Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 14, 2019

How widespread was the belief in demonic tollgates in sixth- to ninth-century Byzantium?

Dirk Krausmüller
From the journal Byzantinische Zeitschrift


While narratives about the ascent of the souls through the air and their examination at toll-gates were very popular in Byzantium, it would be wrong to believe that they were universally accepted. Andrew of Crete conceptualised the afterlife in such a way that no room was left for dramatic encounters with demons. Theodore of Stoudios accepted that the souls of the deceased were judged but never spoke of bands of evil spirits, which represented different kinds of vices. It seems that at least in the eighth and early ninth centuries the ecclesiastical elite found the fanciful accounts too much to stomach.

Published Online: 2019-03-14
Published in Print: 2019-02-01

© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston