Late medieval and early modern diplomats and intermediaries drew on the authoritative language of prophecy, a language that conveyed divine threats to the current order, or divine sanctions of a new world. Because apocalyptic discourse has the capacity to conjure affective associations through its redemptive potential, its use in a diplomatic context seems to have been aimed at shaping the way individuals perceived the issues at hand. Based on a number of case studies from both Christian and Islamic contexts, this contribution renders it clear that it was precisely these cultural and political commonalities that made prophecy a recognizable political and diplomatic discourse. As a totalizing religio-political discourse, prophecy articulated the aspirations of a multitude of competing universalizing imperial projects that were emerging in the fifteenth century, which required diplomatic mediation.
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