Other Free Encyclopedias » Online Encyclopedia » Encyclopedia - Featured Articles » Contributed Topics from A-E

Devil

angels christian represented apocalypse

The word devil (from the Greek and Latin diabolos and Hebrew * satan ) becomes the term used to refer to the forces of evil in the world. Devils are malevolent spirits or *demons, whose origins were variously explained by Jewish and Christian theologians. The theory, found in Old Testament *Apocrypha, that *angels rebelled against *God at the time of *Creation, was adopted by many Christian thinkers ; the leader of the rebel angels was identified as Satan, or the Devil.


Demons are represented in early Christian art as small winged creatures, like monstrous angels hence the Devil may be shown as a hybrid creature, humanoid or bestial. The imagery was developed in early medieval art and amplified especially in the Romanesque and Gothic periods where the Devil frequently occurs in pictorial narratives of the *Apocalypse and *Last Judgment as a dark, horned, hairy, winged creature with clawed feet and a tail or various distorted human features. The Devil is often found in depictions of the *Temptation of Christ and as an inhabitant of *hell, for example, in scenes of the *Anastasis. The Devil is also represented by a snake, serpent, or dragon being identified (following Wisdom 2:24) with the serpent-tempter of *Adam and Eve in the *Garden of Eden and with the great dragon of the Apocalypse with which Saint *Michael does battle (Rev. 12:7-9).

Devil in a Blue Dress. 1995 [next] [back] Device-Driven Presentation of Multimedia Content

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or