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Milton's History of BritainRepublican Historiography in the English Revolution$
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Nicholas von Maltzahn

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198128977

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198128977.001.0001

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Milton and Gildas

Milton and Gildas

(p.118) 5 Milton and Gildas
Milton's History of Britain

Nicholas von Maltzahn

Oxford University Press

Gildas deeply impressed John Milton with the fervour of his jeremiad. At the crisis of the Revolution, Milton was undeterred by the more hortatory than historical style of Gildas' De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae ac flebili Castigatione in Reges, Principes et Sacerdotes. Milton pointed out the confusion Gildas described in ancient Britain that could not be reconciled with the heroic splendour of an Arthurian age. The De Excidio in early modern historiography is described. Milton's use of De Excidio reflects both the historians' and the Reformers' interest in Gildas. In addition, explanations regarding the De Excidio in Milton's History of Britain is provided.

Keywords:   John Milton, Gildas, Arthurian age, De Excidio, Principes et Sacerdotes, History of Britain

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