Month: February 2014

Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages: The Book

It has taken a while but it is now agreed that my The Apocalypse in the Early Middle Ages is to published soon by Cambridge University Press. Happily, it seems that the book will come out simultaneously in paperback and hardback. The press have yet to set a release date – there’s some copy-editing needs doing first – but it’s all getting there.


To give a sense of the book’s coverage, here’s the running order:

Introduction: How the World Ends

Debating the Apocalyptic

A Question of Methodology


Chapter One: The End of Civilisation (c. AD 380 – c. AD 575)

The Eschatology of Empire

The Apocalyptic Other vs The Roman Empire

Millenarianism, AD 500, and the First ‘Crisis of the Year 6000’

The Coming Judgement


Chapter Two: The New Urgency (c. AD 550 – c. AD 604)

New Directions under Gregory the Great

Gregory of Tours’ Ecclesia Dei


Chapter Three: The Ends of Time and Space (c. AD 600 – c. AD 735)

Columbanus and the Ends of the Earth

Isidore’s Final Countdown and the Way Back to Millenarianism

The Heretical Bede


Chapter Four: Pseudo-Methodius and the Problem of Evil (c. AD 680 – c. AD 800)

A World Crisis and Pseudo-Methodius

The Early Reception of Petrus Monachus’ Translation

The Moral Use of Apocalypse

Chapter Five: Charlemagne, Pater Europae (c. AD 750 – c. 820)

The Rebirth of Empire

Counting to 6,000 Again

Heresy and the ‘Precursors of Antichrist’


Chapter Six: A Golden Age in Danger (c. AD 820 – c. AD 911)

Accumulated Apocalypticisms

The New Empire

Outsiders of the End Times


Chapter Seven: The Year 1000 and Other Apocalypticisms (c. AD 911 – c. AD 1033)

Counting to 1000

Adso and the Restabilisation of the West

The Rise of the Sibyls

Otto III and Imperial Spirituality

Wulfstan’s England in Crisis

Peace and Revolution in France


The End (c. AD 400-c. AD 1033)

What is the End?


Imperial Apocalyptic

Outsiders, Identity and Reform

Apocalypse and Authority in the Early Middle Ages

Cubitt RHistS Lecture on Y1K in England

Continuing the recent progress with studies of the apocalyptic in the early Middle Ages,

Prof Katy Cubitt from the University of York will be talking about “Apocalyptic Thinking in England around the Year 1000” at University College London, this coming Friday evening (details here).

I heard an early version of the paper before in Frankfurt and it certainly moves things forward, challenging the more cautious analyses of Keynes and Godden. It’s all more complicated than a simple ‘Fear of the Year 1000’ – there’s reform to be done, politics of penance to play out, the providential scourge of the vikings to consider, and lots of apocalyptic rhetoric.

Prof Katy Cubitt

Prof Katy Cubitt

It will be interesting to see how Prof Cubitt’s arguments sit with Dr Levi Roach‘s, as he has an article forthcoming in English Studies on a similar theme. Okay, I’ve seen a draft of this too – the two scholars are not so far away from each other, and both present a more nuanced picture of the role of apocalyptic thinking in late Anglo-Saxon politics and society than we’ve seen previously.