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Three thousand years of visions of Hell, from the ancient Near East to modern America

From the Hebrew Bible's shadowy realm of Sheol to twenty-first-century visions of Hell on earth, The Penguin Book of Hell takes us through three thousand years of eternal damnation. Along the way, you'll take a ferry ride with Aeneas to Hades, across the river Acheron; meet the Devil as imagined by a twelfth-century Irish monk--a monster with a thousand giant hands; wander the nine circles of Hell in Dante's Inferno, in which gluttons, liars, heretics, murderers, and hypocrites are made to endure crime-appropriate torture; and witness the debates that raged in Victorian England when new scientific advances cast doubt on the idea of an eternal hereafter. Drawing upon religious poetry, epics, theological treatises, stories of miracles, and accounts of saints' lives, this fascinating volume of hellscapes illuminates how Hell has long haunted us, in both life and death.



About the Author

Scott G. Bruce

Scott G. Bruce is an historian of religion and culture in the early and central Middle Ages (c. 400-1200) . He teaches in the Department of History at the University of Colorado at Boulder, with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Classics. His research interests include monasticism, hagiography and Latin poetry. He is a specialist on the history of the abbey of Cluny. His work has been funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. SGB is the author of Silence and Sign Language in Medieval Monasticism: The Cluniac Tradition (c. 900-1200) (Cambridge, 2007) and the editor of Ecologies and Economies in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Studies in Environmental History for Richard C. Hoffmann (Leiden, 2010) . His articles have appeared in Revue bénédictine, Cîteaux: Commentarii cistercienses, The Journal of Medieval Latin, and Early Medieval Europe. SGB is an enthusiastic participant in the Medieval Academy of America (MAA) . He is recently served a two-year term on the MAA Nominating Committee (2012-14) and is currently serving a three-year term on the MAA AHA Program Committee (2013-17) . SGB is Director of the University of Colorado's Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) for a three-year term (2013-2016) .



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