamlike prosperity here on earth, and a justly ferocious punishment for sinners, particularly those who have abused their power to oppress the poor and defenseless. Chiliasm has, thereby, always had a distinctly political character. As a result, ruling groups invariably oppose it, often violently wiping out any trace of them.57 More than with any other form of Christian belief, then, the historian needs to consider the apocalyptic tendencies of the pauperes independently from what the clerical elites taught (or said they taught) their "flocks." And although it is not certain that every outbreak of apocalyptic hope among the populace is also chiliastic (e.g. we do not know what Thiota, the "pseudo-prophetess" of 847, was preaching about the end of the world which she announced for 848, nor what her followers understood), it is clear that most documented cases of mass enthusiasm are chiliastic, certainly so when, for example, the leader calls himself Jesus Christ [returned].58
All this goes a long way towards explaining official ecclesiastical attitudes towards apocalypticism in general and chiliasm is particular. On the one hand, eschatological beliefs lay at the origin and the core of Christian belief, and the sacred texts from the Gospels to Revelation all announced the coming promises of God, especially Christ's return, the Parousia. Indeed, it was incumbent upon the bishop to warn his flock and prepare them for the day of the Lord, lest he be held responsible for their lack of preparedness;59 and often enough, priests played a prominent role in apocalyptic and other revolutionary religious movements.60 On the other hand, as Christianity developed an institutional superstructure that copied and identified with that of the Roman Empire, the disruptive nature of its own eschatological tradition grew increasingly less tolerable. From the first, Christian leaders did their best to contain the ill-effects of a too-passionate and too- immediate sense of the End, and by the time that Christianity officially converted to Roman imperialism in the early fourth century, most of its chiliastic past had been systematically erased from the record. The Greeks even tried to eliminate the Book of Revelation from the Christian canon altogether.61
In the West, prominent figures like Jerome and Augustine did their best to de-legitimize most forms of apocalyptic expectation and the chiliastic hopes it often inspired, in part by pointing to the absence of any valid text that might hold out such "carnal" promises. After them, ecclesiastics banished chiliasm from official Christian theology: no one was to write about it as a valid option, nor should anyone encourage it by an apocalyptic identification of current historical events with the obscure prophecies of that most bothersome of chiliastic texts, Revelation. Does that mean, therefore, that apocalyptic speculation and hopes for a coming millennium died out in Latin Christendom? For the prevailing school, yes: there was no more chiliasm and precious little apocalyptic expectation till Joachim at the end of the twelfth century -- including the uneventful year 1000.62
It is a curious conclusion, given the fact that Augustine's day marks the beginning of a centuries-long period of precisely those kinds of disasters and cultural flux that generate such hopes and anxieties. Such a lapse would be counter-indicated by every available index of apocalyptic behavior. And, in fact, the picture shifts radically once one turns from the rote repetitions of Augustinian theology,63 to the issues which, long before Augustine's day, were the privileged site of conflict between ecclesiastical forms of chiliasm and the more popular and subversive ones -- the role of the Roman Empire as obstacle to Antichrist, and the year 6000 annus mundi which would inaugurate the sabbatical millennium. This implicit evidence, seen in the light of the not inconsiderable evidence for popular chiliastic movements (e.g. in 420, 496, 591, 740, 847, 950, 970), suggests a far more complex picture of early medieval apocalypticism, evidence that displays exactly the configuration that the "anti-Terrors" school wishes to ignore -- the clerical sources are profoundly hostile to charismatic prophet/messiahs surrounded by huge crowds of enthusiastic faithful. The documentary evidence here is not purely neutral and the relationship between text and reality is not transparent; if anything, it may be the inverse.64
Moreover, although these passages fit a more conventional image of clerics unhesitatingly denouncing such unacceptable behavior, their relatively low numbers do not indicate a similarly low incidence of such movements. Rather the evidence suggests that writers avoided the subject whenever and wherever possible; that for every open and explicit denunciation of apocalyptic chiliasm, clerical writers used dozens of euphemisms -- false prophets, false Christs, judaizers, delirantes, fears that "the world was returning to its original chaos."65 The reasons for this reluctance can and should be explored and debated at length; but the fact of it is inescapable to anyone who choses to look at, rather than turn away from, the evidence.66 Here I want to look at two elements which contribute to the relative silence on apocalyptic phenomena in our texts: the theological agenda most forcefully articulated by Augustine, and the psychological tendency to revisionism which affects both our sources and ourselves.
Above all, Augustine banned all chiliastic or apocalyptic speculations from orthodox theology; no responsible cleric was to identify current events with passages in Revelation, and rather than awaiting a millennium of perfect peace on earth still to come, Christians were living in the invisible millennium -- as imperfect in its terrestrial manifestations as it was perfect in its celestial ones -- already in progress since the Ascension of Christ in 33. Henceforth, chiliasm only deserved mention as a condemned popular belief: Julian of Toledo (687), Bede (724), Remi of Auxerre (ca.940), Byrhtferth (1011) all openly speak of the "vulgar" belief in the millennium to which they oppose their Augustinian teachings.67
This does not mean that clerics adhered to the austere agnosticism of Augustine on so crucial a question. On the contrary, some striking evidence suggests that the temptation to see in current events the signs of the End was endemic, that clerics themselves were susceptible to chiliastic longings, tempted by the appeal of charismatic prophecy to lay aside their doctrinas ecclesiasticas and join the wave of religious enthusiasm for which their sacred scriptures had prepared them.68 Even those with more discipline reacted to these movements with less than exemplary sangfroid. This is an interesting configuration which reveals a profoundly different interaction between the most powerful and educated clerical elite and the lay populace from that which one might imagine on the basis of the repetition of the Augustinian catechism we find in the texts. A close reading of Gregory of Tours' work, for example, suggests that charismatic prophet-messiahs tended to spring up after ominous disasters like mushrooms after rain; that they "gained quite a lot of influence over the common people" as well as over clerics; that those clerics who resisted were nonetheless driven to apocalyptic fears -- as was Gregory himself -- and that preaching a postponed millennium was a more viable alternative in such circumstances than the cold comfort of an austere Augustinian agnosticism.69
Unlike other forms of popular and elite heresy and superstition, however, every apocalyptic expectation we deal with in our sources was demonstrably wrong -- it was not the end of the world.70 Thus, whatever indiscretions clerics, even bishops and historians, might have committed in the heat of the moment, with the passing of the apocalyptic fever, Augustinian agnosticism reasserted itself in the cold light of the morning after. It is at this embarrassed revisionary moment, that most of our sources are composed; and they are understandably loathe to give details on ecclesiastically incorrect clerical activity, on moments of weakness and faltering. This revisionism is further emphasized by the fact that virtually no text survived to our day that was not copied and preserved by monastic institutions whose decisions were made long after any apocalyptic moment had passed. Thus, despite limited success in the oral (and lay) world in the face of apocalyptic signs and wonders, Augustinian agnosticism had signal success in the written (and clerical) world of post-apocalyptic revionism.
Signs, Wonders, and the Retrospective Nature of the Written Word
This retrospective concern of medieval composers should hardly become part of our own agenda. And yet, the very term "Middle Ages" -- they thought they lived in the "Last Age" -- enshrines such revisionism in our discourse; and too often we think to "defend" our medieval subjects from their post-Renaissance disparagement by insisting that they could not have been so stupid as to have believed the world was about to end. Little wonder, then, that historians have expended little effort reaching beyond the laconic documentation on this subject. But this "silence" is not so great that the chiliastic substratum of medieval culture is lost to the modern scholar. Quite the contrary, as long as we understand the nature of the phenomenon and its relationship to the written word, we can start to detect its presence and reconstruct its role in the developments of the Middle Ages. Alone among the religious deviations of the age, the intensity of such beliefs is inversely related to their duration. To understand how people felt before disconfirmation, rather than look backwards, post-facto, at a moment which both we and the composers of our sources know was not apocalyptic, we need to look forward with them into an unknown, unknowable, and desperately important future.
Take, for example, the notably common theme in medieval historiography of signs and wonders, particularly ones that match the ubiquitous lists of apocalyptic prodigies. Virtually no text tells us of the writer's immediate response to such events; but when the writer assures us that such signs prophesied subsequent events (death of a king, civil war, famine, devastating fire) -- events that had not yet occurred, we can be fairly certain that this assurance does not reflect his initial response. On the contrary, we must at least consider that these recorded signs initially triggered more extravagant fears (and hopes) of the End of Days. At that point, non-apocalyptic, historical predictions would not have carried any particular weight until first, these historical events had occurred, and second, matters had sufficiently settled down thereafter to convince people that these further historical disasters, were the prophetically signified and not just another signifier of the ever-nearer Apocalypse.71
To read such entries as material "routinely found in medieval chroniclers throughout the entire period" whose apocalyptic meaning "the texts do not necessarily bear out" is to affirm rather than compensate for the medieval revision.72 One thereby takes for granted the extraordinary number of such records in Western historiography and drops from the discussion any mention of an apocalyptic drama whose tarnished glow these texts may still reflect. We know it was not the end of the world. So did Augustine. But that hardly makes him a better historical source concerning the apocalyptic atmosphere in the decade after the "Sack of Rome" in 410 than the mistaken Hesychius. To privilege the "correct" interpretation in historical reconstruction attitudes of the day is an anachronistic projection of our certainty on our unknowing subjects. And yet we do it all the time: The very term "sack" is Augustinian: it was Gibbon's paraphrase of Augustine's tendentiously mild depiction of events in 410 in the opening passages of the De civitate Dei.73 Even for so virulent an antiapocalyptic theologian as Jerome "the entire world perished with her [Rome]."74 To speak of the "sack" makes Hesychius seem -- just as Augustine would have wanted him to -- like a "Chicken Little." But as Karl Morrison has pointed out, the historian in search of apocalyptic thinking is in the position of an observer who arrives at the playing field after the game is over:75 all you get is the final score and analysis from Monday-morning quarterbacks. If we would understand the phenomenon of the obsession with signs and wonders in medieval historical texts, however, we must seek out the apocalyptic genealogy of so many retrospective narratives.76
From 6000 (AM) to 1000 (AD): The Genealogy of the Apocalyptic Year 1000.
I have argued that early medieval Christian texts are both ideologically and psychologically hostile to chiliastic and apocalyptic beliefs and that they therefore grossly under- and misreport them. We can expect to find direct evidence, then, not for the existence of these beliefs, but for their repression. And of all the places to look for such evidence, the most privileged site is in discussions of the sabbatical millennium, that is the belief that at the completion of 6000 years since creation the promised millennium of Revelation (20:1-9) will begin. This curious and long-lived tradition offers the best example of the silences of the texts for two reasons; first, it was the most acceptable form of chiliasm in the Patristic period (even Augustine accepted it initially) and thus survived in respectable texts after more radical versions were eliminated; and second, even though Augustine and Jerome expunged it from the written medium, it still left clear traces there of its oral presence. To track its career over the centuries is to uncover the clearest proof of a conspiracy of silence about apocalyptic chiliasm in our documentation, and at the end of that path lies the two great millenarian dates, the millennium of the Incarnation (AD 1000) and the millennium of the Passion (1033).77
Since the importance and durability of the sabbatical millennium only appears from the perspective of a millennium of Christian history, it has escaped the notice of most specialists, whose periods tend to end before the evidence for its continued vitality resurfaces. But seen from the longue duree, a clear pattern emerges: during the first Christian millennium, Latin chronographers used three different dating systems, adopting and replacing them according to a remarkably consistent logic anti-apocalyptic chiliasm (see chart). Each system was first adopted at a time, by its own count, the millennium was still about three centuries away, what I call the temperate zone. Thus while affirming the chiliastic hopes of the faithful (which, after the fiasco of the chiliast Montanus, some conservative ecclesiastics sought to deny) while postponing the moment of consummation. For a couple of centuries, such a system worked nicely, offering the clergy a steadying argument against apocalyptic preachers which could only gain credence with each such prophecy failed. It was, above all, a teaching intended for those unsophisticated believers who were so easily swayed by the delirious ravings of false prophets.
But by the final century, the chronology -- now widely disseminated and "confirmed" by the failure of all shorter eschatological prophecies -- entered what I call the "torrid zone" and began to serve precisely those false prophets it had been introduced to combat. And so, around 5900 annus mundi, the leading theologians and chronographers (often the same person) abandon the older, now dangerous system and replace it with one that offers a similar eschatological horizon of some three centuries. The pattern appears at three key junctures: the approach of the first year 6000 (AM I, introduced by Hippolytus in 5700/200) in AD 500; the approach of the second year 6000 (successfully introduced by Augustine/Jerome in 5600/400) in AD 801; and the approach of the year AD 1000. The consistencies are remarkable: the shift in system occurs in the 5900s of the doomed chronology (AM I in the fifth century, AM II in the eighth); the eschatological calculation is eliminated from all but the most marginal text or the margins of the text; and no system finds favor (as a replacement) until it enters into the temperate zone of 3-4 centuries to do (Eusebius' AM II is ignored when he first introduces it in 5500, even Jerome when he translates Eusebius in 5580, so with Dionysus' era incarnationis in 526, and Bede's AM III in 4655). Even when, as in the East in the sixth century, a millennial year has passed, Christian historians show extraordinary reluctance to note its passage. This, then, is the first clearly documented case of a successful conspiracy of silence among ecclesiastical historians.78
There is a revealing contradiction at work here. As the pattern indicates, each "correction" actually prolonged the life of the sabbatical millennium by reinserting the prevailing chronology in a zone of comfortable delay, and therefore placing mankind firmly in the twilight of the final age. Thus, for example, no effort to post-date the millennium gains serious support, no matter how prominent the figure publishing it (Hilarian's continuator in 5968, Julian of Toledo in 5868 AM II, Abbo in AD 983). But after the first dating shift, a crucial new element appears -- a consensus of literary silence. Hippolytus and most of the patristic adherents of AM I after him (Lactantius, Hilarianus) were naively frank about the meaning of their chronology: it explicitly dated the advent of the millennium depicted in Revelation 20. After Augustine, the new chronology (Jerome's translation of Eusebius) may have implied a new date for the coming millennium three to four centuries away, but it was explicitly anti-chiliastic.
Jerome and Eusebius had completely dissociated chronology from theology; and Augustine had succeeded in reinterpreting the millennium as an invisible kingdom (Heavenly City) already reigning since the time of Christ, and never to be realized on earth (Terrestrial City). In fact the major historian/theologians of the early Middle Ages (Isidore, Gregory of Tours, Bede) all insisted that, whatever the age of the world, no one knew how many years remained in this final age. The historian who looks no further is justified, therefore, in losing sight of the sabbatical millennium.
But a closer look indicates that the concern with the approaching year 6000 was not so much driven out, as off the page. Thus we find the early Middle Ages marked by a dual historiographical tradition: the official agnostic one, carefully (and accurately) calculating the age of the world for no clear reason; and an oral one that continued to eye a chiliastic year 6000. As long as the year 6000 remained distant, such calculations received the tacit support of ecclesiastical leaders because of their value in preaching patience to the apocalyptically-minded. This accounts for Gregory of Tours' "self-contradictory" introductory remarks on publishing the chronological figures for those "who despair at the approaching end" and his insistence on the unknowability of that time: they were addressed to different audiences. Gregory's figures were intended for use in the oral context of calming people who, for example, were drawn to the "False Christ of Bourges" and his apostles; while his orthodox protestations were addressed to his peers, those learned clerics who would read his work and judge it.79 Historians have primarily attended to his clerical discourse.80
The presence of this oral chiliastic tradition, which we can only infer from texts like the Historia francorum, became more evident when the sixth millennium drew close for a second time.81 The same pattern of chronological manipulation marked the 5900s AM II as had marked those of AM I -- ecclesiastical authorities abandoned the now increasingly apocalyptic calculations and substituted a chronology that permitted their successors to call the year 6000 by another (eschatologically meaningless) name. Only the virulent opposition of other clerics (still attached to the old promises) drove more farsighted authorities to denounce chiliastic superstitions among rustics and "judaizers," thereby briefly revealing the continued presence of the sabbatical millennium at the level of oral -- and popular -- discourse. At the approach of the second year 6000, Augustine's successor was Bede; the alternative dating system was anno Domini presented with extensive passages from Augustine's letter to Hesychius son the unknowability of the time of the Eschaton; and the grateful heirs were the Carolingians who were able to date their most ambitious ceremony -- the coronation of Charlemagne -- to the first day of the neutral year 801, thus passing over in profound silence that fact that it was, coincidentally, 6000 annus mundi.
Every annalist knew the date of Charlemagne's coronation annus mundi II; some even calculated it down to the final year. But the most prominent ones, the ones we modern historians read, clearly preferred not to raise such a problematic subject. Need we, however, out of some misplaced respect for their pudeur, also remain silent?82 Before modern medievalists express unquestioned confidence in the impossibility/unthinkability of a "conspiracy of silence" they must at the very least explain the disappearance of two year 6000s in the course of the first millennium of Christian historiography.
Nor does this discussion of the sabbatical millennium merely document the presence of "conspiracies of silence" about chiliasm in clerical historiography; it is directly relevant to the question of the year 1000.83 For in the one anomalous change in the redating pattern between the 5900s AM I and AM II we find both proof of its anti-apocalyptic function within the culture and the clue to the next eschatological date to which clerics could point after Bede. In 5900 AM I, Jerome and Augustine had merely corrected the calculations of the age of the world, thus confirming the overall predilection of Christian chronology for the era mundi. Bede, however, although he provided a correction of the world's age (Incarnation = 3952 AM III), he and his followers preferred to introduce the entirely different era of anno Domini -- as if it were not hard enough "merely" to correct the current calculations, they called for a revamping of historiography, producing that characteristic Carolingian format of the annals.84
Why the added effort? Because the concern of all these calculations was not the moment of creation but of the end; and Bede's AM III postponed the advent of the year 6000 by over twelve hundred years (to AD 2048).85 The warmth of its chiliastic sun was too far below the temporal horizon to give even the slightest comfort. Anno Domini, on the other hand, held out a host of eschatological advantages: Above all, it could defer eschatological expectation to the end of the millennium beginning with Christ, a moment some 300 years distant. This renewed the same three-century long temporal buffer between present and End that had marked the introduction of the two previous systems. Here we have the exception that proves the rule: chronology's task was to situate the present in terms of the future, not the past.
The eschatological logic of the new era, however, was ambiguous. On the one hand, in a vague way, it prolonged chiliastic hopes: since the Sixth Age had begun with the Incarnation, one might argue that the end of its millennium could serve as a new date for the inauguration of the seventh age, the sabbatical millennium.86 But the arithmetic was rather sloppy and chiliasm was no less anathema to Bede and the Carolingians than it had been to Jerome and Augustine: (AD 1000 = 6199AM II). The real precision of the era Incarnationis was in fact no longer chiliastic but Augustinian: the (invisible) millennium had started with the first Parousia, and the completion of the millennium since Christ would bring about not the inauguration of a chiliastic Sabbatical Age, but the release of Antichrist and the Last Judgment -- not exactly the kind of thing that most people would look forward to.
