The Middle Ages inherited from antiquity a tradition of prophecy and gave it new life. This tradition foretold a millennium in which humanity would enjoy a new paradise on earth, free from suffering and sin. This is the story of those millenarian fanaticisms, and points to their persistence in the modern era.
Norman Cohn held the Astor-Wolfson Chair at the University of Sussex until his retirement in 1980. He is the author of Warrant for Genocide, for which he received the Anisfield Wolf Award in Race Relations.