Authored Book

Declaration of Arbroath: What it Meant Then and What it Means Now


Turpie T (2020) Declaration of Arbroath: What it Meant Then and What it Means Now. Edinburgh: Luath Press.

“It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom- for that alone which no honest man gives up but with life itself” The words of the Declaration of Arbroath echo down the centuries as a supreme statement of defiance against tyranny. But should we read it as a seminal statement of Scottish national identity or a practical response to a diplomatic problem? The model for the United States Declaration of Independence or a clever piece of medieval rhetoric? Indicative of the strength of support for the ‘hero king’ Robert the Bruce or evidence of the weakness of his usurping regime? Found on the walls of classrooms and public houses across Scotland and beyond, the Declaration of Arbroath is one of the most celebrated, but least understood, relic from Scotland’s past. On the 700th anniversary of this letter, sent in the name of the barons of Scotland to Pope John XXII, this book uses up to date academic research to explain why it was produced and contains the extraordinary sentiments it does. It sets it in the context of a world plagued by war and climate change, and explores how the relevance of this letter has ebbed and flowed over seven centuries. In doing so, it aims to help readers to understand and enjoy the single most celebrated document to be produced in medieval Scotland.

Wars of Independence, Medieval Scotland

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online30/04/2020
PublisherLuath Press
Publisher URL…tion-of-arbroath
Place of publicationEdinburgh

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