Annus Tenebrosus: Black Monday, faith and political fervour in Early Modern England

Roos, Anna Marie (2024) Annus Tenebrosus: Black Monday, faith and political fervour in Early Modern England. In: Eclipse & Revelation: Total Solar Eclipses in Science, History, Literature, and the Arts. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Annus Tenebrosus: Black Monday, faith and political fervour in Early Modern England
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Abstract

Many sectarians in the English Civil War believed in millenarianism and signs of nature became extremely significant to their prophesies of the end of the world, as well as to their promotion of their political and religious agenda. As the importance of chiliastic beliefs grew in the 1650s, the emanations of the luminaries, as well as their interruption in eclipses, for some held even more significant powers. A solar eclipse lasting for 169 seconds in totality on 29 March 1652 OS/8 April 1652 NS, called ‘Black Monday’ in England, or ‘Mirk Monaday’ in Scotland, was utilised by Fifth Monarchists, as well as others with apocalyptic beliefs, as a sign predicting the fall of government and monarchy, the end of the world, and the second coming of Christ. ‘Black Monday’ was the seventeenth-century equivalent of ‘fake news’, containing enough epistemic authority to be plausible (an eclipse did occur), yet used as a vehicle to promote political or religious beliefs. Simply, the eclipsed, invisible sun made fears about the stability of the state and the future of the world even more visible.

Keywords:Eclipse, English Civil War and Revolution, William Lilly, Nicholas Culpeper, almanacs, history of astronomy
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V142 Modern History 1600-1699
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V380 History of Science
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:46053
Deposited On:06 Oct 2021 10:30

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