Some allusions to the importance of the thousand year period are made in Old English literature, for example in Wulfstan's Homily V - Secundum Marcum: 'Now it must of necessity become very evil, because this time is coming quickly, just as it is written and has long been prophesied: "After a thousand years Satan will be unleashed." That is in English, after a thousand years Satan will be unbound. A thousand years and also more have now passed since Christ was among people in human form, and now Satan's bonds are very loose, and Antichrist's time is well at hand.'Click for footnote

Most texts, like the Blickling Homily XClick for footnote, explain the nearness of the end of this world with signs, though. Events that could be interpreted as signs of doom can be found throughout the entire Anglo-Saxon period. Continuous wars between the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were exchanged for centuries of war with Viking invaders. Ælfric and Wulfstan preached in the middle of the monastic reform, a movement that fought against the lack of faith, which accompanied the downfall of English monasticism parallel to the Viking raids. Plagues, hunger, earthquakes and celestial tokens have played a role important enough to be mentioned recurrently throughout the Anglo-Saxon chronicle. (Click here for examples)

In short, reminders of the apocalypse were omnipresent for the Anglo-Saxon writers. Writers, who were members of a society that believed strongly in the transience of this world and hoped - or feared - a judgement that would bring ultimate reward or punishment.

The Thief in the Night Signs of Doom Anglo-Saxon Expectations