Cardeña Beatus

Cardeña Beatus f. 44v, The message to the Church of Smyrna


f. 44v, The message to the Church of Smyrna

Write to the angel of the Church of Smyrna: So says he who is the first and the last, he who was dead but is still alive. 9. I know of your tribulations and your poverty, although you are rich, and have been slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10. Fear nothing that you may suffer, but look, the devil is beginning to imprison some of you in order to tempt them, and there you shall have ten days of tribulation. Be faithful until death, and I shall give you the crown of life. 11. He who has ears to hear, let him listen to what the Spirit says to the Churches. He who vanquishes shall not be harmed by a second death.
Once again the scene is depicted as in the previous layout. The cupola of the synagogue of Satan, a metaphor of Sodom and Egypt, is represented in a very conventional way. St John and the angel appear beneath a lobulated arch. The church has a compact structure most certainly inspired by a Romanesque church. The general layout was copied later in the Manchester Beatus (fol. 60v).

Ángela Franco Mata
Chief of the Medieval Antiquities Department, Museo Arqueológico Nacional
(Fragment of the Cardeña Beatus commentary volume)

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