Renæssanceforum 13 • 2018

Bent Holm
The Re-formation of Antichrist: Jacobean adaptations of the Battle of Lepanto

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The Battle of Lepanto, 1571, between the Holy League and the Ottoman Empire became an iconic point of orientation in the early modern European encounters with the Islamic world. In His Maiesties Lepanto from 1591, James VI of Scotland depicts the Battle as God's victory over Antichrist. It was referred to in James' entry in London in 1604; and it was echoed in Shakespeare's Othello, which was premiered that same year. Lepanto played a role in the Jacobean regime's staging of itself. It was re-enacted various times in performances that were given an official design in panegyric publications.