Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321) was an Italian poet. His epic poem, the DIVINE COMEDY, begins in a dark forest, which leads into the INFERNO (hell), followed by heaven and purgatory.
Dante's Inferno has nine circles.
1) Limbo -- for those who were not baptized or do not believe in Christianity -- clear skies, green fields, pleasant villas.
2) Lust -- for those inclined to exercise excessive lust, leading to commit sexual sins such as adultery -- punishment includes being blown around by strong winds with great force.
3) Gluttony -- for those who indulged in excessive abuse of food and other substances -- punishment involves being tossed into foul-smelling slush while being beaten by storms and icy rain -- a nasty, 3-headed creature named Cerberus guards this realm.
4) Avarice -- for those who waste and hoard -- excessive spenders and misers -- punishment is eternal pushing of large bags of wealth -- this realm is guarded by Plutus, the Greek god of wealth.
5) Anger & Moodiness -- for those filled with wrath and find no joy in anything -- a stinking swamp in a thick fog where the wrathful float and fight with each other, while the joyless lay beneath the surface.
6) Heresy -- for those who have committed the most malicious sins -- the beginning of lower hell, called the City of Dis, where the air is hot and dry -- punishment involves being captive in a large white marble mausoleum or within hot iron tombs.
7) Violence -- this realm has three rings associated with three types of violence -- the outer ring is for those who have committed violence against people or property, where they are immersed in a river of blood -- the middle ring is for those you have committed violence (or suicide) against themselves, where they will be entangled in thorny bushes which are being eaten by shrews -- the inner ring is for those who have committed violence against God or nature (blasphemers, usurers, sodomites) where they are eternally confined to a hot desert where fiery rain pours from the sky.
8) Fraud -- for those who have committed treachery or fraud -- panderers, flatterers, false prophets, corrupt politicians, thieves, hypocrites, creators of discord, evil counselors -- this realm is guarded by Greyon, a creature that personifies fraud, with an honest face and the body of a serpent with a tail containing a poisonous sting.
9) Treachery -- for the biggest sinners of all -- the traitors -- unbearably cold with four concentric zones, where each zone is for different kinds of traitors -- traitors to kindred -- traitors to hosts or guests -- traitors to country -- traitors to benefactors.
“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” Dante Alighieri
Yes, indeed -- Dante Alighieri was a fun guy -- his vision of the nature of humanity and sin probably qualified for him for spending eternity in one of his nine circles of hell -- or perhaps he was just having a bad hair day when he wrote it.
To light a candle is to cast a shadow.
Quote for the Day -- "If you're going through hell, keep going." Winston Churchill
Bret Burquest is the author of 11 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a few dogs and where hell is a state of mind.