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1 - From Crete to Hell

The Textual Tradition on Punishments in the Afterlife and the Writings of Joseph Bryennios on Crete

from Part I - Crete

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 October 2021

Angeliki Lymberopoulou
Affiliation:
The Open University, Milton Keynes
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Summary

Dionysios Stathakopoulos’ chapter is divided in two parts. In the first he presents the textual sources that have had a seminal influence on the establishment of a visual vocabulary of transgressions that appear in depictions of Hell in monumental painting. He focuses on the development of ideas of punishment in the afterlife, tracing their origins from the Old and the New Testament and apocryphal texts to late Byzantine theology, which were popular in shaping ideas on punishment. Since, however, they do not always assist our understanding of the iconography of Hell, as this also reflects the social preoccupations of the community that commissioned the cycles, Stathakopoulos, in the second part of his chapter, turns to Joseph Bryennios (born around 1350), who recorded a vivid depiction of his experiences during his appointment on Crete, in an attempt to look into the contemporary society that commissioned the Cretan Hell cycles that lie at the heart of this publication.

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Chapter
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Hell in the Byzantine World
A History of Art and Religion in Venetian Crete and the Eastern Mediterranean
, pp. 21 - 59
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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