History, prophecy and the Apocalypse in the chronicles of Matthew Paris

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-283
Number of pages31
JournalEnglish Historical Review
Volume133
Issue number561
Early online date29 Mar 2018
DOI
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2018
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Abstract

This article offers the first comprehensive investigation into the role of prophecy in the writings of the English Benedictine artist, mapmaker and chronicler Matthew Paris (c.1200–1259). It takes his accounts of visions, dreams, prophetic texts and other prognostic incidents as the starting-point for an exploration of Matthew’s conception of truth and of his understanding of the relationship between the natural and the supernatural, and between history and prophecy. In the process, it challenges widely held assumptions about the role of eschatological thinking in Matthew’s approach to the past, and suggests implications for our understanding of ideas about prophecy and the Apocalypse in the intellectual, literary and religious culture of high medieval Europe.