Of course such a calcuation directly contravened Augustine's insistence that the 1000 was not meant to be taken literally, that it merely signified a perfect number (10 X 10 X 10), whose completion in years was unknowable.87 Since his injunctions on this score had not stopped clerics from using the sabbatical millennium, which he had explicitly condemned, they were even less likely to deter the use of genuinely Augustinian calculations. We find evidence for this "augustinisme chronologique" in the commentary of Thietland of Einsiedeln on II Thessalonians where he went out of his way to shift the language of the text concerning Antichrist -- rather than the reveletur of II Thessalonians he preferred the solvetur of Revelation 20:7, thereby aligning the Antichrist's advent with the end of Augustine's millennium.88 As we shall see, the evidence from such writers as Abbo of Fleury, Aelfric, Wulfstan, Byrhtferth, and Rodulfus Glaber all confirm the presence of this "augustinsme chronologique" at the approach of the year 1000.89 It suggests that the intense concern with Antichrist that marks the tenth century reflects the belief that, as Wulfstan put it, at the approach of the year 1000, his bonds were becoming ever looser.90
And just as we can trace the "oral" eschatological discourse that accompanied written chronologies in the works of Gregory of Tours (5791 AM II) and Bede (5924), we can do the same in the late Carolingian world. For example, in 847, Rodulf of Fulda denounced the pseudo-prophetess Thiota and especially deplored the fact that her clerical followers, "abandoning their ecclesiasticas doctrinas" (i.e. Augustinian prohibitions on apocalyptic speculation repeated by Bede), believed her prediction that the world would end the following year. Like Gregory, our monk-historian does not write out a call to those wayward clerics to return to the church and wait obediently for another 152 years to the completion of the millennium; but surely those church loyalists, debating in the trenches with Thiota's devotees -- idiot and learned alike -- found such a delay a difficult argument to pass up.91 Of course, this is conjecture, but not pure conjecture: it corresponds to a pattern of Latin Christian millennialism that had already gone through two cycles, a pattern that will repeat (with crucial variants) at the approach of the new millennial date.
As for knowledge of the date AD, there can be no doubt that the clergy, even the lower clergy, knew it well. Bede based his new Easter Tables for the second Annus Magnus (533-1064) on anno Domini: these tables accompanied virtually every one of the myriad copies of the De temporum ratione that spread throughout the Carolingian world, and formed the basis of all liturgical activity. Every year, when the clergy consulted these tables to determine the Easter calendar, they could not escape noting the date anno Domini. Moreover, once we take into account the role of the sabbatical millennium as a clerical teaching -- that is to discourage commoners from running after false prophets -- we have a strong presumption that commoners not only were familiar with the promise of the year 1000 but had a strong interest, like Bede's rustics of the eighth century, in knowing how many years remained until the completion of the millennium.
Again, this is conjectural terrain: neither I nor the "anti- Terrors" historians have much evidence what peasants thought or knew. But we sshd note that all the confident statements about peasant ignorance of linear time are based on the rather unlikely assertion that peasants had no interest in the date.92 If, as Christianity had taught from the very beginning, the Day of the Lord was the day of release from suffering and travail, the day the meek inherited the earth, those who toiled had every reason to want to know. And they had plenty of means to find out. Chronological knowledge had great and subversive value at the approach of any "millennial" date -- hence (as we saw with the approach of 6000 AM, its elimination wherever possible from the learned tradition. But any cleric or monk wishing to gain influence with commonfolk might be sorely tempted to "leak" such a date. As we can see with Thiota, in proper charismatic hands, a prophecy of impending doom could start a large popular movement.93 There are still more banal temptations to "leak" the date at the approach of a millennium (6000 or 1000). "Most leaks in Washington are ego-leaks. They say, 'Look at me. I'm important because I know something important'."94 The same could be said of a monk or cleric importuned by an eager population for news of the approaching millennium, and so much the more of a renegade charismatic seeking a following: whether gyrovague, pilgrim or envoy, a travelling cleric might repay his hosts with such "privileged" information. In more charged religious settings -- at Peace Councils, or as part of a charismatic's anti-ecclesiastical preaching -- both motivation and occasion for divulging such simple data abounded.95
The Approach of the Year 1000: Evidence for Apocalyptic Concerns
Based on the documentary evidence from the period preceding the previous two millennial dates (500 and 801 CE), there are several developments we could expect at the approach of the year 1000, if indeed it was an eschatological date: first, signs of apocalyptic unease -- rumors, reassuring exegeses, mass penitential movements, reports of troubling signs and wonders; second, an increased interest in computistical matters -- concerns about precision and fascination with the approaching millennium, efforts to change the now- apocalyptic now-apocalyptic calculations or to find alternative dating systems free of such implications. This would correspond to the battle, evident in the final century of the previous millennium (6000 AM II/AD 801) between the Augustinian forces of radical agnosticism (using a new, sanitized chronology) and the more old- fashioned forces who continued their countdown to the end of the millennium. But whereas in 6000 AM II, the clerical elite were able to deny the date, to insist on an alternative chronology, in 1000, no such strategy was available. As with Byzantium at the end of the fifth century, Europe had to face the advent and passage of a millennial date at the turn of the first Christian millennium.
The most famous and popular text of the mid-tenth century, Adso of Montier-en-Der's Libellus de Antichristo was, according to Daniel Verhelst, written at a time of apocalyptic crisis.96 A contemporary letter from the bishop of Auxerre to the bishop of Verdun deplored the chiliastic response of the masses who saw in the Northmen and the Magyars the forces of Gog and Magog.97 Like the purveyors of the sabbatical millennium, Adso tried to reassure his audience that the end had not yet come; but this was a written document, and so rather than invoke a year 1000 only some fifty years away, Adso invoked another politically conservative strategy of postponement, the imperial exegesis of II Thessalonians. According to this tradition, which that also dated back to the second Christian century, Antichrist could not come as long as the Roman Empire stood. We find the same notion in the writings of Adso's contemporary Thietland: Rome was what kept Antichrist bound for the "thousand years."98 Of course the mid-tenth century was hardly a good time to invoke the Roman Empire as a bulwark against the forces of chaos and evil: even Adso had to admit that "we see the Roman imperium almost completely destroyed." Nevertheless, he insisted, "as long as there were kings of the Franks who ought to be king (i.e. Gerberga's husband, the Carolingian Louis IV and his line), the dignity of the Roman kingdom has not entirely perished."99
This was perilous reassurance indeed: by linking his anti- apocalyptic exegesis to empirical developments Adso could only intensify speculation.100 And within Adso's own life, two major changes in the empirical situation occurred: in 962 a Saxon, Otto I, was crowned in Rome; and in 987 the last Carolingian king, Louis VI, died, replaced not by a relative but by a new dynasty. Obviously Ottonian loyalists would argue that their emperor maintained the Roman dignity; and Otto III certainly made dramatic efforts to both "revive" the empire and link his own rule to that of Charlemagne's at the approach of the year 1000. But in France, where the Capetian kinglets had replaced the Carolingians, and the king, Robert II, was in a state of excommunication in the year 1000, no such argument was possible.101 As we shall see, the difference between an acephalous, disorderly France and an imperially dominated Germany and Italy, had a significant influence on manifestations of apocalyptic expectation at the turn of the millennium.
In addition to exegetical texts concerned with apocalyptic matters, clerics of the tenth century produced a number of liturgical texts with strong eschatological elements. In general the musical and poetic creativity of the tenth century (and beyond) found apocalyptic themes particularly inspiring.102 Perhaps the most dramatic poem, an alphabetic acrostic about the end of the world appears on the fly-leaf of a liturgical manuscript from Aniane, written in a mid- to late-tenth-century hand. The same text reappears in a deluxe edition at Fecamps ca. 1040; and the similarities to the immensely popular thirteenth-century Dies irae are notable enough to suggest a continuing tradition of this poem in various forms from the latter tenth century onward.103 Other poetry, both vernacular (Muspilli) and Latin (like the Aniane poem, written in the margins of manuscripts), emphasize the terrors of Antichrist's advent.104
The most detailed and numerous documents testifying to the apocalyptic atmosphere at the end of the tenth century come from Anglo-Saxon homilies. Written by bishops and clerics preparing their flocks for the day of the Lord, alternating between feverish apocalypticism and more cautious agnosticism about the exact moment of the end, they stand under the looming shadow of Antichrist's release at the end of 1000 years. One of the Blickling homilies, for example, declares that in 971 the thousand years were nearly fulfilled, and all but the final signs of Doomsday had been fulfilled.105 Aelfric's earliest homilies, written in the early 990s, are preoccupied with how close at hand the End seems.106 And although, with the passage of the millennium, Aelfric seems to have toned down this aspect of his thought, his colleague Wulfstan refused to be discouraged by a prophecy failed. About 1010, Wulfstan declared that although "A thousand years and more have now passed since Christ... and now Satan's bonds are extremely loose, and Antichrist's time near at hand, and therefore the longer it is in the world, the weaker it becomes."107 By contrast the anti- apocalyptic monk, Byhrtferth, student of Abbo, noted in 1011 that although "John says `after 1000 years Satan shall be released (Revelation 20:7),' the year 1000 is already accomplished according to human numeration, but it is the power of the Savior when he shall bring it to an end."108 He then used this fact to reassert Augustine's symbolic interpretation of 1000, suggesting that until the passage of that year, people had continued to follow the more literal reading of "augustinisme chronologique."109
Computistical and Chronological Material:
Perhaps the most curious and predictable material comes from the patterns already evident in the history of the sabbatical millennium. As Bernard Guenee has noted, the end of the tenth century marks the beginning of a period of "computistical fever" within a monastic culture an "obsessive concern for chronology" that lasts two centuries.110 In the early tenth century, Helpericus of Auxerre wrote a short and very popular treatise on computus in which he paid particular attention to the calculation of the current year anno Domini; and subsequent copyists took care to update the calculations to their own time.111 Although not as explicit as the updates of Isidore's Chronicle in the 60th century AM II which concluded with the number of years remaining in the millennium,112 such texts could serve also serve as apocalyptic countdowns.113 Nor did one need to engage in elaborate calculations to know the date and count the years remaining: they were, as we have seen, in Bede's Easter Tables which, by the late tenth century, every significant monastery or church would have.114 At the approach of the millennium, at least the learned of Europe knew a great deal about the date anno Domini.- 115
Moreover, the acute awareness of the date that so many manuscripts indicate, often focused specifically on the year 1000 -- even the mistakes. Normally, for example, one began or ended an Easter table, no matter how short, with a 19-year cycle; since 1000 fell in the middle of the cycle 988-1006, one would not expect to see it either begin or end such tables -- if it were a neutral date. Yet a number of tables either begin or end with the years 999, 1000, or 1001.116 Such abnormal procedures are not explicitly apocalyptic, nor do I think they necessarily indicate some kind of eschatological expectation -- quite the contrary, those written after 1000, can, Byrhtferth-like, emphasize its passage. But we can safely assert that no other date -- before or after -- received this kind of attention.
In some cases, one can detect the presence of a countdown. For instance, a scribe from the cathedral school at Angouleme, confronted with an annalistic list which only went to 989, noted down the final eleven years of the millennium in sequence, adding the computistical data for these years and concluding not with the numeral M but with MILLE written in capitals.117 As for the Angevin annalist who, perhaps before, perhaps after 1000, identified the year 968 or 969 as the year as the year mille anni a nativitate Christi, his error may have been from stupidity or from cleverness,118 either way it offers unquestionable evidence of a fixation on this particular date.
This focus on the year 1000 also accounts for the renewed interest in the Annus mundi, now two centuries past its year last year 6000 and, since then, largely neglected by Latin historians. Around 1000, however, it resurfaces: a scribe at Notre-Dame de Paris noted in a manuscript composed around 1000 that the date Annus mundi of the Incarnation had two variants: 4955 according to the Hebrews (instead of 3952) and 5199 according to the Septuagint. This shifted attention from the apocalyptic era Incarnationis to an alternative chronology which, with his "mistake" of over 1000 years in the Hebrew count, he rendered only slightly less apocalyptic -- his year 6000 would come in AD 1045!119 Ademar of Chabannes similarly shifted his chronology from anno Domini to Annus Mundi.120 And a scribe from the monastery of Massay in the Berry noted opposite the year 1000 in his Easter Tables: "A severe famine. There are 6201 years from the beginning of the world."121 This effort to draw attention away from apocalyptic chronology was the prevailing response on two previous occasions when the official chronology approached its millennial moment. With anno Domini, however, it did not work; not until the early twelfth century would the era mundi return to the center of European historiography.122
Unable to replace anno Domini, chronographers turned their attention to undermining its accuracy. Thus, although Dionysus Exiguus' calculations anno Domini had gone unchallenged since he published them in 525, they were "corrected" twice between 983 and 990: for Abbo of Fleury 1000 was really 1021, and for Heriger of Lobbes 1000 was 992.123 We shall return to Abbo's work in its context below, but it is worth remarking here on the similarity between these kinds of small adjustments and those with which the Byzantine chronolographers met their millennial date, the year 6000 AM I: according to their various traditions, that year came in 492, 500, 502, and 508.124 But unlike the Byzantine historians of the seventh millennium whose work acknowledged the passage of the year 6000 with great reluctance,125 the historians of the year 1000 are singularly fascinated by the passage of the year 1000. The continuator of the Annales Hildesheimenses, writing in the late 1030s, noted for the year 1000: "With Otto III ruling, the thousandth year passing the number of established reckoning according to that which is written: The thousandth surpasses and transcends all years."126 Other annalists and historians note the passage of the year 1000 more laconically; but even this is unique to this date. "A thousand years from the birth of Christ."127 "This was Gerbert at whose time the thousandth year from the Incarnation of the Lord was completed."128 "Meanwhile the thousandth year from the Incarnation of the Lord was fortunately (feliciter) completed, and this was the twelfth year of the archbishop."129 As with the curious Easter Tables, no other year receives this kind of attention from Christian historians East or West.
Abbo of Fleury and the Apocalyptic Year 1000
Nowhere is the combination of computistical-chronological and apocalyptic concerns more evident than in the work of Abbo, scholasticus, then abbot of Saint-Benoit of Fleury sur Loire (ca.945-1004). In a letter to king of France dated ca. 994-996, Abbo recalls several incidents of apocalyptic rumors circulating in earlier years:
Concerning the End of the World, as a youth I heard a sermon preached to the people in the Paris church to the effect that as soon as the number of 1000 years was completed, Antichrist would arrive, and not long after, the Last Judgement would follow. I resisted as vigorously as I could to that preaching, citing Revelation and Daniel. Then my abbot of blessed memory and keen mind rejected another error which grew about the End of the World; and after he received correspondance from Lotharingians he ordered me to answer. For a rumor had filled almost the entire world that when the Annunciation fell on Good Friday, without any question, it would be the End of the World. Concerning the beginning of Advent, which happens each year before Christmas, there were also grave errors, some beginning it after December 29, others before, while Advent never has more than four weeks, even if only [a week of] a day. And since from these various divergences conflict grows in the Church, a council should be called so that all those who live in her should know what your diligence grants, that He wishes to have us unanimous in His house."130 This passage, which concludes a letter of utmost importance for Abbo who was, thereby, seeking royal support in a desperate conflict with his bishop, offers a host of information about apocalyptic concerns in the generation before the year 1000.131
First, the encounter in Paris ca. 965-970 reveals the presence of the "augustinisme chronologique" which I argued above had, in the Bedan/Carolingian world, replaced the sabbatical millennium as the clerical means for postponing the Eschaton.132 This preacher is not a chiliastic rabble rouser,133 but a cleric, preaching most probably in the Cathedral itself,134 espousing an Augustinian eschatology: for him the year 1000 does not bring the beginning of the millennium, but its end -- the release of Antichrist (Revelation 20:7) and the Last Judgment shortly thereafter.135 This is considerably more Augustinian than the almost exactly contemporary belief expressed in the Blickling Homilies, which, in giving the date as AD 971, emphasized that the Sixth and final Age was almost finished (thus invoking the coming sabbatical millennium).136
Why then, would this conservative Parisian cleric invoke the Eschaton in the year 1000? Understandably, someone in Rudolf of Fulda's day might do so, since then it was over a century and a half away -- but why someone with only a generation to go? The answer comes in the next incident Abbo reports: the apocalyptic rumor from Lotharingia which, he claimed, had "filled almost the entire world."137 This computus-based calculation predicted the End when the Passion and the Annunciation coincided on Friday, March 25, the very date of the creation of Adam, of the Annunciation, and of the Passion. This coincidence occurred three times in the final generation before 1000 -- in 970, 981, 992; and apparently this rumor had already become serious at the approach of the first date of 970. To the west of Paris in Anjou, an annalist not only dated the year 1000 to this same period, but he also reported prodigies for the year 965 which have more than a hint of apocalypticism -- "fire from heaven throughout the kingdom, demons appearing."138
What occurred in Paris in Abbo's youth, then, was not a battle between Abbo and a lone chiliast whom he soundly defeated. Rather, it was a conflict between a monk and a cleric (a canon, if this took place at the Cathedral) over how to calm down an apocalyptically agitated crowd. The cleric, using a common Carolingian technique, invoked the year 1000 not to stir them up, but to urge patience (at this point, for another thirty years).139 The dispute was a reprise of earlier debates between far-sighted, conservative, theolgians and their short-sighted, traditional colleagues, debates we can detect occurring during the final century of every millennial date, as a once anti-apocalyptic chronology inexorably mutates into its opposite, and the dating shift became a necessity.140 Opposing the Carolingian augustinisme chronologique of the Parisian preacher, the true Augustinian Abbo, argued on the basis of Daniel (according to Jerome's exegesis) and Revelation (according to Augustine's) that man simply cannot know the time of the End.
