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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:54266
Doc. No:TL24220
Call number:‭3180021‬
Main Entry:Michael Alan Ryan
Title & Author:That the truth may be known: Prophecy and society in the late medieval Crown of AragonMichael Alan Ryan
College:University of Minnesota
Date:2005
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2005
Page No:273
Abstract:In 1349, the Aquitanian Franciscan John of Rupescissa (d. 1364) stood trial for heresy because he exhibited visionary behavior. To prove his innocence, which he gained, he wrote a work entitled the Liber Secretorum Eventuum or The Book of Secret Events. Rupescissa related how he had a vision that the Antichrist would soon wreak havoc upon the world. He outlined the course of the future and demonstrated his access to a body of privileged knowledge that he shared with his readers so that they could prepare themselves. This dissertation offers some translations and analyses of works by visionaries that powerful people read in the late medieval Crown of Aragon. It begins with an exploration of the uneasy position that divination and prophets occupied within medieval society and culture. Chapter Two is a translation and study of the Liber Secretorum Eventuum, as well as a discussion on the life of Rupescissa. Chapter Three is a translation and study of one prophetic poem from Anselm Turmeda (d.1432), a Franciscan from Majorca who moved to Tunis and converted to Islam. In Tunis, Turmeda wrote a prophecy poem in which he used astrology to predict the future resolution of the crisis of the Great Western Schism (1378–1417), a fundamental rupture of Christendom. Chapter Four is a study of the life and writings of the notary Bernat Metge (d. 1413). While under house arrest, Metge wrote a dream allegory, Lo Somni, in which he criticized the dead count-king Joan I (d. 1395) for being excessively interested in astrology and divination. Chapter Five is a study of the astrological and divinatory proclivities of Joan I, as contrasted with the pious practices of his younger brother and successor, Martí I (d. 1410). My principal argument is that although prophetic texts offered access to privileged knowledge, they nonetheless occupied a problematic space within late medieval culture. Some members of the kingdom's elite who read these texts considered themselves intelligent enough to do so without suffering consequences. However, other people criticized their interest in divining future events and argued that it was both foolish and damnable.
Subject:Social sciences; Astrology; Crown of Aragon; Medieval; Prophecy; Society; Spain; Middle Ages; European history; 0335:European history; 0581:Middle Ages
Added Entry:W. D. Phillips, Jr.; Phillips, Carla Rahn
Added Entry:University of Minnesota