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The burning of Sodom

Camille Corot • Painting, 1857, 92.4×181.3 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Landscape, Genre scene, Religious scene
Style of art: Romanticism
Technique: Oil
Materials: Canvas
Date of creation: 1857
Size: 92.4×181.3 cm
Artwork in selections: 6 selections

Description of the artwork «The burning of Sodom»

Sodom (Hebrew. סְדוֹם, Sədom - lit. “burning”; Greek Σόδομα) and Gomorar (Hebrew עֲמוֹרָה, ʿAmora - lit. “immersion, drowning”; Greek Γόμορρα) are two known biblical cities which, according to the Bible, were destroyed by God for the sins of their inhabitants. The cities were part of the Sodomian Pentagrad (Sodom, Gomorrah, Adma, Sevoim and Zoar) and were, according to the Old Testament, in the Dead Sea region, but the exact place is now unknown.
Some representatives of the scientific community question the historical authenticity of the very existence of these cities, while a number of other representatives of the modern scientific world recognize the fact of existence in antiquity (the third millennium BC) mentioned in the Bible of Sodom, Gomorrah and other cities near the southern tip of the Dead seas. The mention of Sodom is also found in the works of Strabo “Geography”, in Josephus Flavius in the “Judean Antiquities”, in the works of Cornelius Tacitus.
The name Sodom, from which the concept of “sodomy” also originated, became a household word for deviant sexual behavior.
Sodom and Gomorrah are first mentioned in the Bible as the southeastern tip of Canaan, east of Gaza (Gen. 10:19). Abraham Lot's nephew settled in the land of Sodom, and the land of Sodom was designated as the eastern bank of the Jordan River, opposite Hebron (Gen. 10: 11-12). Ezekiel claims that Jerusalem on one side borders on Samaria, and on the other (on the south or south-east) it borders on Sodom (Ezek. 16:46).
The Canaanites inhabited Sodom. The king of Sodom was Ber (Bera).
By the time of Abraham, the biblical narration of the war between the Sumerian-Elamian army of King Chedorlaomer and the Sodomian army, and the decisive battle took place in the Siddim valley (approximately there Joshua crossed the Jordan before taking Jericho). The Sodom army was defeated, and Lot was captured. For a night attack on a convoy of captives, Abraham received thanks from the king of Sodom (Gen. 14:17) and the Salem priest Melchizedek (Jeremiah Salim was also considered part of the land of Sodom). The Bible describes the land of Sodom as a coalition of fortified city-states (analogous to the Phoenician Ugarit), which were headed by kings. The main occupation of the local population was farming (including winemaking).
According to the Bible, at the time of Abraham Sodom was a flourishing and rich city, but since the inhabitants "were wicked and very sinful" (Gen. 13:13), "the Lord shed sulfur and fire from the Lord from Heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah and He overthrew these cities, and all this region, and all the inhabitants of these cities, and [all] the growth of the earth ”(Gen. 19: 24-25). The Bible also says that Adma and Sevoim were destroyed along with Sodom and Gomorrah about 3,900 years ago. Nowadays, no traces have been found on the supposed location of these cities.
Sodom land was later inhabited by the descendants of Lot (the only surviving Sodomites) and was named Moab.