In many religious traditions, Hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife, often in the underworld. Religions with a linear divine history often depict Hell as endless (for example, see Hell in Christian beliefs). Religions with a cyclic history often depict Hell as an intermediary period between incarnations (for example, see Chinese Diyu). Punishment in Hell typically corresponds to sins committed in life. Sometimes these distinctions are specific, with damned souls suffering for each wrong committed (see for example Plato's myth of Er or Dante's The Divine Comedy), and sometimes they are general, with sinners being relegated to one or more chamber of Hell or level of suffering. In Islam and Christianity, however, faith and repentance play a larger role than actions in determining a soul's afterlife destiny. In Christianity and Islam, Hell is traditionally depicted as fiery and painful, inflicting guilt and suffering. Some other traditions, however, portray Hell as cold and gloomy. Despite the common depictions of Hell as a fire, Dante's Inferno portrays the innermost (9th) circle of Hell as a frozen lake of blood and guilt. Hell is often portrayed as populated with demons, who torment the damned. Many are ruled by a death god, such as Nergal, the Hindu Yama, or the Christian Satan. In contrast to Hell, other types of afterlives are abodes of the dead and paradises. Abodes of the dead are neutral places for all the dead (for example, see sheol) rather than prisons of punishment for sinners. A paradise is a happy afterlife for some or all the dead (for example, see heaven). Modern understandings of Hell often depict it abstractly, as a state of loss rather than as fiery torture literally under the ground.
Herrad of Landsberg (c.1130 - July 25, 1195) was a 12th century Alsatian nun and abbess of Hohenburg Abbey in the Vosges mountains. She is known as the author of the pictorial encyclopedia Hortus deliciarum (The Garden of Delights).
Herrad of Landsberg was born about 1130 at the castle of Landsberg, the seat of a noble Alsatian family. She entered the Hohenburg Abbey in the Vosges mountains, about fifteen miles from Strasbourg, at an early age. She became abbess there in 1167 and continued in that office until her death.Contents [hide]
As early as 1165 Herrad had begun within the cloister walls the work for which she is best known, the Hortus Deliciarum, a compendium of all the sciences studied at that time, including theology. In it, Herrad delves into the battle of Virtue and Vice with vivid visual imagery preceding the text.
The work, as one would expect from what we know of the literary activity of the twelfth century, while not highly original, shows a wide range of reading. Its chief claim to distinction is the three hundred and thirty-six illustrations which adorn the text. Many of these are symbolical representations of theological, philosophical, and literary themes; some are historical, some represent scenes from the actual experience of the artist, and one is a collection of portraits of her sisters in religion. The technique of some of them has been very much admired and in almost every instance they show an artistic imagination which is rare in Herrad's contemporaries. The poetry which accompanies the excerpts from the writers of antiquity and from pagan authors is not the least of Herrad's titles to fame.
It has the defects peculiar to the twelfth century, faults of quantity, words and constructions not sanctioned by classical usage, and peculiar turns of phrase which would hardly pass muster in a school of Latin poetry at the present time. However, the sentiment is sincere, the lines are musical, and above all admirably adapted to the purpose for which they were intended, namely, the service of God by song. Herrad, indeed, tells us that she considers her community to be a congregation gathered together to serve God by singing the divine praises.
The fate of the manuscript - аfter having been preserved for centuries at the Hohenburg Abbey, the manuscript of Hortus Deliciarum passed into the municipal Library of Strasbourg about the time of the French Revolution. There the miniatures were copied in 1818 by Christian Moritz (or Maurice) Engelhardt; the text was copied and published by Straub and Keller, 1879-1899 . Thus, although the original perished in the burning of the Library of Strasbourg during the siege of 1870 in the Franco-Prussian War, we can still form an estimate of the artistic and literary value of Herrad's work.