9 Circles of Hell from Dante's Inferno ...


Dante Alighieri’s Inferno relates Dante’s fictional journey through the nine circles of Hell, each of which represents a punishment for a specific sin. It is part of a series called the Divine Comedy, which also includes Purgatory and Paradise, and it is probably the most read of the three. The Inferno is a story that symbolizes morality, human nature, peace, sin, and coming closer to God. To some extent it is also a criticism of the church, which is evident through the seven popes Dante encounters in Hell. In addition to popes, Dante also included individuals from ancient Roman history, his own personal friends, and his own enemies. Before Dante meets any of these characters, he sets out on his journey on Maundy Thursday and is guided through the nine circles of Hell by the Roman poet Virgil.

1. Limbo

Limbo is the first of the nine circles of Hell, and it is by far the least oppressive circle. Unbaptized and virtuous pagans reside in Limbo, which is meant to represent a Godless Heaven. It has green fields and a large castle, which has seven gates representing the seven virtues. Within the castle, many wise men from ancient history reside. Homer, Cicero, Euclid, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Hippocrates, and even Dante’s guide, Virgil, live in the castle. Although Limbo is rather peaceful, it is meant to be fairly joyless because it is removed from Heaven. Yet, it is much more joyful than the eight remaining circles, which are made of individuals who willfully sinned.

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