What is most striking about this debate, therefore, is not its content, but that it occurred in public, before a large audience of laymen. And although Abbo may have been farsighted and both theologically and historically correct, that hardly means that he carried the day. In fact, seen in this light, the debate constitutes exactly what Daniel Milo assumed never happened when he speculated on the unlikely succcess of the ecclesiasticas doctrinas in swaying a crowd:
So here, in the cathedral (square?) in Paris, we find a preacher trying to reassure a restive crowd that there are still three decades to wait before the End, and a young student firebrand attacking him with Augustinian exegeses. When it was all over, some of the auditors of this debate may have left the Cathedral thinking that maybe Abbo was right. But those at once fascinated and horrified by the approaching apocalypse left wondering, Was the end now or still a generation away? Was this the coming of the millennium or of the Last Judgment? And (if the side of clerical caution had in any way made an impression on them) how many years remained until the year 1000? Rather than winning over his audience, Abbo's spirited attack on a fellow cleric would sooner have left them with a sense of disarray in the Church, a truly frightening realization, just as the day of testing approached. Abbo's real success was not with this crowd, or even this clerics, but with the survivors of the year 1000, who preserved and reread his -- including modern historians.143
If the battle against the Parisian cleric went perhaps less well than we modern historians might imagine, perhaps the case against the Lotharingian computists went better. After all, the case was clear: the coincidence had happened numerous times since the Passion without eschatological results.144 Again, the logic is more convincing to those of us who have seen many more such coincidences pass, whereas the evidence suggests that even after all three dates before the year 1000 had passed inconclusively (we shall return to the final two), March 25 retained its apocalyptic fascination for at least another three centuries. When the coincidence next occurred in 1065, a huge pilgrimage, led by the bishop of Bamberg, set off for Jerusalem, "deceived by the vulgar belief that that day would bring the Last Judgment."145 For Lambert of Saint-Omer in the early twelfth century,the date had become a veritable vortex of cosmic time: in his calendar, the eighth of the Kalends of April (March 25) was the date of 1) the creation of Adam, 2) the binding of Isaac, 3) the crossing of the Red Sea, 4) the Annunciation, 5) the Passion, and 6) the Battle of Armageddon.146 In 1250 the myth continued to inspire apocalyptic behavior: Matthew Paris laid down his pen that year, expecting the Lord's advent on the first Passion of March 25 to fall on a Jubilee year.147
Matthew's embarrassing adherence to this medieval superstition offers us a key here. To those reasoning thinkers who might say, as did Abbo, the coincidence is an old one,148 the apocalyptic thinker replied, this is the first time that it occurred in conjunction with some (imminent) chronological coincidence. Thus for the people of the late tenth century, the proximity of the year 1000 would have given these computistical rarities their apocalyptic power.149 It is noteworthy in this connection that, despite the prominence of March 25 in the chronology and liturgy of the Church since the patristic period, Abbo is the first to testify to an apocalyptic prophecy attached to that date.150 The passage of 970, then, would hardly have put an end to this kind of speculation; on the contrary, each successive date would have carried still greater weight among apocalyptic hopefuls. This is, after all, the classic pattern among those disappointed by prophecy failed -- redate, and intensify commitment.
At this point, we must turn to an aspect of Abbo's computistical work which "anti-Terrors" historians have willingly cited but never connected to the passage in question.151 A year after the second apocalyptic date, 981, Abbo published his correction of Anno Domini.152 His studies indicated a significant mistake: Christ was born twenty-one years earlier than Dionysius thought, and so, writing in 982 by this mistaken system, Abbo argued the real date was in fact 1003. Significantly, Abbo based his correction, not on chronological data, but directly on the logic of eschatological expectation for when the Passion fell on March 25 (the previous year), seeking thereby to hoist these apocalyptic computists with their own petard. According to the current era incarnationis, only the Incarnation fell on March 25, not Good Friday; indeed the only possible year the Passion could have fallen on that date was AD 12 according to Dionysus, hence the Incarnation (33 years earlier), occurred 21 years before AD 1, and likewise, the year 1000 had already occurred in 979.153
Abbo's renewed concern with the Passion of March 25, indeed his use of this date in order to correct the current, unanimously accepted calculation of the Incarnation, suggests that the apocalyptic expectations of 970 had revived in 981. It was that very strength that called for stronger medicine, medicine that addressed the real problem in this apocalyptic speculation, the approach of the year 1000. Abbo's response, his effort to post-date a millennial year, goes back to Augustine at least.154 The Angevin annalist who placed the year 1000 in 968/969 (if he wrote his entry around the same time Abbo), may well have had similar intentions.155
But like all the previous efforts, neither Abbo nor the Angevin annalist had any success convincing their contemporaries that the millennium had already passed. None of these corrections succeeded even in their monasteries of origin;156 and these erudite dissensions aside, all of England and Carolingian Europe followed the same date AD, the one they found every year in their Easter Tables. Rather than a time of uncertainty and doubt about the date AD, the turn of the millennium marks the complete victory of Dionysus Exiguus calculations as the standard European usage.157 Indeed, the Cluniac historian of the next generation, Radulphus Glaber not only reflected the broad consensus of his day, but may have even had Abbo and Heriger in mind when he wrote that "although in the Greek and Hebrew versions of the Old Testament the number of years which have passed since the moment of creation is different [i.e. AM I and II], we can be certain [of] the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord..." which he then dated according to Dionysus Exiguus.158
If Abbo failed to quiet apocalyptic expectations for the second Good Friday to fall on March 25 (981), if, in fact, the closer to the year 1000 that this magical coincidence fell, the more potent it became, then the final occurrence would have been the worst: 992. Circumstances probably did not help: the collapse of the Carolingian dynasty (the last barrier to Antichrist according to Adso) in 987, a notable appearance of Halley's comet in 989,159 the traitorous defeat of the last Carolingian in 991, would all have contributed to an apocalyptic mood. Indeed, two collections of original charters from institutions supposedly favorable to the Capetians offer some interesting reactions to these events.160 Beginning in January of 992, the charters of Nouaille date King Robert's first year of rule to 991, that is to say, not to the time of his coronation (988), but to the time of Charles' dastardly capture.161 At the same time and for the first time, the scriptorium introduced the apocalyptic preamble "Mundi terminum adpropinquante...," which its scribes used repeatedly in subsequent charters.162 At Saint-Hilaire in the final years of the millennium, a charter laments how "with the end of the world at hand, since men are driven by a shorter life, a more atrocious cupidity consumes them."163 This is striking: most allusions to a looming end of the world in charters and other literature formulaicly add that men respond with fear and piously emend their ways. Here on the contrary we find a kind of fin-de-siecle mentality attested to nowhere else in the literature of the period.164 Whether one wishes to take this apocalyptic cupidity as an insight into the mentality of some of the castellans and their warriors in these closing years of the millennium or not, it certainly deserves more attention than it has received.165
Rather than fade away, then, the evidence suggests that each apocalyptic March 25 gained in strength in the final generation of the millennium; and its final passage in 992 would merely have primed the population for the advent of the millennium in eight years. This could explain why Abbo wrote his coda on apocalyptic movements to the kings in 994, at a time when he was fighting for survival against powerful enemies and serious charges.166 By invoking his past opposition to such movements, Abbo played his trump card: he was the king's most valuable trouble-shooter when it came to apocalyptic turbulence. Have theology, will travel. He did not rehearse in his letter the arguments he had then used, not because, as "anti-Terrors" historians confidently assert, they were irrelevant, but because they were by then well-known and widely-circulated in Church circles; the formal eschatological position of the Church dated back to Augustine, and it had repeatedly, at the approach of a target date, returned to its former prominence.167 Rather, just as Augustine would have wanted it, discretion was the order of the day.168 With his laconic closing remarks Abbo both underlined his importance in this ecclesiastical victory of "true" Augustinian eschatology and his importance in the ongoing war against apocalyptic expectation, whose greatest challenge loomed ahead in the year 1000. What better way for a beleaguered churchman to conclude a letter seeking royal support in his hour of need; and what more striking example of the king's support could Abbo request than his closing plea for a council over which his would preside, called to restore Church unity in matters of liturgy and computus?
The Apocalyptic Years 1000: Millennium of the Incarnation Millennium of the Passion
A monk at St. Amand of Lobbes in Lotharingia entered the following in his Easter Tables sometime in the early eleventh century. In the year the incarnation 1000, indiction 13, epacts 12, concurrents 1, paschal term 9, the 4th of the kalends of April, the sixth day, with the monks celebrating the mystery of His passion and redemption, there was a great earthquake; not as often occurs... but the whole earth shook in every direction with a vast and general tremor; so that it might be clear to everyone what had been promised before by the mouth of truth. For these, and other signs which were foretold as necessary, having been fulfulled, from here already our hope grows more certain of those things that remain to be completed in order.169
Note here the unusual attention to the date combined with an apocalyptic prodigy (Matthew 24:7; Revelation 16:18) which was part of a larger set -- "these and other signs foretold as necessary" -- which were to bring about the fulfillment of "our hope."170 It would be difficult to find a more explicit expression of apocalyptic expectations --hopes and terrors -- directly linked to the year 1000 than this.171 In fact, the text's reference to "earlier signs" and "the inexorable fulfillment of our hopes," could well refer back to the phenomena Abbo described in his letter to the king -- the preacher in Paris, the three March 25th Passions and the attendant political convulsions and natural prodigies which "fit" the apocalyptic scenario.172
But in fact we have a still more explicit statement, written some two decades later, when the Cluniac monk Rodulfus Glaber began a history of Christendom from 900 to the present. In two passages Rodulfus tells us that the central organizing principle of his work was the passage of the millennium: in his Preface dedicated to Odilo and the monks of Cluny he proposed to tell of the "many events which occurred with unusual frequency about the millennium of the Incarnation of Christ our Savior."173 In his Vita Guillelmi, written around the same time, he reveals that this concern was not a personal pecadillo, but the overarching historical vision of his mentor, the great Cluniac reformer, William of Volpiano (died 1031): "For at [William's] command I had already described the major part of those events and prodigies which had occurred around and during the thousandth year since the Incarnation of the Savior."174 Most strikingly, at the end of Book II (which traces the history of the Western Franks from 900-1000), Rodulfus discusses the appearance of popular heresies around 1000 and links them explicitly to the fulfillment of prophecies in Revelation: "All this accords with the prophecy of St. John, who said that the Devil would be freed after a thousand years (Revelation 20:7); but we shall treat of this at greater length in our third book."175
This is in perhaps the single most anti-Augustinian passage in the historiography of the early Middle Ages; it at once embraces the "augustinisme chronologique" described above (this is at the end of the 1000 years in Revelation) and contravenes Augustine's explicit prohibition on interpreting the book of Revelation in historical terms. Not until the later eleventh and twelfth centuries would such tendencies to historicize apocalyptic prophecies become part of the historiographical tradition in the West.176 Glaber's remark, however, coming at least two generations earlier, is all the more striking because it is written so long after the events in question: in the two to three decades since 1000, Glaber and his Cluniac mentors had plenty of time to see that the Antichrist had not come and gone in three and a half years.177 Here Glaber, like Wulfstan, express -- at the highest levels of ecclesiastical activity -- the endemic tendency of apocalyptic believers to extend their expectation after prophecy has failed.178 And apparently he went too far for his mentors: despite his promise to treat the period after 1000 (Book III) in the light of this apocalyptic exegesis, Glaber did not cite Revelation again, nor make any further explicit reference to this passage on the year 1000.179
The passage certainly makes it difficult to assure the reader that Glaber passes over the events in the year 1000 without a word on the Apocalypse. So understandably Glaber's superiors, men closer to Abbo in their discretion and understanding of these issues, sought to discipline the headstrong monk; but modern historians need not join in efforts at censure. And yet "anti-Terrors" historians have chosen to deny the existence of this passage from Glaber, some implicitly with sweeping remarks about "no references to the year 1000,"180 some (Lot included) explicitly denying the existence of this passage and accusing the "Romantics" of making it up.181 Bernard McGinn, in his rich collection of medieval apocalyptic texts, left it out of his selection concerning the year 1000 at the same time as, editorially, he sided with the "anti-Terrors" school.182
From the Millennium of the Incarnation to the Millennium of the Passion
The remarkable persistance of millennial-based apocalyptic thought into the eleventh century that we find in the works of Glaber and Wulfstan expresses its peculiarly non-rational logic. As opposed to both the Romantics and the Positivists, both of whom assumed that the passage of 1000 put an end to such speculation, the actual documents indicate that, just as modern sociologists have repeatedly observed, the failure of the prophecy generated new dates, new fervor, and renewed commitment.183 Accordingly, the years after the passage of 1000 are unusually rich in distinctly apocalyptic incidents -- 1003-1006, prodigies near Orleans, a terrible famine, and a super nova spotted the world over;184 1009-1014, more prodigies and disasters, a rain of blood, and the slaughter of Jews in response to Al-Hakim's destruction of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.185
One might reasonably conjecture that, after 1000, people's attention turned to 1003-1004: after all, if as the Anglo-Saxon and Parisian homilists predicted and Glaber insisted afterwards, the year 1000 saw the release of Antichrist, then one should expect his defeat 3 years later.186 Perhaps the Romantics were not wrong, then, to interpret the strikingly new and optimistic strain in some of the ecclesiastical historiography of that moment as relief: for Glaber, three years after the millennium, Europe shook off the past (rejecta vetustate) and covered itself with a white mantle (candida vesta) of churches";187 while Thietmar of Meerseburg spoke of a new dawn illuminating the world (saeculo) in 1004.188 This is exceptional imagery: since Augustine's day, no historian had suggested that mankind was in anything but its extreme [and decrepit] old age.189
However we wish to view the interpretations of contemporaries during the years after the year 1000 -- be they conservative clerics or raving apocalyptic prophets -- it becomes quite clear that the next major redating was the millennium of the Passion. This was not merely convenient redating, it was the proper date according to the "augustinisme chronologique" of clerics like Thietland of Einsiedeln.190 Again, we turn to Glaber who, in the opening passage of his fourth book of Histories, written after the death of his mentor William of Volpiano and shortly after the passage of the year 1033, noted that:
After the many prodigies which had broken upon the world before, after and around the millennium of the Lord Christ, there were plenty of able men of penetrating intellect who foretold others, just as great, at the approach of the millennium of the Lord's Passion, and such wonders were soon manifest.191
The apocalyptic significance of this date then becomes the main theme of the book which centers on a devastating three-year famine which drove people to fear the end of the world, followed by a dramatic turnabout in 1033/4 when God and nature smiled upon man with clement skies and abundant harvests. This in turn provoked a wave of popular assemblies throughout France at which wildly enthusiastic participants believed they were forming a covenant with God to bring His peace to earth. The same year also saw an unprecedented mass of pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem which prompted some contemporaries to speculate further on the approaching End.192
Nor does Glaber's evidence stand alone on this issue. A number of other texts indicate a sharpening of eschatological anxieties in the period just before the millennium of the Passion, some which specifically deal with the year 1033:193 a rain of blood in Aquitaine in 1028 [by Jerome's chronology, one year before the millennium of the Passion] elicited a remarkable correspondance about its significance between duke William, king Robert, Fulbert of Chartres and Gauzlin of Fleury;194 at least three texts testify to radical Peace councils attended by large crowds in 1032-33.195 The most extensive corroboration of Glaber's account of the final years of the millennium of the Passion, however, comes from the independent writings of Ademar of Chabannes, Rodulfus' colleague from Aquitaine: the death of great and pious men,196 the famine and anthropophagy,197 the apocalyptic preoccupations,198 the Peace coun cils,199 the constantly swelling mass of pilgrims to Jerusalem200 which, in its peak year of 1033 included even Ademar himself.201 Finally, both these writers' testimony to the redating of apocalyptic expectations to the millennium of the Passion receives eloquent confirmation from a later-eleventh century hagiographical report:
With Robert holding the right of kingship among the Merovingians [sic], also known as the Franks,202 after the turning of a thousand years from the Passion of the Lord, with that millennial year completed, when the observance of Lent had been completed, and good Friday had come, fiery armed troops were seen in the sky in many places, prodigious to behold, terrifying the hearts of those who gazed in amazement. Immediately the rumor (an evil which moves faster than any other) reached the ears of many...203
The text goes on to describe a classic ecclesiastical response to widespread panic at such terrifying prodigies -- relic delations and public penitential processions. Like the passage on the earthquake of 1000 -- which also occurred at the height of Holy Week -- recorded by the annalist of Saint-Amand,204 this text attests to the pressures that popular apocalyptic agitation exerted on ecclesiastics at the advent of a millennial year.
The "Anti-Terrors" School and "Augustinisme historiographique"
At the end of this incomplete survey of the evidence for an apocalyptic year 1000, we come to an interesting paradox. Throughout this discussion, largely in the footnotes, I have referred to the interpretations of the still-dominant school of modern historiography which argues that the evidence for an apocalyptic year 1000 is isolated and largely meaningless. There is an interesting irony here: while Christians in the ninth and tenth centuries incorrectly invoked Augustine as they interpreted the signs and wonders at the approach of an apocalyptic year 1000, modern historians unwittingly implement Augustine's teachings when they systematically reject the apocalyptic interpretation of the texts that generation produced. Modern historians have shown themselves to be a far more receptive audience for orthodox Augustinianism than the men and women we study. Thus the "anti- Terrors" school has an aggressive naivete in its approach to the texts, indignantly dismissing the possibility that the clerics who compose our sources might be under discretionary pressure, reaffirming as an article of faith that there can be no "conspiracy of silence." But in order to do so they must take the texts literally; to probe for allusions and hidden meaning, for an archaeology of responses that lie buried beneath these literate and revisionary products "would be personal presumption and inexcusable temerity."205 Thus they take at face value the decidedly theological and polemical testimony of the great minds who were correct to caution against apocalyptic beliefs (Augustine, Bede, Adso, and Abbo); and conversely dismiss the possible appeal that these mens' opponents (Hesychius, the False Christ of Bourges, Thiota, the preacher in Paris) may have had for throngs of people who -- unlike us -- did not know that the year 1000 would not be the end.
This modern penchant for the revisionist Augustinians produces a rhetoric and argumentation very close to that of Augustine's own attacks on millenarianism.206 In his various writings, especially in book 20 of the City of God, Augustine systematically dismantled the millenarian position by 1) reducing the number of proof texts acceptable for discussion to the minimum, a list already reduced by previous censure (douze textes--pas un de plus); 2) disposing of all but one of the remaining texts for not explicitly mentioning the belief in question (donc, a ecarter du debat), 3) reversing the meaning of the most revered millenarian text: Revelation 20:1-9 (Abbo n'est donc pas trouble par ce phenomene);207 and 4) having done so, covering with ridicule all those who chose to believe such superstitious nonsense for which no textual support existed (un degout qui submerge tout).208 Perhaps the most striking illustration of this unconscious Augustinianism is the notable discomfort historians of the "anti-Terrors" school display when confronted with genuinely apocalyptic passages directly linked to the year 1000. Some are capable of reporting the exact opposite of what the text says,209 part of a singular ability to "read out" any apocalyptic significance.210 Others deny the very existence of a particularly problematic text,211 part of tendency to depreciate and exclude whenever possible.212 And when representatives of this school actually confront such texts, they resort to technicalities and exegetical gymnastics to dismiss their significance,213 part of a rhetoric of indifference which they draw directly from the posturing of their sources.214 When confronted with too much evidence to wave aside, one can always trivialize it as commonplace: after all apocalyptic beliefs were merely the "banal doctrine of the Church" and, in the Middle Ages, they were as common as lice.215 As rhetoric such remarks may have value, but when one considers how fanatically violent apocalyptic believers can be, it makes for weak history.216
This is, witting or unwitting, a kind of "secular Augustinianism;" it completes rather than undoes the effort at silence that medieval clerics could only partially accomplish and it shows the same distaste for counter-evidence that Augustine did for signs of ecclesiastically sanctioned chiliasm. This Augustinian proclivity in modern historiography about the year 1000 is nowhere more notable than the study of the two "world historians" of the millennial generation -- Rodulfus Glaber and Ademar of Chabannes. For the "anti-Terrors" school, Ademar figures as yet another example of contemporaries who say nothing about 1000; he and other historians seem genuinely indifferent to that date and more broadly to apocalyptic concerns.217 In particular, "anti-Terrors" historians contrast the unbalanced, gossip-mongering, bedeviled, gyrovage, Glaber,218 with the steady, cool-headed, Ademar of seraphic imagination.219 But these are theological judgments not historical ones: seraphic imaginations and obedience may make good monks and gyrovague, headstrong, misbehavior may make bad ones, but why would a modern historian prefer the testimony of a good monk to that of an undisciplined gossip who travelled all over Europe? The willingness to dismiss so valuable a dossier as Glaber's because of his "mental instability" -- as if a Guibert of Nogent were more stable -- is an index of how impoverished and impoverishing the "anti-Terrors" approach to the available evidence is.
