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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 29, 2021

Prophecy as Diplomacy in the Fifteenth-Century Mediterranean

  • Mayte Green-Mercado EMAIL logo
From the journal New Global Studies


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.

Corresponding author: Mayte Green-Mercado, Rutgers University-Newark, Newark, NJ, USA, E-mail:

Received: 2021-06-23
Accepted: 2021-08-31
Published Online: 2021-09-29

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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