Steven F. Wonser (Western Oregon University)
Department of History senior seminar thesis paper, Western Oregon University (2013)
In many recent years, there have been many different interpretations when it comes to people’s visions on the end of the world, and just how it is going to happen. In the movie 2012 for example, it was imagined that the world would suffer from a global catastrophe, resulting in mass flooding and general destruction, and in the 2010 video-game Darksiders, the apocalypse was envisioned as a grand scale war between Heaven and Hell on Earth, focusing primarily on War, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and his involvement in the cataclysmic aftermath of the apocalypse. These notions are not new however, as humans continually fear our end as a species, and were very apparent during and in the years leading up to the year 1000 A.D.
In this essay, we will be focusing on this millenarian belief, which historians have fixated on debating as to whether or not these apocalyptical beliefs at the year 1000 were a widespread occurrence at this time, and if so to what extent. In this essay, we will be looking at the way in which language was used by medieval historian-monks and high ranking religious officials to contribute to the increase of apocalyptic tensions, and also the way that historians have written about these religious figures.