History, University of Nottingham
My thesis is concerned with how people understood the apocalypse, and in particular, the apocalyptic beasts, in fourteenth-century England. I aim to survey a variety of sources, but at the forefront of this will be an emphasis on the use of Apocalypse Commentaries which use the Book of Revelation as a basis for their understandings of apocalypse. In particular, the survey will include several Latin Berengaudus commentaries, the anonymous Lollard Opus Arduum and Henry of Cossey’s Commentary on Revelation.
Central to my research in an emphasis on cross-time reception, where writings which were first conceived in earlier centuries were passed down and copied throughout the fourteenth century. This can be particularly seen with the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, a ‘prophecy’ which predicts the rise of the Last World Emperor before the fall of the world and the Last Judgement. This text has often be studied with in the context of its creation, but little has been achieved in terms of resituating this text in later centuries, where it achieved fame among a wide audience.
Finally, this project hopes to synthesise history, apocalypicism and art history together in order to gain an insight into all levels of fourteenth-century English society, rather than an emphasis solely on the elites.