But the situation is still more problematic for this "anti- Terrors" argument. First, although Ademar did not mention the year 1000 (despite reporting Otto III's famous inventio of Charlemagne's tomb that year), he was hardly indifferent to the date: on the contrary, he was an expert trained in chronology, and he used it specifically according to the anti-apocalyptic tradition in which he was trained.220 More importantly, Ademar was both more mentally unstable and more apocalyptic than Glaber. By the age of forty, in 1030, Ademar was an isolated, embittered man, busy composing hundreds of pages of forgeries and historical fictions filled with apocalyptic imagery.221 Indeed he transgressed the same prohibition against interpretating current events through the lens of Revelation that had shocked "anti-Terrors" historians into denial about Glaber.222 Thus when Emile Gebhardt attempted to discredit Glaber's apocalyptic obsessions by depicting him as a monk "who seems like he lived at the bottom of a crypt... writing by the light of a ghostly lamp,"223 he unwittingly described Ademar and his apocalyptic writings of 1030-1033 instead. Finally, while Glaber lived on past the year 1033, to tell, in increasingly independent fashion, the story of both millennia, Ademar died at the age of 45, a participant in the mass of apocalyptic pilgrimage Glaber described going to Jerusalem for the millennium of the Passion.224
Apocalyptic Expectations and the Cultural Mutations of the Eleventh Century
Let me repeat: I am not arguing that we should reintroduce the Romantic notion of the "terrors of the year 1000." In fact, not reading Michelet carefully, some of these earlier historians seem to have misconceived the impact of apocalyptic expectations as badly as their detractors;225 and to the extent that subsequent historians reacted against their simplistic vision of fear and paralysis followed by relief and revitalization, they were correct. The analysis offered above seeks less to reinstate "les terreurs de l'an mil" as previously conceived than to reintroduce apocalypticism -- variously understood -- into our consideration of the developments in the period surrounding the year 1000: the hopes and fears of the two apocalyptic millennia -- of the Incarnation and the Passion.226
Let me conclude, then, with a brief list of the elements of that larger picture in turn-of-the-millennium Western Europe that deserve an eschatological reading:
1) The Peace of God. Its very name, given by contemporaries, suggests messianic hopes of a transformation of this-worldly society in a realm of Peace and Justice. Its dynamics often followed a classic millenarian pattern: divinely-wrought disaster, followed by collective public penance, crowned with redemption and a new society. Its brief but intense period of dominance correlates closely to an apocalyptic chronology of the year 1000--it came in two waves, each a decade before the two millennia.227 Characteristically, Michelet pointed to the Peace Councils of the period as examples of millennial hopes at work, while later historians pointed to them as proof of the absence of a paralyzing terror.228
2) Popular Heresies. Historians of the subject almost never raise the issue of apocalyptic expectations when dealing with the unusual rise of "popular" heresy around the year 1000, partly from a tendency to see either Manichean or apostolic beliefs at the core of these communities. At least in the latter case, this should not exclude apocalyptic beliefs, since both Jesus and his disciples lived in a world shaped by an imminent expectation of the End.229 Indeed, one might even define "apostolic Christianity" as the sectarian response of apocalyptic believers at once disappointed in their initial hopes (Jesus as triumphant Christ/Messiah) and fervent in their expectation of his return (the Second Coming) -- precisely the situation of those "popular heresies" which appeared in such unusual numbers in the years between 1000 and 1033. And whatever these dissenters believed, ecclesiastical writers like Rodulfus Glaber and Ademar of Chabannes unquestionably saw their appearance as signalling the time of the Antichrist, and felt justified in contravening all precedent in exterminating them physically -- perhaps another consequence of the "augustinisme ecclesiastique" of a William of Volpiano.230
3) Anti-Jewish violence. Because Christian eschatological scripts cast Jews in a number of key roles, both negative (the Antichrist will be a Jewish "False messiah" and his first disciples will be Jews) and positive (a remnant of the Jews will see the light and convert to Christianity), unusual activity in Christian-Jewish relations often mark the intensification of apocalyptic expectations among Christians. In the early years of the eleventh century we have an unusual number of cases of forced conversion and mass violence against the Jews. Many of these come in the wake of the destruction of the Holy Sepulchre in 1009 by the Abbasid Caliph, al-Hakim, a deed which provoked widespread apocalyptic reactions in the West and which ecclesiastical authorities blamed on the Jews.231
4) Mass Popular Movements. The marked rise in pilgrimages, particularly to Jerusalem, the proliferation of saints' relics and the forms which their veneration took, the various forms of public worship, from mass penitential processions to liturgical drama, all indicate a marked increase of interest in, and commitment to Christian religiosity among the populace. Whether directly apocalyptic in inspiration--the pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the penitential processions--or the result of ecclesiastical efforts to channel such sentiments into more normative channels--relic cults, liturgical dramas--this heightened activity deserves particular attention.232
5) Political and Religious Reform. The two generations around the millennium saw some unusually pious behavior from both secular and religious leaders: an unusual number of kings, dukes, counts, bishops and abbots, became saints, or, short of that, were remembered for their exceptionally pious acts--pilgrimages, charity, donations to the church, retirement to a monastery. Otto III and Gerbert's extraordinary behavior around the year 1000 deserves to be seen as an intensified recapitulation of Charlemagne and Alcuin's behavior around the year 6000. Given the topos that the approaching End should encourage those with the means to give generously of themselves, and the characteristic effort of religious and political elites to dampen more revolutionary sentiments by offering serious reforms, such behavior would seem to have a strong component of apocalyptic concern. After all, not only would unrepentant lords-- lay and ecclesiastical--fare ill at the Last Judgment, but even before that, they would appear to those convinced that the End was nigh as agents of Antichrist.233
6) Transformations in the Conception of Christ. Many historians have noted the dramatic new emphasis on the human Jesus at the turn of the millennium. He becomes an intensely historical figure -- preaching, prophesying, suffering on the cross. The apostolic hagiography of the day, the enthusiasm of pilgrims for walking in his footsteps, even the first appearance of the relic of the "Holy Foreskin" -- all attest to the emphasis on Jesus' human nature. More strikingly, both Rodulfus Glaber and Ademar of Chabannes report visions of the Crucified One pouring out rivers of tears, an image unmatched for its emotions even in the most Gothic or Baroque portrayals. Since apocalyptic omens surround both of these visions, and the interest in an historical Jesus can, at least in part, be attributed to the completion of 1000 years from the Incarnation, these remarkable shifts in Christian religiosity, should be considered in the context of the "terrible hopes" of the year 1000.234
Once one turns, therefore, from the "terrors of the year 1000" to the hopes, fears, disppointments and reprieves of two "millennial generations," a different picture emerges. From this vantage one can begin to see certain clusters of images and actions with a long and important history before them: for example, 1) suffering Crucified Christ, Holy Sepulchre, mass pilgrimage to Jerusalem, anti-Judaism, and the Crusades; 2) Peace of God, purification of the clergy, public opinion, interdict, and the Papal Reform; 3) participation of commoners in political life, geographical mobility, Biblical images of the Exodus from slavery, "textual communities" based on an isonomic law, peace militias and the communes. When Kasemann stated that "apocalypticism is the mother of theology," he really meant "disappointed apocalypticism"; by analogy, one might also suggest that the disappointed apocalyptic hopes of the year 1000 were the mother of a dynamic culture which, in both High Medieval and Modern incarnations we call, the West.235
This analysis, of course, does not have to exclude other elements in the picture, other factors and forces at work which may have little or nothing to do with any kind of apocalyptic activity -- climatic change, technology, demography, the behavior of Europe's neighbors. On the other hand, that explanations which cite those factors should exclude apocalyptic seems as ill-advised an approach to the problem as a monolithic eschatological one. Even economists realize that demonstrating opportunity is insufficient cause: people must be motivated to act, to change, to try new things and create new possibilities. And in most cases, their motivations are not consonant with their achievements: most results are unintended consequences. Therefore, for all its ephemeral volatility, its protean qualities, its documentary disguises, the phenomenon of apocalyptic expectations and chiliastic enthusiasms belongs within the purview of historical analysis of the millennial generation. Otherwise we fail to appreciate the hearts and minds of people who lived not our "Middle Ages" but their Last A
1. This article builds on earlier work on apocalyptic expectation in the patristic and early medieval periods: For the history of apocalyptic calculations before the year 1000, see "Lest the Millennium be Fulfilled: Apocalyptic Expectations and the Pattern of Western Chronography, 100-800 CE," The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the Middle Ages, ed. W. Verbeke, D. Verhelst, and A. Welkenhuysen (Leuven, 1988), pp.141-211; for the relationship between apocalyptic expectations and the clerical documentary evidence, see "Millenarismus absconditus: L'historiographie augustinienne et le millenarisme du Haut Moyen Age jusqu'en l'an Mil," Le Moyen Age 98:3-4 (1992), 355-77; 99:1 (1993), 1-26. I wish to thank David Van Meter, Fred Paxton, Philip Buc, Bernard Bachrach, Amy Remensnyder, Tom Head, Conrad Leyser, Steven Fanning, Paula Fredriksen, and many others for their conversation on these matters and their feedback on earlier drafts of this work. I also want to thank the Boston University Humanities Fellows Seminar, the New England .... and Patrick Geary and the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies for the opportunity to present earlier drafts of this work and get their valued criticism. I hope I have done well by their suggestions and admonish the reader not to hold them responsible for the ideas worked out here.
2. "The Year 1000 and the Antecedents of the Crusades," American Historical Review, 6 (1901), 429-39.
3. Jules Michelet, L'histoire de France, (Paris, 1835), 2:132, citations from Le Moyen Age, ed. Claude Mettra (Paris, 1981), pp.229-35. Michelet's visionary understanding of French history "was conceived in a moment, the lightening bolt of July [of the Revolution of 1830]" (Preface to the 1869 edition of Histoire de la France). Later he presented the Revolution as the product of an oppressed people who could wait no longer for the fulfillment of God's promises (Revolution francaise [Paris, 1847], Introduction, 1.3; see below n. 50).
4. For a survey of the nineteenth-century treatment of this theme, including the repeated invocation of revolutionary sentiments, see Christian Amalvi, "L'historiographie francaise face a l'avenement d'Hugues Capet et aux terreurs de l'an mil: 1799-1987," De l'art et la maniere d'accommoder les heros de l'histoire de France: Essais de mythologie nationale (Paris, 1988), pp. 115- 145.
5. The first major attack came from Dom Francois Plaine, "Les pretendues terreurs de l'an mille," Revue des questions historiques, 13 (1873): 145-64, followed by a long series of articles, chapters and books: H. von Eiken, "Die Legende von der Erwartung des Weltunterganges und der Wiederkehr Christi im Jahr 1000," Forschungen zur Deutschen Geschichte, 23 (1883): 303-18; Jules Roy, L'an Mille: Formation de la legende de l'an mille (Paris, 1885, reworking earlier articles); Christian Pfister, Etudes sur le regne de Robert le Pieux (996-1031) (Paris, 1885), pp.320-5; Pietro Orsi, L'Anno Mille: Saggio di critica storica (Turin, 1887); George L. Burr, "The Year 1000 and the Antecedents of the Crusades," American Historical Review, 6 (1901): 429-39; Frederic Duval, Les terreurs de l'An Mille (Paris, 1908); [L.F.] duc de La Salle de Rochemaure, Gerbert-Silvestre II. Le savant, le Faiseur de rois, le Pontife (Paris 1914), 2:507-26; Ferdinand Lot, "Le mythe des Terreurs de l'an mille," Mercure de France, 300 (1947): 639-55, reprint in Recueil des travaux historiques de Ferdinand Lot (Geneva, 1970) 3:398-414; Edmond Pognon, L'an Mille (Paris, 1949), pp.viii-xv, and La vie quotidienne en l'an mille (Paris, 1980), pp.7-16; A.A. Vasiliev, "Medieval Ideas of the End of the World: West and East," Byzantion, 16 (1942-3): 462-502; Bruno Barbatti, "Der heilige Adalbert von Prag und der Glaube an den Weltuntergang im Jahre 1000," Archiv fur Kulturgeschichte, 35 (1953): 127-41; more recently by Daniel Le Blevec, L'an mil (Paris, 1976), pp.1-10; Pierre Riche, "Le mythe des terreurs de l'an Mille," in Les Terreurs de l'an 2000 (Paris, 1976), pp.21-30; see also below, nn. 9, 11, 14. In the course of this article I will cite primarily from Plaine and Lot.
6. David Knowles, The Evolution of Western Thought (Baltimore, 1962), p.79; similar unreferenced dismissal of millennialism from the fifth to the twelfth centuries in Robert Lerner, "The Medieval Return of the Thousand-Year Sabbath," in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, p.51.
7. E.g. Lot repeats de Rochemaure's bizarrely anachronistic contrast between Pius X's apocalyptic encyclical of 1903 and Odo of Cluny's ruminations on the year 1000 -- if the former, a pope, was not listened to, then why would a mere abbot have more influence ("Le mythe," pp.643-644)? Lot also took over Duval's erroneous claim that Glaber did not write his most apocalyptic passage on the year 1000 (see below, n. 180). P. Riche's recent piece is a pastiche of the old arguments, and aside from Focillon, he does not cites any of the reconsiderations (Huygens and Hugenholtz) cited in the next note ("Le mythe").
8. Reconsiderations by Henri Focillon, L'an Mil (Paris, 1952), citations from the English, The Year 1000 (New York, 1971); R.B.C. Huygens, "Un temoin de la crainte de l'an 1000: La lettre sur les Hongrois," Latomus, 15 (1956): 224-38; F.N.W. Hugenholtz, "Les terreurs de l'an mil: Enkele hypothesen," in Varia Historica aangeboden ann Professor Doctor A.W. Byvanck (Assen, 1954), pp.110- 23; Georges Duby, L'an Mil, (Paris, 1967); Daniel Verhelst, "Adso van Montieren-Der en de angst voor het jaar Duizend," Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis, 90 (1977): 1-10; and most recently and extensively by Johannes Fried, "Endzeiterwartung um die Jahrtausendwende," Deutsches Archiv fur Erforschung des Mittelalters, 45:2 (1989): 385-473. See also the compelling, if specifically Aquitanian evidence of Daniel Callahan, "The Peace of God, Apocalypticism, and the Council of Limoges of 1031," Revue benedictine, 101 (1991): 32-49; and idem, "The Problem of the Filioque and the Letter from the Pilgrim Monks of the Mount of Olives to Pope Leo III and Charlemagne: Still Another Ademar Forgery?" Revue benedictine 102 (1992): 75-134.
9. For the patristic period, see P. Fredriksen, "Apocalypse and Redemption in Early Christianity: From John of Patmos to Augustine of Hippo," Vigiliae Christianae, 45:2 (1991): 151-83. For the Middle Ages, see N. Cohn, The Pursuit of the Millennium (New York, 1961, 19702); B. Topfer, Das kommende Reich des Friedens (Berlin, 1964); M. Reeves, Joachim of Fiore and the Prophetic Future (New York, 1976); B. McGinn, Visions of the End: Apocalyptic Traditions in the Middle Ages, (New York, 1979); Landes, "Lest the millennium"; and The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, ed. R. Emmerson and B. McGinn (Ithaca, 1993). For the last millennium, see the provocative synthesis of Hillel Schwartz, Century's End: A Cultural History of the Fin de Siecle from the 990s to the 1990s. (New York: Doubleday, 1990).
10. For an excellent bibliography on the subject, Ted Daniels, Millennialism: An International Bibliography (New York: Garland, 1992); for a stimulating synthesis, Henri Desroches, Sociologie de l'esperance (Calmann-Levy, Paris, 1973), and for a survey of the theme in Western history from biblical times, Michael St. Clair, Millennialism: A Short History (New York: Garland, 1993).
11. See, e.g., J.-P. Poly and Bournazel, La Mutation feodale, Xe-XIIe siecles, (Paris, 1980); R. Fossier, L'enfance de l'Europe: Aspects economiques et sociaux, 2 vols. (Paris, 1982); Duby, Les trois ordres ou l'imaginaire du feodalisme (Paris, 1978); R. Delort (ed.), La France de l'an Mil, (Paris, 1990); Guy Bois, La mutation de l'an Mil (Paris, 1991).
12. Le Blevec, lists Focillon [!] and Duby as trying to destroy the myth; Jan Dhondt and Michel Rouche cite Hugenholtz: Le Haut Moyen Age (VIIIe-XIe siecle) (Paris, 1968), pp.256-57; Delumeau cites Duby: "La grande peur.
13. Dominique Barthelemy, :"La mutation de l'an mil a-t-elle eu lieu?" Annales, 47 (1992): 767-777 (see below n.20). On similarity of the Bathelemy's argument and rhetoric to those of the "anti-Terrors" school, see below n. 206.
14. Neither Norman Cohn (The Pursuit of the Millennium, 1961, 1970) nor Michael St. Clair (Millennialism, 1992) even mention it; and Jacques Barzun and Henry Graff use it to illustrate how perceptive researchers like G.L. Burr can dismantle foolish historical myths, The Modern Researcher (New York, 1977), pp.97-101. The issue is summarily dismissed by, e.g., Robert Lopez, The Tenth century: How Dark the Dark Ages? (New York, 1959), pp.1-2; Philippe Wolff, The Cultural Awakening (New York, 1968), pp.113-18; Dhondt and Rouche (see above n.12); Friedrich Kempf et al., The Church in the Age of Feudalism, History of the Church, ed. Hubert Jedin (New York, 1972) 3:358, n.13; Bernard McGinn (in two different studies), "Apocalypticism in the Middle Ages: An Historiographical Sketch," Mediaeval Studies, 37 (1975): 256 and n.7, and Visions of the End, pp.88-90 (see also below, n. 181); Milton McC.Gatch, Preaching and Theology in Anglo-Saxon England: Aelfric and Wulfstan (Toronto, 1977), p.222 n.13; Brian Stock, The Implications of Literacy, (Princeton, 1983), p.458 n.4.
