First (2022 Congress)

Grzegorz First
(The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Kraków)

“Medieval versus Ancient Demons:  Images of Fantastic Creatures in Medieval and Ancient Art
— Correlation, Continuity, or Change”

Abstract of Paper
57th International Congress on Medieval Studies
(Online, 2022)

Session on
“The Iconography of Medieval Magic:
Texts and Images”

Co-sponsored by
the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence
and the Societas Magica

Organized by Vajra Regan

2022 International Congress on Medieval Studies Program



One of the most interesting research areas undertaken in relation to the art of the Middle Ages is the definition of the scope and extent of the influence of the Ancient tradition upon Medieval arts.  This issue is particularly important in the study of medieval magical and religious iconography.  In this iconography, we often meet fantastic creatures whose forms, or some elements, resemble the images of demons or the so-called minor deities known from the art, iconography, or mythology of the Ancient East, Egypt, or Greece.  We also often see the similarity of content and ideas.  The study of the mutual relations between the images of Ancient demons and those that appear in Medieval art comprises a significant direction in research on the phenomena of Medieval iconography and its contribution to the development of magical iconography in later centuries.