The Apocalypse, Antichrist And The End Of Time In Medieval Art HISTART4040

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

During the Middle Ages, the Apocalypse, also known as the Book of Revelation, was the most influential book of the Bible, and medieval Christians believed that the arrival of Antichrist was imminent. This course will examine Apocalypse and Antichrist imagery produced from the tenth through the fifteenth centuries in England, France, Germany and Spain. We will be especially interested in the roles assigned to the various so-called enemies of Christendom, especially Jews and Muslims. Lectures and seminars will combine image analysis with discussion of assigned readings, which will include theological commentaries and medieval plays.


1 x 1hr lecture; 1 x 1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History of Art and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into History of Art, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Examination (120 minutes duration) - 60%

Essay (2,500 words) - 30%

Seminar presentation of 10 minutes accompanied by 800 word paper or PowerPoint slides - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:


■ survey medieval interpretations of the Apocalypse across time and artistic media

■ evaluate current critical approaches to the analysis of medieval Apocalypse imagery

■ examine the role played by eschatological imagery in broader contemporary religious and
political propaganda campaigns

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students should be able to:


■ identify and articulate the popular Christian beliefs and iconographical traditions that
informed medieval apocalypse and Antichrist pictorial cycles.

■ identify and articulate the stylistic, technical and compositional elements of medieval pictorial

■ outline the ways in which eschatological traditions have served changing political
agendas during the Middle Ages.

■ research and present themes coherently both orally and in written form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.