The Place of Hell: Topographies, Structures, Genealogies

London ConferencePlace of Hell Axos-Hagios-Ioannes: The Place of Hell. Topographies, Structures, Genealogies
31st May-1st June 2013 at King’s College London and The Warburg Institute
Organised by Dionysios Stathakopoulos and Rembrandt Duits

Attendance is free, but registration is required. Please follow instructions to register and print your ticket at:

Conference Aims and Themes
The aim of this conference is to explore the place Hell occupied within society and art as well as the way Hell was envisaged as a physical place.

A belief in Hell has been a staple of Christian thought from the earliest period of this religion. The depiction of Hell and its denizens – the devil, demons and the punished sinners – has an equally long history going back to at least the sixth century. From the eleventh century onwards, images of Hell become proliferate and more detailed in their presentation of the damned and their torments – in parallel to such texts as the popular Apocalypse of the Virgin.

Artists come up with different solutions in picturing the various torments inflicted upon the sinners as well as the places where these torments take place. In the art of the late Byzantine period and the late medieval west, the various figures of the damned are presented with inscriptions detailing the crimes and sins for which they are being punished. In western Europe, literary texts add detail to the vision of Hell as well, starting with the 11th-century Vision of Tondal and culminating in Dante’s Divine Comedy. The images, as well as the texts that we assume they are illustrating, offer a rich field for research. Questions of iconography as well as the exploration of social meanings attached to these powerful representations present themselves. The exploration of developments within the body of texts on and depictions of Hell can be particularly fruitful.

This conference is part of the Leverhulme International Network Project Damned in Hell in the Frescoes of Venetian-Dominated Crete (13th- 17th centuries) managed by Dr Angeliki Lymberopoulou (The Open University) and Prof. Vasiliki Tsamakda (The Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz).

For further information please contact Dr Diana Newall at

or visit

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