Round Trip to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition

Visits to the Underworld from Antiquity to Byzantium


Round Trip to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition explores how the theme of visiting the Underworld and returning alive has been treated, transmitted and transformed in the ancient Greek and Byzantine traditions. The journey was usually a descent ( katabasis) into a dark and dull place, where forgetfulness and punishment reigned, but since ‘everyone’ was there, it was also a place that offered opportunities to meet people and socialize. Famous Classical round trips to Hades include those undertaken by Odysseus and Aeneas, but this pagan topic also caught the interest of Christian writers. The contributions of the present volume allow the reader to follow the passage from pagan to Christian representations of Hades–a passage that may seem surprisingly effortless.

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Biographical Note

Gunnel Ekroth, PhD (1999), Stockholm University, is Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University. She works on Greek religion, particularly ritual practices. Among her recent publications is the edited volume Bones, behavior and beliefs (2013).

Ingela Nilsson, PhD (2001), Gothenburg University, is Professor of Greek and Byzantine Studies at Uppsala University. She is particularly interested in narration and literary adaptation. Among her recent publications is the monograph Raconter Byzance: la littérature au 12e siècle (2014).

Contributors are: Zissis Ainalis, Thomas Arentzen, Pierre Bonnechère, Eric Cullhed, Gunnel Ekroth, Wiebke Friese, Fritz Graf, Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui, Sarah Iles Johnston, Sofia Kravaritou, Henry Maguire, Przemysław Marciniak, Adrian Mihai, Heinz-Günther Nesselrath, Ingela Nilsson, Andrej Petrovic, Ivana Petrovic, Scott Scullion, Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed, Maria Stamatopoulou, Annie Verbanck-Piérard.


All interested in the perception of Hades and the realm of the dead as well as the continuity and change between the pagan Classical and Christian Byzantine cultures.

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