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Keywords

Merlin, prophecies

Disciplines

History

Abstract

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 illustrate the prophecies’ evolution from the twelfth to the twentieth century and what it means.

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