15. Daniel Milo speaks of "la persistance de l'An Mil dans la conscience collective et, fait encore plus intriguant, dans les ecrits des historiens, et en premier lieu de ceux-la meme qui en proclament le mal-fonde" ("L'an Mil: Un Probleme d'historiographie moderne," History and Theory 27:3 : 264). The apocalyptic year 1000 is particularly popular among historians with any eye to a non-medievalist audience: e.g., Richard Erdoes, AD 1000: Living on the Brink of Apocalypse (San Francisco, 1988); Jean-Paul Clebert, Histoire de la find du monde de l'an mil a l'an 2000 (Paris: Belfond, 1994); as well as serious, if marginal, historians: e.g., and R. Heath, Crux Imperatorum Philosophia: Imperial Horizons of the Cluniac Confraternitas, 964-1109 (Pittsburgh, 1976).
16. In addition to the numerous works on the topic in the final two decades of the nineteenth century, some articles debunking the myth make specific reference to apocalyptic expectations for the year 1900, e.g.: "But, I hear you exclaim, you who have felt how awesome, even in these rational days , is the ending of a century, how could there help being terror, in that age, at the close of a millennium?" (Burr, "The Legend," p.435); and "I remember that before the year 1900 signs of nervousness, uneasiness, and religious exaltation were observed in Russia in some regions, especially among the peasants, linked with the expectation that the world would end in 1900" (A. Vasiliev, "Medieval Ideas," p.501).
17. P. Riche, "Les terreurs de l'an Mille" [n.3]; Jean Delumeau, "La grande peur de l'an 2000? L'angoisse du vide," Le nouvel observateur, no.1282, (1-7 juin 1989): 38; Jacques Le Goff, "Faut-il avoir peur de l'an 2000?" Telerama no.2086, 3 janvier 1990, pp.8-10. More generally on centuries and apocalyptic expectations see Hillel Schwartz, Century's End, whose approach to the year 2000 is less serenely confident and whose view of the year 1000 more nuanced.
18. Delumeau, "La grande peur."
19. "...ce travail, entrepris pour venger l'honneur de l'Eglise, ou plutot celui de nos ancetres, celui de la race humaine... [contre une conception aussi] outrageant pour la dignite humaine..." Plaine, "Les pretendues," p. 164. Lot has a whole passage in which he provides the aristocracy with good arguments against the pressure from ecclesiastics to donate property because the end was at hand "Le mythe," p.407.
20. Barthelemy's attempted revision is largely rejected by Thomas Bisson, "The `Feudal Revolution'," Past and Present 142 (1994): 6-42 (e.g. p. 40 n. 115).
21. In addition to D. Knowles, J. Dhondt, M. Rouche, and B. Stock (cited above notes 5, 10, 12), see Hastings Rashdall, The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages, rev. ed. F.M. Powicke and A.B. Emden (London, 1936), 1.31-2; Henri Pirenne, Medieval Cities (New York, 1925), p.56, Robert Latouche, The Birth of the Western Economy (London, 1961), pp.287f, 303f; Christopher Brooke, The Central Middle Ages (London, 1964), p.1f; Charles T. Wood, The Age of Chivarly (New York, 1970), pp.71-81; Robert Fossier, Enfance de l'Europe: Aspects economiques et sociaux (Paris, 1983), 1.290.
22. "...the harrowing vision of New Year's Eve, 999 has now been replaced by endless discussions of horse collars, windmills and ploughs..." (C.T. Wood, Age of Chivalry, p.81 (see also p.71 and next note). The central figure is these technological discussions is Lynn White Jr. (e.g., Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays [Berkeley, 1978]), who considers "the eleventh century [as marking] a moment of primary mutation in the forms of human life," a time when European attitudes towards nature underwent a far-reaching transformation. Although White attributes these changes to the impact of Christianity, he makes no mention of apocalyptic or messianic elements ("The Life of the Silent Majority," in Medieval Religion, pp.144-47). For an example of the economic/cultural explanation, see the discussion of monetary circulation in Alexander Murray, Reason and Society in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1978), pp.26ff. For the discussion of religious responses to the social changes, see below, n. 28.
23. For a discussion of the historiographical issues at stake, see Alain Guerreau, Le feodalisme. Un horizon theorique (Paris, 1980), pp.29-40; see also Charles Wood's hesitations about the substitution of heavy ploughs for apocalyptic expectations in the explanatory models, Age of Chivalry, p.81. The term "industrial revolution" is used provocatively by Jean Gimpel, La revolution industrielle du Moyen Age (Paris, 1975); but the thesis that from ca. 1000 to 1300 modern Europe's characteristic fascination for technology had dramatic effects on economic growth is argued by numerous historians, especially Lynn White (see previous note).
24. Delumeau, "La grande peur;" Le Blevec, L'an mille, p.4, who also lists Focillon [!] and Duby as trying to destroy the myth.
25. For examples of medievalists, see Poly and Bournazel, Mutation feodale, pp.382-481; Heinrich Fichtenau, Lebensordnungen des 10. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart, 1984), 1:6, 274; again in Ketzer und Professoren: Haresie und Vernunftglaube im Hochmittelalter (Munich, 1992). For examples of historians of apocalypticism, see above n. 14.
26. On one level, it deflects attention away from the turn of the millennium to the Carolingian or twelfth-century Renaissance as key moments (e.g., L.J. Paetow, A Guide to the Study of Medieval History [London, 1931], who cites the literature against the terrors [p.296], and places the birth of a new civilization around 1100 [p.243]; and R. Benson and G. Constable, Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century [Cambridge MA, 1982], note remarks on p.xxviif). On another, it eliminates apocalyptic issues even in discussion of "l'an Mil" itself (see above nn. 11, 21-25). For the impact of this approach on the broader field, see below.
27. Alain Ollivier, Otton III, empereur de l'an mille (Lausanne, 1969); E.-R. Labande, "Mirabilia mundi. Essai sur la personnalite d'Otton III," Cahiers de civilisation medievale, 6 (1963): 297-313, 455-76;idem, "Essai sur les hommes de l'an mil," in Concetto, storia, miti e immagini del medio evo (Florence, 1973), pp.135-82. Labande cites at length the one historian who does give the apocalyptic dimension a significant place -- Menno Ter Braak, Kaiser Otto III. Ideal und Praxis im fruhen Mittelalter (Amsterdam, 1928) -- but never raises this aspect of Ter Braak's argument. Cf. J. Fried's treatment, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.427-33. On the dramatic visit to Charlemagne's tomb, see the analysis of the sources in Heinrich Beumann, "Grab und thron Karls des Grossen zu Aachen," in Karl der Grosse: Lebenswerk und Nachleben, ed. L. Braunfels, (Dusseldorf, 1967), 4:8-39.
28. See most recently, the revised survey of Malcolm Lambert, Medieval Heresy: Popular Movements from the Gregorian Reform to the Reformation (Cambridge, 1992). Perhaps the most striking case of the non-mention of 1000 is the argument of Janet Nelson that a "crisis in theodicy" lies at the heart of the early eleventh-century cultural transformation, "Society, Theodicy and the Origins of Heresy: Towards a Reassessment of the Medieval Evidence," in Schism, Heresy and Religious Protest, Studies in Church History, ed. D. Baker, (Oxford, 1972) pp.65-77; see also a careful and critical response to Nelson from an anthropologist who, despite his own field's extensive discussion of millenarianism, does not introduce the issue: Talal Asad, "Medieval Heresy: An Anthropological View," Social History, 11 (1986): 345-62. And yet the Apocalypse is one of the simplest and most powerful answers to the problem of evil and God's Justice (see, e.g., Adela Y. Collins, Crisis and Catharsis: The Power of the Apocalypse [Philadelphia, 1984]), and the passage of 1000 without its advent would surely have provoked the response Nelson suggests. Further on heresy below.
29. Through their virginity the monks are identified with the virgins of Revelation, their renunciation is a "visible sign of a present spiritual eschatology" (Dominique Iogna-Prat, "Continence et virginite dans la conception clunisienne de l'ordre du monde autour de l'an mil," Comptes rendus de l'Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-lettres : 127-46 [italics his]); see also his Agni immaculati: Recherches sur les sources hagiographiques relatives a Saint Maieul de Cluny (954-994) (Paris, 1988).
30. Barbara Rosenwein, Rhinoceros Bound: Cluny in the Tenth Century (Philadelphia, 1982), pp.34ff, 101-12; To Be the Neighbor of Saint Peter: The Social Meaning of Cluny's Property, 909-1049 (Ithaca, 1989), pp.35-48; Constance Bouchard, Sword, Miter and Cloister: Nobility and the Church in Burgundy, 980-1198 (Ithaca, 1989), pp.38-46. Bouchard, despite focussing on personal crises and fear of death -- and hence, obviously, judgment -- never raises the matter of the Last one. Neither of Rosenwein's arguments -- not the earlier "anomie" nor the more recent "social networking with intercessors" -- necessarily excludes the influences of an anticipated and delayed Apocalypse; to the contrary they could work quite well with such an interpretation. On the issue of apocalyptic invocations in charters see below, nn. 160-165.
31. Some of the material (when noted) summarizes earlier research (see above n. 1), but as readers of an earlier draft pointed out, the reader of this article deserves to have this material immediately available, rather than merely referenced.
32. The classic work on the subject is by Leon Festinger et al., When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the End of the World (Harper and Row, NY, 1956, 19642); for further work, consult Daniels, Millennialism.
33. Michelet, Le Moyen Age, p. 230; see also, Desroches, Sociologie de l'espoir, especially pp. 18-38.
34. Glaber, Quinque, 1, 5, 26; see also the remarks of the annalist of St. Amand (next note and below n. 169). Michelet makes the same point (see below p. 50).
35. Annales Elnonenses, ad an. 1000; Bibliotheque de Valenciennes, 343, f.47v (contemporary hand); ed. MGH SS 5.12; more recently ed. P. Grierson, Les Annales de Saint-Pierre de Gand et de Saint-Amand (Bruxelles, 1910), p.153.
36. The general treatment on these matters of elite vs. popular attitudes is forcefully evoked and analyzed by James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance (New Haven, 1992). It has become common to dissociate chiliasm from Marxism and to reject the notion that the former appealed to class conflict. This misreads both the religious foundations of Marxism (itself a secular chiliastic movement) and the social appeal of chiliasm, with its hatred of empire, hierarchy and oppression (see, for example, Michael Adas, Prophets of Rebellion: Millenarian Protest Movements against the European Colonial Order [Cambridge, 1979], especially pp.183-9). On Christianity as a proto-Marxist ideology, see Karl Kautsky, Foundations of Christianity, trans. Henry Mins (New York, 1953) which tends to put the cart before the horse. The reverse (i.e. that Marxism is a post-Christian chiliasm) is probably more accurate (see Desroche, Sociologie de l'espoir, p. 153-92; and Arthur Mendel, Vision and Violence (Ann Arbor, 1994). Ironically, if understandably, Marxists, particularly in the twentieth century are the first to dissociate themselves from this religious genealogy.
37. Words of a Aggy, a southern slave cook quoted in Mary Livermore, My Story of the War (Hartford, 1889), cited in James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts, p. 5.
38. Byrhtferth's Manual, ed. S.J. Crawford, (Early English Text Society, 177, 1972), p.242 ll.3-9.
39. Nietzsche identified precisely the exultation in the punishment of the damned as the most morally appalling quality of chiliasm, a sentiment he identified as the height of ressentiment (Genealogy of Morals, 2.10-16). The emphasis on paralyzing terrors was introduced by the Romantic school: "Tout travail du corps ou de l'esprit devenait sans but," M. de Sismondi, De la chute de l'Empire romain (Paris, 1835), 3:397-398; and taken over by their opponents: Plaine looks for men who "languished miserably in the torpor of inaction, concerning themselves no more with the work of the body or the spirit," and points to the efforts to convert Eastern and Northern regions of Europe as disproof of the "terrors" since "...if these generous missionaries could have imagined that the world had only a few more years to go, they would surely have saved themselves some useless work," "Les pretendues," p.161. On the (non-apocalyptic) religious motivations of Adalbert's missions to the heathen, see B. Barbatti, "Der heilige Adalbert von Prag" [n.3], pp.137-41.
40. "Nicht 'laisser aller [Lot's remark]', sondern das genaue Gegenteil ware richtig: Nutzt die noch zur Verfugung stehende Zeit zu frommem Werk!" (J. Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," p.438), followed by an extensive discussion of the impact of apocalyptic expectation on religious activity (pp.438-70).
41. "...The belief in the end of the world was already worn out: it had cried `Wolf' too often," G.L. Burr, "The Legend," p.435; "[Abbo, here fighting an apocalyptic rumor that the end would happen when Good Friday fell on March 25th] doubtless had no trouble showing that the terrible moment had already happened before more than once," Etudes sur le roi Robert, p.322 (see below nn.125-136).
42. "Il faut mettre de cote les textes ou la fin du monde est annoncee comme proche sans que cette fin soit unie expressement avec l'an mille" (F. Lot, "Le mythe," p. 642); hence the events of 1010 are "donc a ecarter du debat" (p. 643; see below n. 207). "Insistons encore moins... sur les Miracles de saint Ayeul, qui depeignent la terreur des habitants de Jouarre... 'mille ans apres la Passion du Seigneur', c'est-a-dire en 1033" (E. Pognon, L'an mille, p.xi; italics his; see below n. 203).
43. See above n. 39.
44. Stephen O'Leary, Arguing the Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial Rhetoric (New York, 1994, pp.20-61; Frank L. Borchardt, Doomsday Speculation as a Strategy of Persuasion (Lewiston, 1990), pp.216-223. Most recently, the death of the Lubovitcher Rebbi, Menachem Schneerson, has been greeted by his followers as yet one more test of their faith that he is/will be the messiah (see, e.g., The New York Times, Monday, June 13, 1994).
45. Festinger, When Prophecy Fails (above n. 35).
46. "False Christ" of Bourges in Gregory of Tours, Historia francorum, 10.25; Monatanus in Eusebius, Historia ecclesiastica, 5.16, outlawed in the Christian imperial legislation of the fourth century. On cognitive dissonance and the early Christians, see next note. In addition to the textual evidence, it would seem almost self-evident that if modern cultists can redate their expectation despite prevailing secular attitudes, how much the more easily could medieval people do so in so eschatological a culture. Festinger's point is not that cultists do this to spite the larger culture, but to preserve their own belief, a motivation that applies as readily to those eager for the millennium in 1000 as in 2000.
47. Hans Kasemann, "Die Anfange christlicher Theologie," Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche, 57 (1960): 180; John Gager, Kingdom and Community (Englewood Cliffs, 1976), chap. 4; on the most consistent interpretation of earliest Christianity in light of apocalyptic expectations, see Paula Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ (New Haven, 1987).
48. For the Early Middle Ages, see Martin of Braga, De correctione rusticorum [ca.574] esp. #14-19, ed. A.F. Kurfess, Aevum 29 (1955): 181-86; the acrostic poem on the end [ca.950] emphasizes both the terror and the great hope of final redemption and release (below, nn. 101-102).
49. Hesychius [ca. 418] to Augustine (Augustine, Epistulae, 198); the bishops at the Council of Trosly  ed. Mansi, Conciliorum collectio, 18.264-66, see also Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," p.410; Anglo-Saxon Homilies, e.g. Wulfstan's opening passage to his De Antichristo 1a, ed. Dorothy Bethurum, The Homilies of Wulfstan (Oxford, 1952); Ademar of Chabannes [ca.1032] speaks of giving a sermon at the funeral of a monk struck by lightening on the theme of how such signs indicate the imminent day of Judgment calling the faithful to terror-filled repentance (Phillips 1664 f.113v, cited by D. Callahan, "The Problem of the Filioque" [above n. 9], p.124).
50. Michelet, Le Moyen Age, p.230; note that Michelet reintroduced this emotion in his depiction of the French Revolution: "He weeps, he laughs, in his agony, -- a terrible laugh, at which the bastilles of tyrants and the temples of the Pharisees fall to the ground" (Revolution francaise, Introduction, 1.5).
51. See below, n. 92.
52. In addition to the numerous examples in the early years of Christianity: Montanism, the bishops mentioned in Hippolytus, Judas the Chronographer (see R. Landes, "Lest the Millennium," p.146f), the Carolingian period saw a number of cases: Beatus at the approach of the year 6000 (above n. 58), the "pseudo- prophetess" Thiota who predicted the apocalypse for 847 (Annales fuldenses, ad an. 848, ed. MGH SS, 1:365; on whom, see below).
53. "Unde et ipse satis doleo et, quantum licet, vel amplius irasci soleo, quoties a rusticis iterrogor, quot de ultimo miliario saeculi restent anni..." (Bede, Epistula ad Pleguinam, 15 [ca.708], ed. C.W. Jones, CCSL, 123A:624). Bede and his interrogators lived in the shadow of 6000 Annus mundi (see above), still about a century away; its approach, and the obvious interest it elicited among the less learned, played a key role in spurring Bede to his chronographical recalculations (Landes, "Lest the Millennium," pp.174-8). B. Barbatti cites this passage to argue for a generalized apocalyptic interest throughout the Middle Ages ("Der heilige Adalbert" [n.3], p.133); cf. Giry's "doctrine banale sur la fin du monde" (below n. 215).
54. This argument was repeated by two of the readers of an earlier draft of this text.
55. E.g. at the end of the fifth century (i.e. around 6000 AM I), whatever the discord over Augustine's notions of predestination, everyone seems to have agreed on his anti-chiliastic interpretation of Revelation and his anti- apocalyptic historical exegesis (see Landes, "Lest," p.157 n.79).
56. I go over the psychological and theological reasons why this is the case in "Millenarismus absconditus."
57. Kenelm Burridge, New Heaven, New Earth (New York, 1969), p.34. "The nature of apocalyptic is political. Its message of an impending new order at least implies a condemnation of the present one; it is in religious idiom the expression of a political critique" (P. Fredriksen, From Jesus to Christ, p. 125). Even when not explicitly hostile to the existing regime, apocalyptic belief generates disruptive behavior that undermines the norms of society: for an ancient example, see the descriptions of episcopally inspired activity in the second-century Mediterranean (Hippolytus, In Danielem, 4, 18-19).
58. On Thiota, see above, n. 52; the so-called "False Christ of Bourges" shows every sign of being an openly chiliastic messiah (above n. 46).
59. See above, n.49.
60. See, e.g., the remarks of Rodney Hilton, Bond Men Made Free (New York, 1973) chap. 3.
61. See P. Fredriksen, "Apocalypse and Redemption in Early Christianity: From John of Patmos to Augustine of Hippo," Vigiliae Christianae, 45:2 (1991), p.171 n.22.
