The decades around A.D. 1000 marked a chaotic turning point in European history; Ireland, England, and France were helpless against the ravages of the seagoing Vikings; the fierce Hungarian Magyars laid waste to Germany and Italy; the Moors ruled Spain and threatened the remnants of Charlemagne's vast domain; and a corrupt and decrepit papacy was being overshadowed by glorius Byzantium. The old order was crumbling, and confusing new ideas were gaining hold, convincing many Europeans that the apocalypse was upon them. And then, suddenly, the tide turned.
James Reston, Jr.'s The Last Apocalypse is an enthralling popular history of how, at the turn of the last millennium, threatened Christian kingdoms converted, conquered, and slaughtered their way to dominance, and by doing so ushered in a new civilization. Flavored with a nearly magical sensibility, Reston's vivid and exciting account brings back to life the heroes, the rulers, and the warrior kings who battled for the soul of Europe, and reflects mirror images of the chaos surrounding the close of our own millennium.
Accomplished historical author James Reston, Jr., presents the enthralling saga of how the Christian kingdoms converted, conquered, and slaughtered their way to dominance in Europe as the year 1000 approached.
Through Reston's brilliant narrative and engaging portraits of the unforgettable historical characters who embodied the struggle for the soul of Europe, students are introduced to a pivotal period in history during which an old order was crumbling, and terrifying, confusing new ideas were gaining hold in the populace. From the righteous fury of the Viking queen Sigrid the Strong-Minded, who burned unwanted suitors alive; to the brilliant but too-cunning Moor, al-Mansur the Illustrious Victor; to the aptly named English king Ethelred the Unready; to the abiding genius of the age, Pope Sylvester IIwarrior kings and concubine empresses, maniacal warriors and religious zealots bring this stirring period to life.