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A "Bridge over Chaos": De Jure Belli, Paradise Lost, Terror, Sovereignty, Globalism, and the Modern Law of Nations

A "Bridge over Chaos": De Jure Belli, Paradise Lost, Terror, Sovereignty, Globalism, and the... AINTED AROUND 1666, the year before the publication of Milton’s Paradise Lost, Luca Giordano’s “The Archangel Michael Routs the Rebel Angels” (fig. 1) offers what one might think of as an allegory of seventeenth-century fantasies of world order. Giordano departs from the iconography of earlier paintings such as Pieter Bruegel’s “Fall of the Rebel Angels” (1562; fig. 2), in which the fallen angels—creatures at once of air, sea, and land—figure the hybridity of heaven and hell itself in the moment of chaos that is the war in heaven. In Giordano, roughly a century later, the two realms are clearly separated: one in light, one in darkness, clouds above, smoke and hellfire below. Here, the archangel Michael, bathed in light and dressed in classical attire, seems to push Satan and his fellow rebels downward into the darkness with his foot, holding his sword aloft like a sign. For the sake of peace, the cosmos must be split into separate realms, boundaries established, and the demons left to their own demonic world. Yet Michael also must remain in place, his liberatory and yet menacing sword aloft, to keep the borders of heaven inviolate and preserve the cosmic rule of law. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

A "Bridge over Chaos": De Jure Belli, Paradise Lost, Terror, Sovereignty, Globalism, and the Modern Law of Nations

Comparative Literature , Volume 57 (4) – Jan 1, 2005

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2005 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-57-4-273
Publisher site
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Abstract

AINTED AROUND 1666, the year before the publication of Milton’s Paradise Lost, Luca Giordano’s “The Archangel Michael Routs the Rebel Angels” (fig. 1) offers what one might think of as an allegory of seventeenth-century fantasies of world order. Giordano departs from the iconography of earlier paintings such as Pieter Bruegel’s “Fall of the Rebel Angels” (1562; fig. 2), in which the fallen angels—creatures at once of air, sea, and land—figure the hybridity of heaven and hell itself in the moment of chaos that is the war in heaven. In Giordano, roughly a century later, the two realms are clearly separated: one in light, one in darkness, clouds above, smoke and hellfire below. Here, the archangel Michael, bathed in light and dressed in classical attire, seems to push Satan and his fellow rebels downward into the darkness with his foot, holding his sword aloft like a sign. For the sake of peace, the cosmos must be split into separate realms, boundaries established, and the demons left to their own demonic world. Yet Michael also must remain in place, his liberatory and yet menacing sword aloft, to keep the borders of heaven inviolate and preserve the cosmic rule of law.

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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