62. See, most recently, R. Lerner, "The Medieval Return," (above n. 6) pp. 51-52.
63. The focus of most conventional studies of millennialism in the early Middle Ages is the commentaries on Revelation which are, without exception, Augustinian (see Anne Matter, "The Apocalypse in Early Medieval Exegesis," in Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, pp.38-51); cf. Fredriksen, "Apocalypse and Redemption."
64. Cf. Lot's claim that the "terrors did not exist, or, if they did occur in the minds of some, these were an extremely faint minority, since no trace of them has remained in the texts." ("Le mythe," p.648).
65. "Estimabatur enim ordo temproum et elementorum, preterita ab initio moderans secula in chaos decidisse perpetuum atque humani generis interitum." Glaber ad an 1033, Quinque libri, 5.4.13.
66. See Landes, "Lest the Millennium," and "Millenarismus absconditus."
67. On Julian and Bede, see Landes, "Lest," pp.171-78; on Remi of Auxerre, see Huygens, "Une lettre [n. 8]"; on Byrhtferth, see below n. 86.
68. Rodulfus of Fulda referred to the clerics who followed the apocalyptic prophetess Thiota in 847 as "...postponentes doctrinas ecclesiasticas suas..." (above n. 52). In this context, these "doctrines" must refer to the Augustinian teachings on the proper opinion to hold about the End (cited by Bede in his De temporum ratione, 67-71) that should have acted as a prophylactic against such behavior (see below n. 141). Only 25 years after Augustine's death, his disciple Quodvultdeus misquoted him in order to interpret current events apocalyptically (see Fredriksen, "Apocalypse and Redemption," p. **).
69. There seems to be an almost direct correlation between one of Gregory's famous list of "signs and wonders" and the emergence of some kind of charismatic preacher: e.g., in 580 (Historia francorum, 5.33 [portents], 9.6 [imposter]; 587 (ibid. 9.5 [portents], 9.6 [imposter]); 591 (ibid. 10.23 [portents], 10.25 [imposter]); see Giselle de Nie, "Roses in January: A Neglected Dimension of Gregory of Tours," Journal of Medieval History 5 (1979), 259-289. On Gregory's own apocalyptic fears, see ibid., 10.25.
70. Note that many historians speak of "l'erreur millenariste" (Ermoni is using the term here as I use apocalyptic); on the medieval scribes use of this hindsight, see below n. 143.
71. See the case of the "rain of blood" over Aquitaine in 1028, below n. **.
72. I quote an anonymous reader of an earlier draft. For a treatment of the medieval historiographical obsession with prodigies that makes little or no mention of apocalypticism, see William J. Brandt, The Shape of Medieval History: Studies in Modes of Perception, (New York: Schocken, 1973), pp.52-59; and Nancy Partner, Serious Entertainments, pp. 114-140 (good discussion of prodigies and the role of Augustinian thought in dealing with them, but nothing on the role of apocalyptic in provoking concern). On the importance of knowing the rhetorical framework of an historical statement before interpreting it, see Kenneth Burke's comments on representative and compensatory frames in Attitudes Towards History (New York, 1937) pp. 92-124.
73. On Hesychius and Augustine, see above n. 49, below nn. 141-42. Gibbon discusses the sack in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 31; cf. Augustine, De civitate Dei, 1.1-10; see Landes, "Millenarismus absconditus," pp. 367-374.
74. In Ezech., Praef. liber 1 (PL 25.15); see P. Courcelles, Histoire litteraires des invasions germaniques (Paris, 1948), pp. 31-77. It is important to realize that the apocalyptic significance of Rome's fall derived from the earlier, politically conservative exegesis of II Thessalonians in which the empire's survival prevented the Antichrist from triumphing (see D. Verhelst, "La prehistoire des conceptions 'Adson concernant l'Antichrist," Recherches de theologie ancienne et medievale, 40 , 52-103, pp. 31-73). This problem of historical exegesis and the fate of the empire reappears in Europe on the eve of the year 6000 AM II (see below, n. 81) and of 1000 (nn. 99-100).
75. Karl Morrison, "The Exercise of Thoughtful Minds: The Apocalypse in Some German Historical Writings," Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, p.354.
76. See, e.g., my analysis of such passages in the works of Ademar of Chabannes and Rodulfus Glaber, Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History, chaps. 6, 14.
77. The following discussion of the sabbatical millennium summarizes the detailed treatment of this subject in two earlier publications: "Lest the Millennium," (to 800/6000) and "Millenarismus absconditus" (to 1000).
78. On reluctance, see Malalas or the Chronicon Pascale and on the hints at apocalyptic disturbances around 5700 AM II in the Latin west, and the more visible ones around 6000 AM I in the Greek east (where the date was not changed), see Landes, "Lest," pp.161-165.
79. Gregory's concern for an orthodox reputation is, in fact, quite unusual among early medieval historians. Given his bona fides in debating with Arians and Jews, this seems quite odd. This concern should be read in the context of his final count of the age of the world and his appeal to his copyists to retain his text exactly. The urgency informing his concern is directly linked to the preparedness of his successors for "the Day of Judgment." Historia francorum, 10.31.
80. Walter Goffart dismisses the entire problem out of hand as "literary color rather than seriously meant," Narrators of Barbarian History, p.187 n.323; cf. de Nie, "Roses in January," p.271. In all the multiple sessions and conferences on Gregory during the 1400th anniversary of his death in 1994, there were virtually no discussions of this aspect of his writings. Note a similar phenomenon in the discussion of Gregory I's letter to Aethelbert in Ian Wood's discussion of Anglo-Saxon missions in "", Speculum, 1994.
81. For the next two paragraphs, see Landes, "Lest," pp.178-205; Juan Gil, "Los terrores del anno 6000," in Actas del Simposio para el Estudio de Los Codices del "Commentario al Apocalipsis" de Beato de Liebana (Grupo de Estudios Beato de Liebana, 1; Madrid 1978), pp.217-47. Note that the troubles in Constantinople, with a female usurper seated on the imperial throne only intensified the significance of the approaching year 6000 ("Lest," pp.201- 202).
82. When I present this material I am frequently asked: "Are you saying that these clerics were cynically manipulating these figures?" (As if that were impossible.) I think the use of "cynical" is itself a misunderstanding of how much the clerics themselves believed -- wanted to believe -- in these figures. Historical visionaries, like Bede and Augustine, I suspect, were never particularly taken in by such beliefs (Augustine admits to having unthinkingly accepted a mild version as a youth and peppers his remarks with asides about preferring that the Apocalypse not occur in his lifetime); such tehological conservatives valued social and religious stability over loyalty to some ancient indiscretion. In a sense one might think of it as a version of the "noble lie." The genius of the system is that it permits any long-term manipulation (and thus responsibility) to be dispersed over several centuries. The real confrontation comes in the battle waged, at the approach of a millennial date, over the old, apocalyptic, indiscreet figures and the new, more cautious, figures (see below on Abbo and the Parisian cleric, pp. **-**).
83. For the following discussion, see Landes, ""Millenarismus absconditus," pp.13-19.
84. Note that changing even the calculations, much less the era was a most difficult task, tried without success by many great chronographers (Eusebius, Julian of Toledo, Abbo of Fleury).
85. Note that the initial controversy over Bede's chronological work concerned his figures for the era mundi (Bede, Epistula ad Pleguinam, CCSL 123B.617-26), but that was because in 5900 (AM II), such a revision, by putting the present in the fifth millennium, challenge the notion that mankind was in the sixth and final age/millennium (see "Lest the Millennium," p. 175).
86. We have several references to this: Glaber, Quinque libri historiarum, 1.5.26; Byrhtferth's denunciation of the "common belief" in the Six Ages, Manual [n.38], pp.238-242.
87. Augustine, de civitate Dei, 20.7; see Fredriksen, "Apocalypse and Redemption," p. ***.
88. Thietland of Einsiedln, Commentary on II Thessalonians 2:8, in Einsiedeln Ms. 38; Bamberg Staatsbibliothek Ms. Bibl. 89; I thank Steven Cartwright for the references; for further discussion, see below n. 190. On the eschatological tradition at play here, see above n. 74, below, n. 98.
89. See below, pp.**-**.
90. This eschatological deviation in the name of Augustine would thus stand in a direct correlation with the other persistant inversion of Augustinian millennial doctrines, that "augustinisme politique," which repeatedly violated Augustine's insistence that the City of God can never be visible on earth: see F.X. Arquillere, L'augustinisme politique (Paris, 1934). Cf. the claim of the "anti-Terrors" school that since the 1000 years of Revelation refers to the period after the Parousia, its chiliasm has "nothing in common with the subject treated here" (Lot, "Le mythe," p.639f, n.1).
91. On the incident see above nn. 52, 68. It is noteworthy that Rudolf wrote this account in his annals: his chronology was thus an implicit calculation of a millennial timetable.
92. The tendency of "anti-Terrors" historians is to dismiss out of hand any knowledge of linear time among peasants: as one professor of the Ecole des Chartes put it, "Les paysans s'en foutaient de la date" (Lectures in Diplomatics, 1980). See below for the larger "anti-Terrors" argument that the ignorance and indifference to anno Domini was true among the learned too, n. 115. Ironically, D. Milo, in expanding on this traditional position, shows just how much was at stake in the issue of knowing and concealing the date. After contrasting the "crushing majority" which had no idea of the date, and the "tiny minority" which did, but was carefully trained in Augustinian eschatology, he comments on the unlikely success of such eschatological doctrines in mollifying the populace (see below n. 141). `Luckily' for the Church, one might say, the potential terrorised [sic] were completely ignorant of the approach of the funereal [sic] date, and especially of its passage without results, passage which would certainly have shaken their belief in the Scriptures to the core..." ("L'an Mil," p.263). Here we have motives for wanting to know, motives for wanting to hide... only his assumption that the cover-up "luckily" succeeded permits the author to conclude so confidently along traditional lines of the "anti-Terrors" school. The belief that would have been shaken, in such a case, would not have been in the Scriptures but in the Augustinian Church, and that the results would have provoked a "crisis in theodicy," generating new forms of faith rather than a premature atheism (see above, n. 28).
93. See above, nn. 52, 58, 68.
94. NPR radio, "Morning Edition," October 22, 1991 (concerning Anita Hill's accusations against Clarence Thomas).
95. "Anti-Terrors" historians assert confidently that there was no way such information could get out. "How could a collective panic possibly have spread throughout the Europe of 1000? There were no towns, no roads, practically no preachers..." (Jean Delumeau, "L'angoisse du vide," p.38). This is the Year 1000 of modern legend: a sea of forest with little islands of impoverished habitation. There is no room in it for the extensive and intensive geographic mobility and occasions for public preaching that the Peace of God and other penitential and pilgrimage activities encouraged at the turn of the millennium. See, e.g., the aside of the author of the Miracula sancti Agili on the speed with which panicky rumors fly (below n. 203); and more generally, Bernhard Topfer, "The Cult of Relics and Pilgrimage in Aquitaine and Burgundy," in The Peace of God, (Ithaca, 1992), pp.41-57.
96. Libellus de Antichristo, ed. Verhelst, CCCM 45 (Turnhout, 1976). On the apocalyptic atmosphere to which Adso was responding, see Verhelst "Adso," [above n. 8]. Anti-terror historians consider the non-polemical tone of this letter, "addressed to the theological curiosities of the queen rather than to refuting some error that had seized her in its grip," a "devastating silence that voids all relevance of this letter for the argument about the year 1000" (Pognon, p.xiv; similar arguments from Plaine, "Les pretendues," p. 152, Roy, L'an mille [n.4], p. 187; Lot, "Le mythe," p. 400; et al.
97. "Ac primum dicendum opinionem quae innumeros tam in vestra quam in nostra regione persuasit frivolam esse et nihil veri in se habere, qua putatur Deo odibilis gens Hungrorum esse Gog et Magog ceteraeque gentes quae cum eis describuntur... Dicunt enim nunc esse novissimum saeculi tempus finemque imminere mundi, et idcirco Gog et Magog esse Hungros, qui numquam antea auditi sunt, sed modo, in novissimo temporum apparuerunt"; analyzed and edited by R.B.C. Huygens, "Un temoin de la crainte de l'an 1000: La lettre sur les Hongrois," Latomus, 15 (1956), 224-38 (citation p.231, lines 94-106).
98. On the patristic exegesis, see above n. 74; on Thietland, above n. 88.
99. Adso, Libellus, p.26, ll.113-120.
100. Fried gives an excellent analysis of the dangers inherent in Adso's flirtation with historical exegesis, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.420-422; cf. Robert Lerner's sense that Adso's "anemic millenarianism is the exception regarding the lack of millennialism [from 400 to 1200] that proves the rule" ("The Return [n.5]," p.52 n.3); and below, n. 100.
101. For the spectacularly successful posterity of this letter (see R. Konrad, De ortu et tempore Antichristi. Antichristvorstellung un Geschichtsbild des Abtes Adso von Montier-en-Der, (Munich, 1964); and Verhelst's edition, pp.3-18). Few "anti-Terrors" historians bother to mention the implications for its scenario of subsequent developments in France and Germany. Cf. Lot, who points to the re-emergence of the Empire in Germany within a decade of Adso's letter, and suggests that it explains the relative rarity of eschatological preoccupations in Central Europe during the period of this empire (962-1250 [sic!]); but makes no mention of the opposite political situation in France for the year 1000 (p.401); cf. C. Erdmann, "Endkaiserglauben und Kreuzzugsgedanken im 11. Jahrhundert," Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, 54:3 (1932), 384-415; Konrad, De ortu, pp. 105-140.
102. See N. Bridgman, "Les themes musicaux de l'Apocalypse: leur signification spirituelle et leur interpretation dans les miniatures," in Musica e arte figurativa nei secoli X-XII (Centro de studi sulla spiritualita medievale; Todi, 1973) pp. 197-222; Nicole Sevestre, "La tradition melodique du Cantus sibyllae," in La representation de l'antiquite au moyen age (Vienna, 1982), 269-283; Gunilla Bjorkvall, "'Expectantes Dominum': Advent, the Time of Expectation, as Reflected in Liturgical Poetry from the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries," in In Quest of the Kingdom: Ten Papers on Medieval Monastic Spirituality (Bibliotheca Theologiae Practicae, 48; Uppsala, 1991), pp.109-34; Regula Meyers Evitt, "Anti-Judaism and the Medieval Prophet Play: Exegetical Context for the Ordines Prophetarum" (Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1992).
103. The poem was analyzed and edited by Paulin Blanc, "Nouvelle Prose sur le Dernier Jour, composee avec chant note, vers l'An Mille..." Memoires de la Societe Archeologique de Montpellier, 2 (1850), 451-509; C. Pfister dismissed it as isolated and undatable, Etudes sur le regne du roi Robert, p. 325; most "anti-Terrors" historians do not even mention this text; cf. Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," p.416. Second copy located by Michel Huglo: BN lat. 1928 f.178, Fecamp c.1040).
104. On Muspilli, see F. von Leyen, Deutsche Dichtung des Mittelalters (Frankfurt, 1962), pp.58-60; partial translation in McGinn, Visions, pp.80-1; B. Bischoff discusses two marginalia written ca.950 in a Norman manuscript: "Vom Ende der Welt und vom Antichrist; Fragment einer Jenseitsvision (Zehntes Jahrhundert)," in Anecdota Novissima: Texte des vierten bis sechzehnten Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1984), pp.80-82.
105. The Blickling Homilies, ed R. Morris (London, 1967) p.119.
106. See Milton Mc. Gatch, Preaching and Theology, pp.77-119.
107. Wulfstan, Secundum Marcum, ed. Bethurum [n. 49], pp.136-137, v.44-47.
108. Byrhtferth, Manual [n.38], p. 240.
109. Byrhtferth's discussion is clearly aimed at the "ignorant" (p. 232 l.5); and the context (the conclusion of the Manual) is that of the date of Doomsday (pp. 232-242). See Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.424, 434-36.
110. Bernard Guenee, Histoire et culture historique dans l'Occident medievale (Paris, 1980), p.152, 51.
111. Helpericus, Liber de computo, PL 137.17-48; see also A. Cordoliani, "Les traites de comput du haut moyen age (526-1003)," Bulletin Du Cange, 17 (1943): 62-63; and P. McGurk, "Computus Helperici. Its Transmission in England in the eleventh and twelfth centuries," Medium Aevum 43 (1974): 1-5.
112. See Landes, "Lest," pp.168-171, 187-96.
113. See the concerns on calculating the date anno Domini in Regino of Prum, discussed by Arno Borst, The Ordering of Time (Chicago, 1993), p.48.
114. See the long list of manuscripts in Charles W. Jones' edition of the De temporum ratione for the Corpus Christianorum series latina, 123B, including his remarks on the number of worn fragments that bear eloquent witness to how often and hard ecclesiastics used these tables (p.241).
115. Cf. Milo (above n. 82); G.L. Burr cites A. Giry ("The Year 1000," p.436f); and A. Vasiliev's remarks on the erratic use of AD (by the popes until 1431): "The data show us clearly that about the year 1000 Dionysius' era had by no means spread all over Western Europe and was not yet in popular use" ("Medieval Ideas" [n. 5], p.477).
116. See. e.g.: Vat. reg. lat. 1127 f.10v, from 990 to "MILLE;" St. Gall 902, 817-999; St. Gall 387, 1001-1129. I do not know of any examples of another date within a cycle that serves as starting or endpoint. This list is purely provisional, based on a very small sampling of manuscripts. I suspect that attention to such matters would uncover far more.
117. Vatican reg. lat. 1127 f. 10. This is an unusual annal, not done in the margins of Easter Tables, but an independent list of dates with no computistical data included until the final addition.
118. "Anti-Terrors" historians prefer stupidity; indeed Halphen thought it was so careless (and hence insignificant) an error, that he did not even include the text in his edition, preferring to append a dismissal of this mistake in a note to a different year (See Halphen, Annales angevines, p.58 n.2, 116 n.6). And yet, this note was copied by the compilers of the Annals of Vendome (later eleventh century), and St. Florent de Saumur (early twelfth); and cases of intentional error are hardly out of the question for either apocalyptic and anti-apocalyptic calculators (see Landes, "Lest," pp. 174, 190; and next note). In any case, it bespeaks a marked interest in the year 1000 -- the later eleventh century scribe blocked off the text to highlight it. Halphen, however, did not see fit to include it in his edited text; rather he put it into a footnote referring to a different year, and ignored it in his analysis of the text, even though it lies exactly at his conjectured division between two stages of composition.
119. "Anno a creato mundi 4955 iuxta hebreos natus est secundum carnem dominus noster iesus christus, iuxta alios vero 5199" (BN.lat. 17868 f.2r [dated by the hand to ca. 1000]). These "mistakes" were common (see previous note). This error places the year 6000 just beyond the horizon of most people alive; see other examples n. 139.
