The Declaration of Arbroath: a new dynamic digital edition
As part of the project, we (under the leadership of the wonderful, the only Professor Dauvit Broun) are putting together a new dynamic digital edition of the 'Declaration of Arbroath', more accurately known as the 'letter of the barons' sent to Pope John XXII in April 1320.
The Declaration is a well-known document. Almost dripping with seals, it is a powerful statement made by a regnal community (the 'community of the realm') to the Pope setting out the moral, biblical, legal and historical case for Scotland's freedom from the overlordship of the English kingdom, and the autonomy of its kingship and political community. But how did later generations understand the document? How was it read? Who knew about it? How (and with what) did it circulate?
By taking readings not only from the 'file copy' of the Declaration (now housed in The National Records of Scotland) but also all its later manuscript witnesses, our new dynamic edition of the Declaration will help to show how the Declaration was understood, copied and (even) rewritten in its later medieval lifetime.