The Apocalypse of 1313

The Apocalypse of 1313 f. 86r, The damned taken to Hell (Revelation 22: 16-21)

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f. 86r, The damned taken to Hell (Revelation 22: 16-21)

John is busy writing (f. 85v) the terrible words uttered at the end of the previous passage, “Out, ye dogs, sorcerers, unclean, murderers, idolaters and all those who delight in doing evil!” His message continues with the anathema said to the impostor tempted to distort its content, “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, described in this book”. He looks up from his work in awe at the sinister cohort of reprobates. They move across the reddish background of a furnace, penned in like a miserable flock by a heavy silver chain, the ends of which are carried by Satan on his back. The damned advance towards Hell to the rhythm of the shrill music played by two devil musicians on a trumpet, a whistle and a drum. Beneath the procession is the gaping Leviathan mouth with huge teeth. A devil perched on its snout guides his stooge, seizing it by the foot and putting its club on the monster’s curled up chops before tipping a basket of damned into this mouth of Hell. On the right, a fifth hairy devil, with its face twisted into a satanic snarl, crosses the barrier of steely fangs all the better to cast into the abyss a soul condemned to suffer eternal punishment, or what the Revelation calls the second death.

Marie-Thérèse Gousset and Marianne Besseyre
Illuminated Manuscripts Research Center, Bibliothèque nationale de France
Fragment of the Apocalypse of 1313 commentary volume

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