Andrew Melville, sacred chronology and world history: the Carmina Danielis 9 and the Antichristus

Reid, S. (2009) Andrew Melville, sacred chronology and world history: the Carmina Danielis 9 and the Antichristus. Innes Review, 60(1), pp. 1-21. (doi: 10.3366/E0020157X09000390)




The accepted view of the ecclesiastical reformer Andrew Melville (1545–1622) as the dynamic leader of the Presbyterian movement in Jacobean Scotland has been severely eroded in recent years, with particular criticism of the actual importance of his contribution to the Kirk and to Scottish higher education. While this reductionism has been necessary, it has resulted in an inversion of the overwhelmingly positive traditional image of Melville, and does not give us a rounded assessment of his life and works. This article attempts to partially redress this balance by looking at a neglected aspect of Melville's Latin writings, which showcase his talents as a humanist intellectual and biblical commentator. It focuses on two long poems that are both commentaries and paraphrases of Daniel and Revelation: the Carmina Danielis and the Antichristus. Through these poems, we see how Melville engaged with two problems exercising reformed theologians across Europe: the dating of key biblical events and the historicised meaning of prophecies within these texts. We also find evidence that Melville read widely among both contemporary and ancient commentators on both these issues.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Andrew Melville, sacred chronology, world history
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reid, Professor Steven
Authors: Reid, S.
Subjects:D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Innes Review
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
Published Online:01 May 2009
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2009 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Innes Review 60(1):1-21
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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