In 1890s, a number of historians observed that the approach of the year 1000 in Europe had been accompanied by fears about the end of the world. These fears were fed by the Church, which apparently wanted Christians to believe that they could secure their places in paradise by transferring their property to the clergy. Many Christians did so, there by securing the church’s power base for years to come. It is not difficult to imagine that this caused a sensation, and that the Church angrily denied that anything of the kind ever took place.
All these events were meticulously recorded by the monks, who were the chroniclers of history during the Middle Ages. The various disasters and strange celestial occurrences certainly seemed to confirm the apocalyptic predictions of the Church. Raoul Glaber, a monk from the abbey of Cluny in central France, wrote around 1050; ‘ After all the signs and wonders which occurred before or after the year 1000 of our Lord, there was no shortage of innovative people who predicted no less important events for the thousandth return of the passion of the Lord. And indeed there is no doubt that signs were manifest… they fulfilled the prophecy of John, which states that Satan shall be let loose after a thousand years’
The expectation of the thousand year reign of Christ on earth before the end of the world is known as Chilism and was a wide spread belief in the first centuries of Christianity. According to this doctrine,, the souls of the just will be resurrected and will rule with the Messiah, then, Satan will be freed for a short time, and the end of the world will follow.