The Department of History will present the Ludus de Antichristo (Play of the Antichrist), as its sixth annual mediaeval Latin play.
The performance takes place on Friday 1 April at 19.30 in the College Chapel. Entrance is free and all are welcome.
This is a rare opportunity to see performed one of the finest surviving medieval Latin dramas. In simple and elegant rhyming couplets, the Ludus de Antichristo narrates the coming to earth of the Antichrist, as predicted in the Old and New Testaments. The Antichrist is welcomed as the Messiah by the Church and Synagogue, and by the Holy Roman Emperor and the kings of Europe and Asia. His ultimate aim is to submit the whole world to Satan’s power, before he is unmasked by the true prophets of God.
The text survives in only one manuscript from the Bavarian abbey of Tegernsee. The author is unknown, but he must have written the play in the second half of the 12th century, before the death of Emperor Frederick I in 1190. The play offers nothing less than an enactment of the end of history, as pictured in the medieval religious imagination.
The play will be performed entirely in Latin (with English surtitles), and will feature an original score composed by Alessia Mankovskaya, performed by members of the Choir of King’s College London, directed by David Trendell.
The play is produced under the aegis of the Latin for Graduates programme in the History Department, with participation from throughout the college and beyond. Don’t miss this evening of apocalyptic entertainment.