• Corpus ID: 188415260

“Who Now Shall Believe That Liar, Merlin?”: The Prophecies of Merlin in History

  title={“Who Now Shall Believe That Liar, Merlin?”: The Prophecies of Merlin in History},
  author={Megan L. Cairns},
This research article examines Merlin's prophecies and how their political use has shifted from one of belief and of direct political significance, to general disbelief. It examines how the use of prophecy exploited the prestige of King Arthur and Merlin. Tactics used to take advantage of this prestige ranged from rulers claiming blood relation to King Arthur to learned men interpreting existing prophecies. Sources, such as Wace, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and modern day novelists, are used to… 


Where Wace Feared to Tread: Latin Commentaries on Merlin's Prophecies in the Reign of Henry II
Political rather than aesthetic considerations led Wace to omit Merlin's prophecies from the Roman de Brut (c. 1155). Anti-Norman overtones in John of Cornwall's Prophetia Merlini (c. 1153-54)
Rationalizing the Irrational: Merlin and His Prophecies in the Modern Historical Novel
Merlin's magical powers are usually rationalized in modern historical fiction. His visions of the future, however, remain prophetic, even when they are aided by his own inspired guesswork and
Political protest and prophecy under Henry VIII
Part 1 The political prophecy in England: origin and development methods influence. Part 2 Trials and examinations of the 1530s: background early warnings and strange doings dangerous precedents the
‘an Arður sculde Ʒete cum’: The Prophetic Hope in Twelfth-Century Britain
This article reads LaƷamon’s postulation of a messianic return by King Arthur to aid the English within the contexts of Norman-Latin historiography and Welsh political prophecies. Though LaƷamon is
Merlin in Cornwall: The Source and Contexts of John of Cornwall's Prophetia Merlini
The twelfth century witnessed the heyday of the Merlinic prophecy as a topic of special—and sometimes even obsessive—interest among European literati. The publication of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s
The Topical Concerns of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britannie: History, Prophecy, Peacemaking, and English Identity in the Twelfth Century
  • P. Dalton
  • History, Economics
    The Journal of British Studies
  • 2005
T Historia Regum Britannie (Historia) of Geoffrey of Monmouth has been described as ‘‘one of the most influential books of history that has ever been written,’’ and the man who produced it as ‘‘among
The Prophetie Merlini, Animal Symbolism, and the Development of Political Prophecy in Late Medieval England and Scotland
Geoffrey of Monmouth's Prophetie Merlini influenced the writers of late medieval political prophecy by demonstrating how animal symbolism could add obscurity and flexibility to prophetic discourse.
Religion and the Decline of Magic. Studies in popular beliefs in sixteenth and seventeenth century England . By Keith Thomas. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1971. Pp. xviii + 716. £8.
To name but a few: Sir Anthony Browne's age is twice given incorrectly (he was born on 29 June 1500); Sir Anthony Denny and Sir William Herbert, the Chief Gentlemen of the Privy Chamber, are
The Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend
Introduction Bibliography of Basic Resources for the Study of the Arthurian Legends 1. Early Accounts of Arthur, Chronicles, and Historical Literature 2. The Romance Tradition 3. Malory, his