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A.D. 1000: A World on the Brink of Apocalypse

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  10 reviews

It is the onej-thousandth year of Christianity. The end of the millennium is fast approaching, and with it the nightmare visions of Armageddon and the Apocalypse. Europe is wracked by war, famine, carnage,a nd pestilence. Madness plagues the continent.

Tracing the career of briliant visionary Pope Sylvester II, Richard Erdoes has composed a vivid tapestry of a century frigh

Paperback, 284 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Ulysses Press (first published November 1st 1988)
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Brady Parkhurst
This book gave me a real sense of life in the middle ages. It made me realize that so much of what I thought I knew about the middle ages was really just interpretations, or guesses at the truth, that I had made after watching or reading fiction. Most of what I thought I knew was just myth. Here is a passage regarding the Truce of God laws (the laws that latter mythology called "chivalry"):

"Among deeds abhorrent and unlawful were listed: fighting on the sabbath and holy days, killing or maiming
Bob Mustin
The era this book presents has become a fascination for this reader, partly because of its similarity to the era we post-year 2000 people find ourselves in, and partly because of the drama its history has given us.

Erdoes fashions his story about one Gerbert, a French peasant priest who became the brightest intellect in Post-Roman Empire Europe and who later became Pope. Erdoes welcomes us to an age fraught with superstition, violence, poverty, famine, and social conflict – an age most people of
The title is rather misleading as the book is more a biography of Gerbert of Aurillac, who became Pope Sylvester II, and a general look at the tenth century with focus on the Ottonian Dynasty whom founded the Holy Roman Empire.

Sadly it is a bit dated in that the author perpetuates the myths of spices being desired for spoiled meat and the propensity of medieval folk to relieve themselves wherever the need came upon them. People in the Middle Ages did not eat spoiled food anymore than modern peop
Tony Daniel
Actually more about the life and times of Pope Silvester II, who brought Arabic numbers and algebra from Moorish Spain into Christendom, built his own astrolabes and accurate sundials, and who knew quite well that the Earth was round. He was also a great scholar of the ancient authors and generally one of the pioneers who helped the West climb from its Dark Age after the fall of the Roman Empire. An uneven read, more notes toward a book than a book. Erdoes, a Euro-transplant to New Mexico, was b ...more
I love reading about insane times like this period because it reminds me that society is highly susceptible to irrationalism on a large scale and that nothing should ever replace your own mental ability to think clearly, make your own decisions, and act wisely. Even if that means separating yourself from the group and appearing to be stupid for doing so.
Interesting book, but it gets too deep into international Medieval politics at times, zipping through kings and bishops and battles so quickly I had a lot of trouble remembering one from another. When Erdoes slows down and focuses on one subject, it's really interesting.
An interesting means of describing Europe in 1000 AD. The central story is a biography of Pope Sylvester II; but the focus is on the incidental detail of his world. Clever and easy to read.
A lot of interesting "fun facts" about the barbarity of the 10th Century, but the book was ultimately rather disjointed and disappointing.
Steve Horton
This book reminded me of James Reston Jr's "The Last Apocalypse", although it has enough original material to stand on its own merits.
Not as good as I was hoping.
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