Prophecy as criticism: MS Peniarth 50, tradition and translation

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The Welsh Middle Ages witnessed the circulation of an enormous number of pieces of “darogan”, highly mobile and adaptable political prophecy. These are, characteristically, messianic texts promising the return – often from overseas – of a redeeming national hero (Owain Glyn Dŵr and Henry Tudor were only two of the actors identified as this “son of prophecy”). Many of these texts were translations, belonging to a wider British and European tradition, and the major Welsh medieval manuscript collections are also among the most important multilingual manuscripts of the period. Focussing on one of these, a fifteenth-century trilingual miscellany, the article considers how an enlarged concept of translatability, considered along with specific discussions of historicity and temporality, may help read the vein of “popular” prophecy contained in the multilingual manuscripts as criticism of the wider tradition.


  • Wales, Political Prophecy, Messianism, Manuscripts, Medieval
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-151
Number of pages14
JournalTranslation Studies
Issue number2
Early online date30 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
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