An even more likely explanation is that this was not of Christian origin, but Jewish. The diaspora spread far and wide, was more numerous at the time, and certainly had a longer time to get there.
Here, is a kabbalistic reference to the same time of item:
Could very well be. I don't know when the Ashkenazim first formed as a group in northern Europe, but they could have been the Jews who fled the Middle East at the end of the first century AD.