Millennium: Waiting for the end, Part 1 of 2

Apocalypse tapestry showing the Eagle of Doom, Jean Bondol, 1370’s (©Wikipedia)

In Western Christian culture, the arrival of a millenium, a one-thousand-year milestone measuring the time since the birth of Jesus Christ, is a date of great psychological significance. This programme, made as the second millennium was coming to an end, looks at how one thousand years before, in the noteworthy year of 1000 AD, people during the European Middle Ages expected a major turning point in history to occur: the end of all times, and not a pretty one. Today we also look into the future and make optimistic as well as pessimistic predictions about big turning points in the history of civilisation. What were people thinking then, and how does that compare with how we think about this millennium?

Producer: Hélène Michaud

Broadcast: December 20, 1996