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.
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