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Opportunity or threat?: early modern political prophecies
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To early modern politicians prophecies were a political reality. Monarchs such as Gustavus Adolphus or Charles X of Sweden employed court astrologers. When a Swedish ambassador returned home from England he brought with him a prophecy by an English astrologer, which then circulated at the parliament of 1658. The courtier Johan Ekeblad gushed in a letter "it is a wondrous thing how everything he writes has come true, God willing it may continue as he has written". Looking closer at the prophecy Ekeblad's wish for fulfillment is understandable. It is a timetable for future Swedish conquests. A miraculous victory over Denmark had just happened and added credence to the prophecy. Even more amazing feats were in store according to the English astrologer. In 1659 Poland was to be defeated and in 1660 Lithuania was to "suffer great punishment". The following year Courland would be conquered and in 1661 Swedish arms would take Moscow. Following year the Netherlands would be overrun and England an ally. In 1669 Sweden will break into Italy and take the most important cities. The Jesuit Order will "succumb to its punishment" and in 1671 King Charles X Gustav will convert Rome to Protestantism. This no holds barred prophecy was very similar to sermons held by "our vicar" according to Ekeblad. Such extatic support for Sweden could be used by the government. Positive prophecies could help boosting morale. On the other hand there were also prophecies that had no support in government circles. Such prophecies could be viewed as dangerous and incendiary. How did the government handle this latter kind of unwanted prophecies? In a number of instances we can see how the Swedish Council tried to counteract and smother these prophetic outbursts. How did the top political stratum in Sweden use or deflect prophecies?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39770OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-39770DiVA: diva2:786955
Conference
Revisiting Early Modern Prophecies (c.1500-c.1815), London, UK, June 26-28, 2014
Available from: 2015-02-07 Created: 2015-02-07 Last updated: 2015-03-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf