One thousand years before the Y2K hysteria the approaching end of the First Millenium C.E. was also greeted with a panic that the end of the world was at hand. Officially, the church pointed out that people were “irrational, shit-brained assholes” (I’m paraphrasing) for believing that Christ would return on New Year’s Day of the year 1,000.
Regardless of that word from Rome, thousands of knights, serfs and children began traveling toward Jerusalem, convinced that the time of the 2nd Coming was at hand. Many died on the way, of course, but on the arrival of the New Millenium the survivors climbed Mt Zion, expecting their Messiah to kick off his Victory Tour there. Nothing happened, naturally, and eventually the pilgrims drifted back home. Later in the year disease, famine and the Huns were on the loose, with the Apocalyptic-minded ever-ready to claim the incidents were “proof” that the world really would end in the year 1,000. I’ll let you know if it really did or not next time, but I couldn’t resist a cliffhanger ending.
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