Established definitions of apocalypticism and apocalyptic literature in Late Antiquity often disregard a variety of apocalyptic visions and ideas that are included in a variety of genres of the Christian literature of Late Antiquity. The present paper discusses personal afterlife accounts and more specifically, personal hell visions, as found in various Christian texts and sources, such as monastic and hagiographical or martyrological literature. These visions and their special features are analysed in the context of related apocalyptic literature and traditions, as well as in their relationship with pagan local traditions and necromantic rituals. As will be argued, personal accounts of afterlife present a specific literary phenomenon in the history of ancient Christian apocalyptic literature and tradition, but they also demonstrate a significant diachronic popularity in other religious communities and their literatures.
© 2016 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston