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Thomas of Erceldoune’s Lady: The Scottish Sibyl

Malay, Jessica L. (2010) Thomas of Erceldoune’s Lady: The Scottish Sibyl. Viator, 41 (2). pp. 361-373. ISSN 0083-5897

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Abstract

The prophetic lady in the early fifteenth-century romance Thomas of Erceldoune has received little attention in discussions surrounding this romance text. This essay discusses the affinities this lady shares with the sibyls of ancient Greece and Rome, as well as later manifestations of the sibyls in medieval theology, prophecy, and romance. By drawing upon imagery associated with the prophetic narratives nationhood circulating in the British Isles, the eschatological prophecies of the sibyls Erythraea, Tiburtine, and Cumae, and the many romance Sebiles, the poet validates the Scottish prophecies contained in the text. Allusions to the medieval sibylline tradition also place the narrative and prophecies in this romance within the wider prophetic tradition of medieval Europe. Erceldoune’s lady is a composite character who is heavily dependent upon sibylline allusions. Through these allusions, the lady becomes conduit through which the importance and validity of the Scottish prophecies are communicated in this narrative.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2011 11:18
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2011 11:18
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/10243

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