Ademar of Chabannes, 989-1034

A Brief History of Ademar's Life

Born of noble parentage in northern Limousin, Ademar entered either the monestary of Saint-Cybard of Angouleme or that of Saint-Martial of Limoges but soon moved to the latter, where he studied under his uncles Adalbert the deacon and Roger the cantor.  There he formed a great devotion to the patron saint, Martial, thought to be a younger cousin of Simon Peter.  At this time, Ademar had a vision of Christ, crucified on a celestial cross, weeping over the city of Limoges.

Ademar eventually moved to Angouleme, where he pursued a career as a grammarian, artist, composer, and scriptotium master.  During this time he oversaw the publishing of many works, such as Commemoratio abbatum s. Martialis, a history of the abbots of Saint-Martial, and a Historia of the contemporary Christian world.  He attended the debates held concerning the apostolic cult at the Peace council (1028-1031CE). In the final years of his life Ademar made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he died in 1034 CE.

The Importance of Ademar to Apocalypticism

Ademar was not only a very pious and devout man, but he also spent his life composing histories of the important events around him.  Unlike his fellow historian, Rodulfus Glaber of Burgundy, whose histories were somewhat more outlandish and filled with the concern of being pursued by the devil, Ademar had a true devotion especially to St. Martial.  However, Ademar did record some of the apocalyptic signs that occurred during the years 1009 & 1010 CE.  These accounts are taken from passages of the Gospels, the Book of Revelation, and other contemporary religious texts.  The following list is one of the most important pieces of evidence that there were apocalyptic concerns around this time.

Apocalyptic Signs and Ademar's Description of 1009 -1010

Sign or Prodigy Gospels Revelation  Other Apocalyptic Lit.
Signs in heavens* Matt 24:29-30
Mark 13:24-25
Luke 21:11,25
8:12; etc.
Bede 70.17-30
(Gregory I)
Droughts . 11:6 .
Wild swings in nature . . Adso 68-72
Plagues and famines* Matt 24:7
Mark 13:8
Luke 21:25
6:2-6; 11:6 Ps. Meth. 11, 13
Gregory I
Eclipses of sun & moon* Matt 24:29
Mark 13:24 
Luke 21:25
8:12  Ps. Meth. 14
Tib. Sibyl.
Bede 70.22-31
Destruction of temple*
Jerusalem by Antichrist
Matt 24:2, 15
Mark 13:2, 14
Luke 21:6, 20
11:2  Ps. Meth. 14
Bede 69.18-22
Adso 55-60
Conversion of Jews to
Rom. 11:25-27 . Bede 69
Adso 153-163
Christianity betrayed
by Jews
. . Adso 145-150
Tempests, lightning, etc.* . 8:5; 11:19  Gregory I
Bede 70.69-72
Dried up river . 16:12  Tib. Sibyl
Bede 70.39
Adso 70-71
Source:  Richard Landes. Relics, Apocalypse and the Deceits of History: Ademar of Chabannes, 989-1034.

*See the following artwork associated with the marked signs inspired from the passages in the Book of Revelation:

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