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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the themes of descent to hell and ascent to heaven in apocalyptic literature, focusing on the period from Homer to late antiquity. It discusses the diachronic developments and interrelationships of descents and ascents within Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. After considering descents into the underworld in the classical world, that is, ancient Greece, it turns to a series of apocalyptic texts composed most probably in Palestine with Enoch. It then looks at descents in ancient Rome and in early Christianity, the ascent of the soul to heaven, and ascent to immortal heavenly life.

Keywords: descent to hell, ascent to heaven, apocalyptic literature, Homer, late antiquity, underworld, ancient Greece, Palestine, ancient Rome, Christianity

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