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The Middle Ages an Encyclopedia for Students, Volume 4

The Middle Ages an Encyclopedia for Students, Volume 4

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Published by: Στυλιανός Σμυρναίος on Jul 28, 2012
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03/05/2013

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An
Encyclopedia
for
Students
Ages
Middle
The
 
An
Encyclopedia
for
Students
William
Chester Jordan,
Editor
in
Chief
for
the
American
Council
of
Learned Societies
Volume
4
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S
SONS
Macmillan Library Reference USASimon & Schuster Macmillan
NewYork
SIMON &
SCHUSTER
AND
PRENTICE HALL INTERNATIONAL
London
Mexico
City
New
Delhi Singapore Sydney
Toronto
Ifcc
1FRK*"
5^«»
 
Purgatory,
Idea
of 1
*
patron
person
of
wealth
and
influence
who
supports
an
artist, writer,
or
scholar
M
ichael Psellos
was one of the
most important scholars
in the
his-
tory
of the
BYZANTINE EMPIRE.
His
works
covered
a
wide range
ofsubjects,
including
SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS, MUSIC,
astronomy,
MED-ICINE, LAW,
and
philosophy.
His
work helped
to
preserve ancient Greeklearning
and to
popularize
it for his 11th-century
readers.
His
most impor-tant work
was
Chronographia,
a
history
of the
Byzantine imperial court
from
976 to
1077.Born
in
CONSTANTINOPLE
to
parents
of
modest means, Michael Psellosattracted
the
attention
of
imperial patrons* while
he was
still
a
youngman.
After
Emperor Michael
IV
(who reigned from 1034
to
1041)
ap-
pointed
him to his first
high
office,
he
continued
to
serve
at
court untilabout 1054. Then
he
left
the
capital
and
retired
to a
monastery
on
Mount
Olympus.
However, soon
the
empress
THEODORA
I
recalled
him to
court,
and he
reached
the
height
of his
political power during
the
reign
of his
former
pupil, Emperor Michael
VII
Doukas (who reigned
from
1071
to1078).
However,
he
fell
out of
favor
for
reasons that
are
unclear
and wasforced
to
leave.
(See
also
Astrology
and
Astronomy; Byzantine Literature;Classical Tradition
in the
Middle Ages; Historical
Writing.)
See
Classical
Tradition
in the
Middle
Ages.
*
theology
study
of the
nature
of God and ofreligious
truth
*
penance
an act of
repentance
for sin
*
doctrine
principle, theory,
or
beliefpresented
for
acceptance
T
he
idea
of purgatory—a
place where human souls reside temporar-
ily
after
death—developed
during
the
medieval period
in
both
the
Christian
and
Islamic religious traditions. Each religion
has a
somewhat
different
view
of
purgatory, which
is
based
on the
sacred
writ-
ings and theology* of
each
faith.
In
Christianity,
the
idea
of
purgatory developed
from
two
early cus-
toms:
praying
for the
dead
and
performing penance*
to
atone
for
one's
sins.
According
to
early church
doctrine*,
after
a sin was
committed,
the
sinner
was
readmitted into
the
church only after years
of
severe penance.
From
this came
the
idea that atonement
for
every
sin was
required, eitherduring one's
lifetime
or
afterward.
At the
same time,
St.
AUGUSTINE
taughtthat prayers
and the
celebration
of a
Mass
for the
dead were
effective
sub-
stitutes
for the
punishment
of sin in
this world. However,
the
prayers
of
the
living could
not
help
the
damned. Together, these ideas suggested
the
existence
of a
place between heaven
and
hell. This place eventually
be-
came
known
as
purgatory,
a
"place
of
cleansing," where sins were cleansed
by fire.
According
to
Christian doctrine,
the
righteous
entered
heaven
at
death, while
the
wicked entered hell.
The
imperfectly
righteous—sin-
ners
who had
neglected penance during their
lives,
or who
were unable
to
perform penance before they
died—hadto
atone
for
their sins
after
death,
in
purgatory. Purgatory
was
only
a
temporary state. While there,sinners would
suffer
various terrible pains, part
of
which
was the
pain
of
1018-ca.
1078Scholar,
statesman,
and
historian
Psellos, Michael
Ptolemy
Purgatory, Idea of

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