Being a Catholic Christian in Early Medieval Europe however, meant something different than it does today. Early Christians didn’t immediately forget their pagan heritage, instead they wound the belief in demons and evil spirts around Christian teachings, often continuing old practices hand in hand with Christian sacrament. Medieval depictions of Hell and eternal damnation were meant to terrify and doom paintings featured in the early churches. Life was brutal and short, the average life expectancy of a man was 31 (the same as during the Industrial Revolution). Every bad thing that happened; plague, pestilence, war, famine, drought etc. was believed to be down to the sins of the individual, which was a state they were born into. Life on Earth was a penance, a stepping stone to Heaven and salvation.

In the period before the millennium, Christian outposts in Europe were struggling against wave after wave of invaders,