The Quest for the City / AD 740 to AD 1100 / Pursuing the Next World, They Founded this One / Volume Six of The Christians: Their First Two Thousand Years History Series
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Volume 6: A.D. 740 to 1100
Pursuing the Next World, They Founded this One
By the late first millennium, Christianity was caught between a hammer and an anvil – renewed barbarian attacks from the north, while fending off Islam from the south. From the remote fjords of Scandinavia came the best seamen the world had ever seen – the terrifying pagan Vikings, ravaging and plundering coastlands and river settlements as far distant as Byzantium. From the northeast descended the savage Magyars, kinfolk of the old Huns. Yet despite this, medieval Christendom slowly emerged, ruled by impressive kings such as Charlemagne and Alfred the Great, and built in large part by thousands of men and women drawn to monasteries and convents. These monks and nuns sought chiefly what Augustine and the Bible had called the “City of God” – whence the title of this book – but by their patient, selfless labor they laid the foundation of Europe. Meanwhile, evangelistic missions converted the last untamed tribes to the north and east.