John of Rupescissa´s VADE MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE (1356): A Late Medieval Eschatological Manual for the Forthcoming Thirteen Years of Horror and Hardship

1st Edition

Matthias Kaup

Routledge
Published December 14, 2016
Reference - 348 Pages
ISBN 9781409463993 - CAT# Y241518
Series: Church, Faith and Culture in the Medieval West

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Summary

The VADE MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE was meant as an eschatological manual for the thirteen catastrophic years between its composition in December 1356 and the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ expected to begin in 1370. This manual, permeated by passion for clerical reform, was intended to give righteous Christians practical and spiritual advice on how to survive this period of tribulation. Likewise, it aimed to inform them about what to expect from the envoys of Satan, the Western and the Eastern Antichrists, but also from Christ’s warriors, the papal restorer and his secular assistant, the French-Roman Emperor. Moreover, it offered a brief outline of Christ’s Thousand-Year Reign and of Armageddon.

The VADE MECUM was written by John of Rupescissa OFM (c. 1310-1366), the most prolific apocalyptic author of the Middle Ages, as the central work of in all three manuals designed to prepare Christendom for the impending crises. As a completely new text type and summary of the late Rupescissa’s doctrines, this eschatological manual fascinated numerous readers in the Late Middle Ages, who copied, reworked and translated it and made it thus a pivotal text of medieval apocalypticism: ten versions of the Latin VADE MECUM in more than forty manuscripts have come down to us.

Rupescissa’s eschatological manual is his last known and most widely distributed work; the present study provides an annotated critical edition equipped with an English translation. It inducts in the manual’s contents, places them in the context of Rupescissa’s work and medieval prophetic literature, investigates important aspects of its reception and clarifies the relationships between its different versions. Furthermore, it ends with a critical edition of the VENI MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE, the most influential compendious version of the VADE MECUM. Thus this book offers an indispensable fundamental contribution to the flourishing studies of Rupescissa and medieval apocalypticism.

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