120. See Landes, Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History, p.6.
121. Annales Masciacenses, MGH SS 3.170.
122. See Glaber's remarks below, n. 158. On the return of the "universal chronicle in the twelfth century, see A.-D. van den Brincken, Studien zur lateinischen Weltchronistik bis in das Zeitalter Ottos von Freising (Susseldorf, 1957), chaps. 6-8.
123. On Abbo's computistical work, see Cordoliani, "Abbon de Fleury, Heriger de Lobbes et Gerland de Besancon sur l'ere de l'Incarnation chez Denys le Petit," Revue d'Histoire Ecclesiastique, 44 (1949), 464-69; Van der Vyver, "Les oeuvres inedites d'Abbon de Fleury," Revue benedictine, 47:2 (1935), 150- 58; and for a layman's survey, Cousin, Abbon, ch.4. On the specific context of Abbo's chronological corrections, see below nn. 152-158.
124. Landes, "Lest," p.163; and Grumel, Chronologie byzantine, p.73-97. .
125. See John Malalas, Chronographia (PG 97.354, 579-80, 632, comments in Landes, "Lest," p.163 n.107; Chronicon Paschale; comments by G. Podskalsky, "Representation du temps dans l'eschatologie imperiale byzantine," in Le temps chretien de la fin de l'antiquite au moyen age. IIIe-XIIIe siecles (Paris: CNRS, 1984), pp. 439-450 and J. Beaucamp, "La Chronique Pascale: le temps approprie," idem, pp. 451-468.
126. "Tertio Ottone imperante. Millesimus annus supercrescens statute computationis numerum, secundum illud quod legitur scriptum: 'Millesimus exsuperat et transcendit omnia annus'" (Annales Hildesheimenses 3, Preface, ed. MGH SS 3:91f). The editors do not indicate where the citation comes from.
127. Annales sancti Florentii Salmurensis and Annales Vindocinenses of Anjou, ad an. 969 (see above n. 118).
128. Iste fuit Girbertus, tempore cuius inpletus est annus millesimus ab incarnatione Domini. Annales Pragenses, ad an. 999, ed. MGH SS 3:120 [contemporary hand].
129. Adam of Bremen, Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, 2, 40; ed. MGH SS 7:320 [late eleventh century].
130 Abbo of Fleury, Apologeticus ad hugonem et rodbertum reges francorum, London, BM 10972, f.22v; PL 139 c.471-2; dated before 996 by A. Vidier, L'historiographie a Saint-Benoit-sur Loire (Paris, 1965), pp.105-7; to 994-5 by M. Mostert, The Political Thought of Abbo of Fleury (Hilversum, 1987), pp.48-51).
131. "Anti-Terrors" historians dismiss it as an irrelevant digression, so lacking in details about how Abbo refuted these challenges that it indicates a subsidence of apocalyptic beliefs at the approach of the year 1000: "The [apocalyptic fears] preoccupied only a small number of weak minds avid for wonders. Otherwise, how can one explain that after these admirable proofs of zeal for the purity of the faith [ca.970], the abbot of Fleury would have kept a culpable silence precisely at a time when the poison of such doctrines supposedly multiplied... hence one can conclude that these [earlier] efforts remained without apparent results," Plaine, "Les pretendues," pp.454-455; see also Pognon, L'an mille, p.xiii; even Duby, L'an mil p.36. Most recently, Mostert has characterized the passage as so unrelated to the rest of the letter that it might be called an "author's interpolation" (Political Thought, p.51 n.38).
132. See above, nn. 87-90.
133. "un phenomene unique en son genre..." (Pognon, L'an mille, p.xiii); "vraisemblablement un illumine..." (Cousin, Abbon, p.55 n.20).
134. If it were any church, Abbo would have written quodam ecclesia.
135. Cf. "lone chiliast" of the "anti-Terrors" school.
136. See Blickling Homily XI (Ascension Day), ed. R. Morris, The Blickling Homilies (London, 1967), p.119; cf. McGatch who concludes "here there is no sense of a millenarian literalism," in "The unknowable audience of the Blickling Homilies," Anglo Saxon England, 18 (199?): 112-113.
137. Pognon, insisting that Abbo's attack on the Parisian preacher had succeeded fully in eliminating his apocalyptic teaching on 1000, argues that were it not the case, Abbo could hardly have dropped the subject: "Or, aussitot apres cette anecdote [on Paris], il passe a un autre sujet" (p.xiii).
138. "Hoc anno, iv idus maii, in maxima parte hujus regni, in omnibus fere villis in quibus ecclesiae sunt, caelestis ignis sine vento et tonitru ac turbine, non hominem neque pecus ledens, cecidit et in quibusdam locis daemones in forma luporum, ad imitationem capraearum balantes, apparuerunt et nocte auditi sunt. -- Finis chronicae Frodoardi" (Halphen, Receuils d'annales angevines, p.58). None of this appears in Flodoard, only one of whose manuscript copies includes anything similar: "Mira et inaudita inundatio pluviae et fragor tonitrui ac coruscatio fulgoris decima Kalendas Augusti accidit." (MGH SS III p.407, addition of codex 2, BN lat 5354, Limoges, mid eleventh century).
139. Jerome mentions some chronographers who, in the apocalyptic aftermath of the Fall of Rome in 410, date the end to 430 years after the Passion (i.e. some 50 years away), In Ezechielem 4,4 (PL 25.46B); Landes, "Lest," p. 159.
140. See the contrast between Eusebius introducing AM II as Lactantius emphasized no more than 200 years (AM I); Jerome and Augustine insisted on AM II just as Hilarianus announced 101 years to go (AM I); Bede introducing AD and AM III just as Fredegar counted 63 years left (AM II), the Carolingian annalists working with AD just as Beatus counted 14 years left, etc. (extended treatment in Landes, "Lest," pp.149-56, 169f, 174-8).
141. See above, n. 92.
142. Augustine had urged Hesychius to read Jerome on Daniel as an antidote to apocalyptic expectations in the aftermath of the Fall of Rome; but Hesychius rejected the exegesis out of hand (letter included in the collection of Augustine's, Epistulae, 198). Bede's extensive antiapocalyptic passage at the end of the De temporum ratione is from Augustine's second letter to Hesychius (above n.61). Bede was convinced when he read this letter, but was Hesychius?
143. The copy of Abbo's letter made at Fleury in the eleventh century contains marginal indications of the content: at the conclusion one finds the clearly post facto reflections: "Error finis mundi" and "De resta observatione adventus domini post posito errore" (London, BM 10972, f.22v). For the modern "anti-Terrors" school Abbo's victory is self-evident: "...en quoi [his attack on the preacher] il reussit pleinement" (Plaine, "Les pretendues," p.153).
144. "[Abbon] repondit de sa part a ses correspondants, dissipant par cette savante refutation l'une des nombreuses croyances superstitieuses qui subsistaient encore" (Cousin, Abbon de Fleury, p.55).
145. Vita Altmanni, 3; MGH SS 12.230.
146. Liber Floridus, f. 2r, 27v.
147. Matthew Paris, Chronica Maiora, ad an. 1250, ed. F. Madden, (Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores, 44; London, 1869), vol. 3 pp. 97-98.
148. Abbo does not give us his argument although modern historians are quick to supply it: "Abbon n'eut pas de mal a demontrer que cette terrible coincidence s'etait deja presentee plusieurs fois, entre autres en 908 et que le monde etait reste debout" (Duval, Les terreurs, p.35).
149. Note that at the approach of an apocalyptic year like 6000, chroniclers show particular interest in the dates of Easter, Passover, the Creation, etc. (Landes, "Lest," p.195).
150. On the history of the date, see Eduard Weigl, "Die Oration "Gratiam tuam, Quaesumus, Domine": Zur Geschichte des 25. Marz in der Liturgie," Liturgisches Jahrbuch, 3 (1923): 57-73. In an informal survey of liturgical calendars (especially Limousin ones whose dates I know well), I have found that the kind of interest Lambert showed (above n. 146) only begins to appear in the later tenth century.
151. No historian of the chronological work has linked it to the apocalyptic issues, and none of the "anti-Terrors" historians have linked these latter to the chronological work.
152. See above n. 123.
153. The only alternatives were AD 1 and 91.
154. At the fall of Rome, and later in his City of God, Augustine had ridiculed those who had believed in a passed date (Landes, "Lest," p.154-6); in 5970 AM I (470 CE) a chronicler updated Hilarianus' chiliastic chronography and demonstrated that the year 6000 (AM I) had already occurred two years earlier (MGH AA XIII, p.415-17; Landes, p.162); in 681 Julien of Toledo attempted to prove that the year 6000 had already passed six years earlier in 675 (De comprobatione sextae aetatis, 3.10, ll. 100-48, ed. J. Hillgarth, CCSL, 115; Landes, pp.171-4).
155. See above, n. 118.
156. See A. Cordoliani, "Les manuscrits de la bibliotheque de Berne provenant de l'abbaye de Fleury au XIe siecle: Le comput d'Abbon," Zeitschrift fur schweizerische Kirchengeschichte, 52:2 (1958), 148. The subsequent historiography at Fleury indicates that even his greatest admirers had rejected Abbo's system -- Aimo, writing in the Miracula s. Benedicti shortly after Abbo's death dated the terrible and recent flood to "AD 1003, the sixteenth year of the reign of Robert with his father, and the seventh of his monarchy..." (3.9; ed. de Certain, pp.150-53; see below n. 197), and Helgaud, Epitome vitae Rodberti pii regis, 22; ed. Bautier and Labory (Paris, 1965), p.110.
157. Giry, Manuel diplomatique, pp.89-90.
158. Quinque libri historiarum, 1.1; and see below nn. 186, 189. When he wrote this preface, he was at Cluny in the later 1030s; but his use of AD dated back to the mid-1020s.
159. Cited in Annales divionenses, MGH SS, 5.40; and Annales Quedlinburgenses MGH SS 3.68; Thietmar of Mersebourg, Chronicon 4.10; (also according to France, Glaber [3.3.9], Rodulphus Glaber, Opera, p.110-11, and n.4); see also P. Moore and J. Mason, The Return of Halley's Comet (Cambridge, 1984), p.46.
160. These originals are therefore not subject to manipulation by twelfth century cartulary compilers who tended to eliminate "unnecessary" (not to mention embarrassing) preambula (see Bruel, "Note sur la transcription des actes prives dans les cartulaires anterieurement au XIIe siecle," Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Chartes, 36 (1875); and Giry, Manuel diplomatique, pp.29-33, with an example of a deeschatologized formula from Saint-Maixent (p.32f n.5); Chartes et documents... de l'abbaye de Saint-Maixent, ed. A. Richard, Archives historique du Poitou, 16, (1886), vol. 1, p.46.
161. For the symbolic significance of such a system, see Landes, "L'accession," pp.160-61. Monsabert erased the negative meaning by noting that the charter dated January 992, first year of Robert's reign, "est prise de son... couronnement a Reims, le 29 mars 991 [sic! for the date of Charles' betrayal at Laon]." Chartes de l'abbaye de Nouaille de 678-1200, ed. Dom P. de Monsabert, Archives historiques du Poitou, 49 (1936) p.118 n.2.
162. These remarks are based on the recent work of Robert Favreau on the accession of the Robertians (to be published). None of the anti-terror historians who deal at length with the charter evidence (Orsi, Duval, etc.) mentions the high number of Aquitanian charters with apocalyptic prologues at the turn of the millennium (960-1030): in addition to Nouaille (7), Saint-Maixent (6), St. Jean d'Angely (9), et al.; see Callahan, "William the Great and the Monasteries of Aquitaine," Studia Monastica 19:2 (1977): 321 n.1. For Richard's comment, see below n. 165.
163. "...et seculi imminente fine, cum homines brevior vita perurgeat, atrocior cupiditas purget." Documents pour l'histoire de l'eglise de Saint- Hilaire de Poitiers (768-1300), ed. L. Redet, Memoires de la Societe des Antiquaires de l'Ouest, (1847), no.65, p.74; datable by the treasurer Geoffrey (end of the 990s); and the hand.
164. Only possible parallel (to my knowledge) in the denunciatory letter of Elipandus of Toledo concerning the apocalyptic teachings of Beatus of Liebana linked to the approach of the year 6000 Annus mundi (PL 101.1330C; J. Gil, "Los terrores del anno 6000" [above n. 81], p.223f; Landes, "Lest," p.194). But in this case the initially penitential apocalyptic mood gives way to a call to eat drink and be merry after the passage of the apocalyptic date.
165. "...this [apocalyptic] preoccupation may have surfaced in certain circles at the approach of the year 1000... but it had no influence on the acts of our dukes of Aquitaine... and [especially not] at Saint-Hilaire where the most elevated teaching took place... and where we find no trace of a belief of the end of the world in its charters," Richard, Histoire des comtes de Poitou (Paris, 1903), vol. 1, pp.191-2. Nouaille, Saint-Maixent, and Saint-Jean-d'Angely were all prominent ducal monasteries (see n.149).
166. On the situation, see most recently the article of Jean-Pierre Poly, "Le sac de cuir: La crise de l'an mil et la premiere renaissance du droit romain," Droits savants et pratiques francaises du pouvoir (XIe-XVe siecles) ed. J. Krynen and A. Rigaudiere (Bordeaux, 1992), pp.48-62.
167. For an example of this process, see the wide dissemination around 1000 of Julian of Toledo's antiapocalyptic treatise, Prognosticon de futuri saeculi, largely drawn from Augustine's writings (discussed in Landes, Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History, chap. 4.
168. Abbo, in fact, opens his letter to the king, not with the normal salutations, but with a pointed reminder: "Saepe contingit ut, dum nimius insurgentium calamitatum horror mentem fatigat, ipso horrore non ea quae dicere debuerat turbatus animus expediat, sed fantasmate cogitationum aliorsum raptus, quae tacenda erant dicat at quod est consequens quae dicenda taceat..." Abbo Apologeticus, London, BM 10972, f.15v; ed. PL 139.461B (text in italics missing from PL edition).
169. Annales Elnonenses, cited above n. 35.
170. J. Fried reintroduced this text, underlining the allusions to apocalyptic prophecies ("Endzeiterwartung," p.389f n.24).
171. Although this text has been available since 1844, "anti-Terrors" historians never cite it; on the contrary they assure the reader: "Open the contemporary annals, leaf through their writings... impossible to find the slightest allusion to the superstitious terrors of the year 1000" (Plaine, "Les pretendues," p. 148; also Lot, "Le mythe," p.647; et al.).
172. Cf. Plaine: "In order for the appearance of such strange [apocalyptic] visionaries [of the 960s] to have any significance, one would have to show that they formed a school, that they left behind disciples as fervent for the maintenance of their perverse doctrine as they were zealous in its propagation; but no one has been able to do that until now" ("Les pretendues," p.153).
173. Quinque libri historiarum, 1.1, ed. p. 2; written ca. 1035-1040 as a revision of his original (now lost) preface to the then-dead William of Volpiano.
174. Vita Willelmi Divionensis of Radulfus Glaber, 28; ed., PL 142, col. 718; Niethard Bulst, Deutsches Archiv, 30 (1974), p.485; France, p.294-7). This latter text is not considered by most "anti-Terrors" historians.
175. Quinque libri, 2.12.23.
176. McGinn, following the consensus of earlier scholarship, dates this development to the end of the eleventh century and the works of Rupert of Deutz (Visions of the End, p. 96).
177. At times historians, although they invoke the principle often enough, forget that the revisionary tendency of historians is to de-apocalypticize past events: see, for example, the curious argument of Bernard McGinn that the apocalyptic material concerning the First Crusade was a later addition: "Iter Sancti Sepulchri: The Piety of the First Crusaders," in Essays in Medieval Civilization, ed. Bede K. Lackner and Kenneth R. Philip (U of Texas, Austin, 1978), 33-71.
178. See above, n. 107.
179. Note that in the context of his millennial theme, Rodulfus tells us of a serious falling-out that he had with William of Volpiano, just as he was composing the third book (Vita Guillelmi, 13, ed. p.294, see below). Note also that this passage and the equally apocalyptic one on the year 1033 happen to be part of the two lost segments of the autograph manuscript, (France, p. lxxxii-lxxxvi). "Anti-Terrors" historians are quick to point out Glaber's lack of follow-through (e.g. Barbatti, "Der heilige Adalbert" [above n. 5], p. 131).
180. "Ces calamites, ces prodiges, ces apparitions d'heretiques [Glaber 2, 11-12] etaient autant d'occasions qui devaient permettre a un moine de parler de la fin des temps, si cette croyance eut ete une doctrine generale; cependant il n'en dit pas un mot, et il ouvre l'histoire du onzieme siecle sans manifester son etonnement de voir la vie du genre humain se prolonger" (J. Roy, L'an mille, p.175); similar remarks from La Salle de Rochemaure ("il passe paisiblement sur la derniere annee du Xe siecle"), Gerbert-Sylvestre II, p.513f; often ignored in discussions of Glaber (e.g., P. Orsi, L'anno mille, p.43f; P. Wolff, Awakening, p.116f).
181. F. Duval wrote: "Quelques auteurs [ont] falsifi[e] les textes. Tel [Camille] Flammarion, qui, dans la Fin du monde, ecrit: `[Duval accurate citation of the passage in question from Glaber].' Tout commentaire nous parait superflu" (Les terreurs, p.38). Ferdinand Lot added scorn to this false accusation: "Mais Flammarion vivait dans la lune ou dans un des mondes habites dont il proclamait la pluralite [Flammarion was an astronomer who predicted disastrous effects from Halley's comet in 1910]: c'est la, sans doute, qu'il trouva ces lignes qu'il met sous le nom de Raoul le Glabre. Nul manuscrit de cet auteur conserve sur cette terre ne renferme rien de pareil" (Lot, "Le mythe," p.653). Cf. BN.lat. 6190, f. 31.
182. McGinn, Visions of the End, pp.89-90. He cites none of Glaber's texts linking the year 1000 to apocalyptic themes, and reads his only text (about the pilgrimage of the millennium of the Passion) as a reassertion of Augustinian orthodoxy (cf. below n. 192).
183. See above nn. 32, 45. The same phenomenon is visible in Gregory's account of the "False Christ of Bourges" (above n. 46).
