Maximilian Benz, "Gesicht und Schrift. Die Erzählung von Jenseitsreisen in Antike und Mittelalter", in: eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Volume 2 (2012/2013) (2013), 131–144


The paper recapitulates the major findings of a PhD-thesis that enquired into tours of heaven and hell. First, Paul’s tour of heaven (2 Cor 12,2-4) is analyzed, which was the point of departure for the apocryphal Apocalypse of Paul. Its narration of the beyond differs significantly from that of the earlier Apocalypse of Peter. In order to clarify the relationship between the two apocryphal texts, the narrative mode of early Jewish texts that tell of the beyond is reconstructed. That narrative mode is consistently used by the Apocalypse of Paul, whereas the Apocalypse of Peter transforms patterns of pagan “spectacula”. A study of early medieval texts is followed by an exhaustive examination of the Vision of Tnugdal and the Treatise on St. Patrick’s Purgatory. The former is characterized by a suggestive narration, whereas the latter reflects its own mediality by referring to the Victorinian symbolism of Hugh of St. Victor.

Published In

Gerd Graßhoff and Michael Meyer (Eds.), eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Volume 2 (2012/2013) (2013), Berlin: Exzellenzcluster 264 Topoi