Silos Beatus

Silos Beatus f. 199v, The angel enchains Satan (Storia: Rev. 20: 1-3), Petrus

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f. 199v, The angel enchains Satan (Storia: Rev. 20: 1-3), Petrus

As the end of time draws nigh the angel of the abyss mentioned in Rev. 9 returns but in an ambiguous, not a literal manner. Identified with Christ in his first Coming, this angel descends from heaven bearing the key of the abyss and a great chain – the power granted to his people – with which he enchains Satan the dragon. The angel casts him into the abyss and fastens him by the neck, feet and hands in stocks where he remains trapped. The identity of both evil creatures is highlighted by the explanatory legend reading Ubi angelus adprehendit / draconem et ligauit eum in abissum id est diabolum. Whilst the other codices depict Satan bound by a short chain, the illustrator of the Silos Beatus dreamt up a sort of plaited cord consisting of interwoven motifs extending outwards to form the stocks holding Satan’s head, hands and feet fast.


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