184. For 1003, the Annales sancti Benedicti floriacensis report the prodigies (BN lat. 5543, f.22; ed. MGH SS 2.255; PL 139.583, also Miracula s. Benedicti, 3.9; ed. de Certain (Paris, 1858), p.150-53. In 1005-1006 a devastating famine afflicted much of Western Europe, associated with apocalyptic portents in several texts: Annales Sangallienses by Hepidannus "Ecce fames qua per secla non saevior ulla" (MGH SS 1.81); Annales Leodinienses et Laubienses, MGH SS 4.18; Annales Quedlinbourgenses ad an. 1009 MGH SS 3.80; Annales Hildesheimenses, ad an.1006); Glaber, Quinque libri, 2.9 (5 years ca. 1001- 1006); Hugh of Flavigny (based on Glaber); Chronicon Turonensis ad an. 1006; Sigebert of Gembloux ad an. 1006. In May of 1006, a new star was sighted in heavens (Super Nova of 1006), at same time a chapelain of the Emperor converted to Judaism (Albert of Metz, De diversitate temporum, I, 6-7; II, 22-3 ed. MGH SS 4.704, 720-3; Annales Leodinienses et Laubienses, MGH SS 4.18; Annales Mosomagenses, MGH SS 3.161; Annales Beneventani, ibid., p.177; probably Glaber, Quinque libri, 3.3.9; Chronicon Venetum, MGH SS 7.36). B. Goldstein, "The Supernova of A.D. 1006," The Astronomical Journal 70 (1965): 105- 111.
185. A rain of blood was seen on Palm Sunday, 1009, and the sun turned a horrendous color red and failed to shine for three days, followed by a plague and death (Annales Quedlinbourgenses, MGH SS 3.80). In November of 1009, the chiliastic Moslem caliph Al Hakim (inspired by the super nova of 1006), destroyed the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem provoking an apocalyptic reaction in West including violent anti-Jewish outbursts (Glaber, Ademar, Annales Lemovicenses, ad an. 1010; Annales Beneventani, ad an. 1010, MGH SS 3.177); see Landes, "The Massacres." The following year Byrhtfirth wrote his Abbonian commentary on the computus emphasizing the passage of the 1000 years of the Apocalypse (above n. 108). Between 1012 and 1014 various prodigies and natural disasters provoked the expulsion of the Jews from Mainz and led some to believe that the world was "returning to its original chaos." (Annales Quedlinburgenses, MGH SS, 3.82-83; see also Alpert, De diversitate temporum [previous note]).
186. This reading would find support in Augustine's discussion of whether the 3 years would come before or after the 1000 years (De civ. Dei, 20.13).
187. Quinque libri, 3.3.13, ed. p. 116. As Thomas Head pointed out, the adjective Glaber used here was not albus, but candidus, a term with considerable apocalyptic resonance, especially from Cluny (Head and Landes, "Introduction," The Peace of God, pp. 11-12); cf. "Anti-Terrors" historians emphasis on Glaber's optimism as a disproof of apocalyptic (hence gloomy) expectations: e.g., John France, Rodulfus Glaber, opera, p. lxvi.
188. "Post salutiferum intemerate virginis partum millenarii numeri linea consummata et in quinto cardinalis ordinis loco et in eiusdem quarte ebdomade inicio clarum mane illuxit seculo" (Chronicon 6.1; ed. Holtzmann and Trillmich [Darmstadt, 1957], p.243 and n.7). The editors feel this is a paraphrase of a classical text by Persius Flaccus, but the similarities are limited: "Nempe haec adsidue. Iam clarum mane fenestras / intrat et augustus extendit lumine rimas" (Satires 3.1).
189. See R. Schmidt, "Aetates mundi. Die Weltalter als Gliederungsprinzip der Geschichte," Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, 67 (1956), 288-317; P. Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Los Angeles, 1969), chap.25; typical comment from Fredegar, Chronica, Prologue [ca.620], ed. Wallace Hadrill, The Fourth Book of the Chronicle (London, 1960), p.2.
190. See above n. 88.
191. Quinque libri historiarum 4.1.
192. Quinque, 4.4-6. This passage has often been taken out of context to argue against an apocalyptic reading (e.g. McGinn [above, n. 181], France, Rodulfus Glaber, p. lxiv); in fact a close reading reveals that both the pilgrims, and those sollititiores (i.e. concerned and conservative ecclesiastics) who opposed such a vast and uncontrolled expression of popular religiosity, thought in apocalyptic terms (see Landes, Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History, chap. 14).
193. It should be noted that although 33 had become the most widely accepted date for the Crucifixion, a strong case could have been made for any number from 29 to 33 from the chronographical traditions of the day (see Landes, "Lest the Millennium," p.196f n.226).
194. Edited together by Robert Bautier in La vie de Gauzlin par Andre de Fleury (Paris, 1975), pp.159-67. Although both cite previous cases in the historical record to predict coming difficulties and encourage people to reform their ways, neither makes any reference to the fact that a rain of blood constitutes the first of the "Fifteen Signs before Doomsday" (see analysis of J. Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.381-4; Landes, Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History, chap. 9).
195. Poitiers (St. Maixent, 1032); Vich (1033); Autun (1033); Amiens-Corbie (1033-36); Beauvais-Soissons (1024-36); see Hartmut Hoffmann, Gottesfriede und Treuga Dei (Stuttgart, 1964), pp.33-40; 54-69.
196. Alphonse V, king of Leon (May 5, 1027), Richard, duke of Normandy (August 23, 1027), William, count of Angouleme (April 6, 1028), Fulbert, bishop of Chartres (April 10, 1028), William V, duke of Aquitaine (January 31, 1030), Robert II, king of France (July 20, 1031).
197. See excerpts from his sermons written contemporaneously in Leopold Delisle, Notice sur les manuscrits autographes d'Ademar de Chabannes (Paris, 1895), pp.293-6. Note the apocalyptic references, and descriptions that come close to those of Michelet (who may well have read Ademar's manuscript at the then Bibliotheque Royale): "In tanto denique luctu et conculcatione Ecclesiae, quid pastoribus agendum sit, propheta indicat dicens... [he cites Joel I:13- 14, which calls for the priests to lead everyone in donning sackcloth and fasting, in crying out to the Lord]. Hoc multociens ab hac sancta Lemovicensi sede constitutum vidistis. Nam ob pravorum sevitiam refrenandam, ob conculcationem Ecclesiae et imminentes ab iracundia Dei plagas, laetaniae crebro indictae, triduanum more Ninivitarum ab epicsopo imperatum est jejunium, et congregatis sacerdotibus atque majoribus natu consilium juxta Dei velle initur, qualiter republica Deo auxiliante melioretur...." On the famine, there is further corroboration for Andrew of Fleury, Miracula s. Benedicti, 6.10, p.233.
198. On Ademar's apocalyptic concerns, see Landes, Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History, chaps. 5, 6, 11, 12, 15; Daniel Callahan, "The Peace of God, Apocalypticism, and the Council of Limoges of 1031," Revue benedictine, 101 (1991): 32-49.
199. Most of Ademar's final work gives the detailed minutes of debates at Peace councils in Aquitaine from 1029-32/3. Historians regularly quote the decisions as reflecting among the most radical measures adopted at such councils (e.g. on Interdict, see Edward Krehbiel, Interdict: Its History and its Operation [Washington, 1909], p.17). Ademar describes how the disasters of the early 1030s, compounded by an public excommunication (interdict) led to "cuncti principes eorum inter se invicem justitiam et pacem foederent in manibus episcoporum..." (L. Delisle, Notice, p.296).
200. Historia, 3.69.
201. "Hic est liber sanctissimi domni nostri MARCIALIS Lemovicensis, ex libris bonae memoriae Ademari grammatici. Nam postqum idem multos annos peregit in Domini servicio ac simul in monachico ordine, in ejusdem patris coenobio, profecturus Hierusalem ad sepulchrum Domini, nec inde reversurus, multos libros in quibus sudaverat eidem suo pastori ac nutritori reliquit, ex quibus hic est unus" (Leiden, Voss. 8o 15, f. 141v, written ca. 1050). Ademar was still in Angouleme in 1032.
202. A reference to Adso's "reges francorum"? (see above n. 98).
203. Miracula sancti Agili abbatis, 1, 3, ed. AASS August VI, p.588. The date is uncertain since the incident is also dated to the reign of Robert II (d.1031); but in any case, the fixation on a millennial date is beyond dispute: "...post mille a passione Domini volumina annorum. Ipso milenarii impleto anno, cum peracta quadragesimali observatione, sanctae Parasceves dies advenisset, visae sunt multis per loca multa in aere igneae acies, prodigioso visu corda se intuentium perterrentes. Extemplo fama (malum, quo non aliud velocius ullum mobilitate viget) multorum perculit aures..."
204. See above n. 42.
205. F. Plaine, "Les pretendues," p.157.
206. The argument extends beyond this issue: one finds the same rhetoric and methodology used in the efforts to de-eschatologize Jesus: Marcus Borg, "A Tempered Case for a Non-Eschatological Jesus," Society for Biblical Literature: Seminar Papers, 25 (1986), 521-35 or to de-mutate the year 1000: see Barthelemy, above n. 13.
207. For an example of the boldness with which Augustine reversed the previous understanding of Revelation, see his remarks on the millennial kingdom of peace as a "kingdom at war with its enemies" (De civ. Dei, 20.9).
208. All the citations in italics are from F. Lot, "Le mythe des terreurs de l'an mille." On the contempt that Jerome and Augustine both expressed for the judaizing, carnal, literal-minded fools who believe in an earthly millennium, see Leon Gry, Le millenarisme dans ses origines et son developpement (Paris, 1904), pp.118-29.
209. De la Salle de Rochemaure, describes Andrew of Fleury's account of the famine of 1031-1032 in the Loire valley (also reported by Glaber in Burgundy and Ademar in Aquitaine [above nn. 192, 197]), as "un malheur tout local circonscrit a la Bourgogne," Gerbert/Sylvestre, p.509; Goffart describes Gregory of Tours' "false Christ," whose followers according to Gregory "acquired great influence over the common people... in various parts of Gaul..." [above n. 46], as a "local nuisance," Narrators of Barbarian History, p. 187.
210. This may be why the "anti-Terrors" historians do not even feel they need to mention the entry in the Saint-Amand annals for 1000 (above, n. 35).
211. See above on Glaber, n. 180.
212. See above on Halphen and the Angevin annals, n. 118.
213. In his notes to Glaber's Quinque libri historiarum, E. Pognon has numerous passages to explain away: here Glaber speaks of the year 1000 and prodigies... (Preface) "but not the end of the world" (L'an mille, p.267, n.4); there he links prodigies and end of the world... (1.5) "but no mention of the year 1000" (p.169 n.39-40); here Glaber cites Revelation 20:4 about Satan unleashed at the end of 1000 years in the year 1000 AD (2.12) "but he makes no mention of the end of the world[!?]" (p.271 n.68), finally Glaber puts prodigies, end of the world and the 1000 years together... (4.4-6) "but it is the year 1000 since the Passion" (p.274, n.142, p.275, n.153).
214. McC.Gatch explains that Wulfstan dropped his references to Antichrist in his later works not because he was forced to alter his eschatological expectation after the passage of 1000, but possibly because he found it too "facile and not very useful" (Preaching and Theology, p.114); similarly F. Lot attributes the disappearance of apocalyptic preambles from Cluny's charters ca. 984 because "the scribe who liked them died or changed jobs and his replacement preferred others" ("Le mythe," p.649).
215. Giry considers apocalyptic preambles "nothing more than the banal expression of the Christian doctrine on the proximity of the end of the world" (A. Giry, Manuel de diplomatique (Paris, 1894), p.544; Topfer also considers such sentiments too banal to include in serious historical analysis (Volk und Kirche zur Zeit des beginninden Gottesfriedensbewegung im Frankreich (Berlin, 1957) pp.81-83), a point F. Paxton paraphrased by calling apocalypticism "as common as lice" in the Middle Ages ("History, Historians and the Peace of God," in The Peace of God, p.28), an image taken up by J. Nelson to criticize my suggestion that the Peace had a significant chiliastic dimension (see below, n. 227) in her review: Speculum, 69 (1994): 165.
216. To extend the metaphor, some lice carry typhus; mild cases should not be confused with epidemic infestations.
217. Plaine, "Les pretendues terreurs," p.149; Lot, "Le mythe," p.647.
218. "Ce moine, infiniment curieux mais credule, instable, gyrovague, psychopathe, qui vit dans la familiarite du diable..." Bautier, "L'Heresie d'Orleans et le mouvement intellectuel au debut du XIe siecle: documents et hypotheses", Actes du 95e Congres national des societes savantes, (Section de philologie et d'histoire jusqu'a 1610, 1975) p.67.
219. "L'homme a la tete froide, raconte les choses avec clarte... Le surnaturel est present dans don oeuvre, mais les "signes dans le ciel" sont annonces par lui en general avec une etonnante sobriete d'expression, il n'entend jamais y insister..." (Labande, "L'historiographie de la France de l'Ouest au Xe et XIe siecles", La Storiografia altomedievale (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo 17, 1970),p. 788. Pognon likes to contrast the two (L'an mille, pp. xliv, 148-149)
220. Landes, Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits, chap. 4, 6, 14-15.
221. See Callahan, "The Council of 1031," pp. 39-49; "Fioloque," pp. 116-129; "Ademar of Chabannes, Millennial Fears and the Development of Western AntiJudaism," Journal of Ecclesiastical History (forthcoming); the author has announced further studies in progress. Partly owing to the lack of interest they elicited in Ademar's editors, most of these passages have not been readily available to historians assessing his beliefs on the issue. In 1896 L. Delisle excerpted several passages out of Ademar's sermons expressing this apocalyptic vision of contemporary events, one of which sounds like Michelet paraphrased it for his description of the year 1000 (Notice, p.293-296, from BN.lat. 2469 ff. 96-97).
222. Ademar systematically used the imagery of Revelation in describing the cult of St. Martial; but he also applied it to current events: e.g. the interdict proclaimed by the Peace Councils of 1031 produced the "silence" of the seventh seal (BN.lat. 2469 f. 96; ed. Delisle, Notice sur les manuscrits autographes, p. 295).
223. In reference to Glaber's material on the year 1000: Emile Gebhardt, Moines et papes: Essais de psychologie historique [Paris, n.d.], p.60f).
224. Landes, Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History, chap. 15.
225. See also J. Fried's discussion of this issue ("Endzeiterwartung," pp.470-3.
226. Earlier drafts of this essay have received criticism for attacking lesser historians like G.L. Burr, Dom Plaine, La Salle de Rochemaure, E. Pognon, et al.; but these men and their arguments are cited repeatedly by major historians dealing with the early eleventh century [see above, nn. 6, 9, 11, 14, 21]. Note among just francophone scholars: Christian Pfister, A. Giry, Ferdinand Lot, Louis Halphen, Henri Pirenne, Marc Bloch, Jacques Le Goff, Robert Fossier, Pierre Riche, Jean Delumeau, et al.
227. It is a little-noticed fact that Roger Bonnaud-Delamare's dissertation on the Peace of God placed the movement specifically in the context of the apocalyptic expectations surrounding the two years 1000 ("L'idee de la Paix au XIe siecle" [Dissertation, Ecole des Chartes, 1941], pp.74-86), briefly reasserted in his "Les fondements des institutions de paix au XIe siecle," in Melanges d'histoire du moyen age dedies a Louis Halphen (Paris, 1951), pp.19- 26; criticized by Topfer for its excessive reliance on ideological [sic] motivations (above n.201). On the millennial aspects of the Peace Movement in Limoges, see Daniel Callahan, "The Peace of God, Apocalypticism, and the Council of Limoges of 1031," Revue benedictine, 101 (1991): 32-49; and R. Landes, "Between Aristocracy and Heresy: Popular Participation in the Limousin Peace of God (994-1032)"," in The Peace of God: Religion and Violence in France around the Year 1000, edited with an introduction by Thomas Head and Richard Landes (Ithaca, 1992), pp.199-205.
228. Cf. "Ces excessives miseres briserent les coeurs [des guerriers] et leur rendirent un peu de douceur et de pitie. Ils mirent le glaive dans le fourreau, trembants eux-memes sous le glaive de Dieu... c'est ce qu'on appela la paix, plus tard la treve de Dieu" (J. Michelet, Le Moyen Age, p.231); with "Le monde de l'eglise, est il inquiet? Dans son ensemble, il ne parait guere... Les conciles sont frequents. En France ils se succedent: a Charroux (989), a Narbonne (990), au Puy-en-Velay (990), a Anse (994), a Poitiers (1000) [all of these are Peace Councils]..." (Lot, "Le mythe," p.646).
229. See most recently, R. Landes, "La vie apostolique en Aquitaine au tournant du millennium: Paix de Dieu, culte de reliques et communautes `heretiques'," Annales, 46:3 (1991), 573-93; and Malcolm Lambert, Medieval Heresy (London, 2nd ed. rev. 1992), chap.1. Also, above, n. 28.
230. On Glaber, see above, p. **; on Ademar, see above p. **.
231. In particular see Lea Dasberg, Untersuchungen uber die Entwertung des Judenstatus im 11. Jahrhundert (Paris, 1965); Hans Liebeschutz, Synagoga und Ecclesia: Religionsgeschichtliche Studien uber die Auseinandersetzung der Kirche mid dem Judentum im Hochmittelalter (Heidelberg, 2nd ed. 1983); and R.I. Moore, The Formation of a Persecuting Society (Oxford, 1987), pp.27-45, 147- 52. Specifically on the incidents of 1009-1010, see J. Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," p.469f; R. Landes, "The Massacres of 1010: On the Origins of Popular Anti-Jewish Violence in Western Europe," in From Witness to Witchcraft: Jews and Judaism in Medieval Christian Thought, ed. Jeremy Cohen (Wolfenbuttel: Wolfenbuttler Mittelalterlichen-Studien, forthcoming); Callahan, "Ademar of Chabannes, Millennial Fears."
232. On the pilgrimage of 1033, see above, n. 192; more generally, see B. Topfer, "Reliquienkult und Pilgerbewegung" [n.86]; and Ludwig Schmugge, "'Pilgerfahrt macht frei' -- Eine These zur Bedeutung des mittelalterlichen Pigerwesens," Romische Quartalschrift, 74:1-2 (1979): 16-31.
233. For a survey of religio-political reform activity around the year 1000, see John Howe, "The Nobility's Reform of the Medieval Church," American Historical Review, 93 (1988): 317-39; for the apocalyptic element in Church reform, see Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.438-470. Note that Michelet saw the attendance of knights at the Peace Councils as a response to such fears (above, n. 228).
234. On Ademar's and Glaber's reports of visions of a weeping Crucifix, see Landes, Relics, Apocalypse, and the Deceits of History, chap.14. On the "Holy Foreskin" which first appears in the mid-eleventh century, see G. Chapeau, "Les grandes reliques de l'abbaye de Charroux, Etude d'histoire et d'archeologie," Bulletin de la societe des antiquaires de l'Ouest, ser. 3, 8 (1928): 101-28. On the Crucifix, see the remarks of Georges Duby, L'an Mil, pp.222-26; Stephen Nichols Jr., Romanesque Signs, Early Medieval Narrative and Iconography (New Haven, 1983), pp.110-19; J. Fried, "Endzeiterwartung," pp.451-61.
235. On Kasemann, see above n. 47. This is the subject of my current book project: Whilst God Tarried: Disappointed Millennialism and the Genealogy of the West (Basic Books).