Dante’s Hell consists of nine narrowing circles, at times divided into ditches – hereafter referred to as “pouches” – rings and areas. Through the gate of Hell one enters pre-Hell, where the uncommitted are. The Acheron river marks the border of Hell and Charon is the ferryman. The First Circle of Hell, which is occupied by the unbaptized, is the Limbo.
From the second to the fifth circle the souls are punished according to Aristotle’s ethics for: lust, gluttony, avarice and prodigality, wrath and sullenness. Between the fifth and the sixth the Styx river creates a swamp at the foot of the city walls of Dis. The sixth circle is occupied by heretics. The seventh is divided into three rings: the violent against people and property, the violent against themselves, the violent against God, Art, and Nature.
In the first ring of the seventh circle, we find the Phlegethon river: here boil the murderers. The eighth circle is occupied by souls guilty of fraud. It is divided into 10 pouches – panderers and seducers, flatterers, Simonists, diviners, barrators, hypocrites, thieves, fraudulent counsellors, sowers of scandal and schism, falsifiers. Traitors are punished in the ninth circle, which is divided into four areas: Caina (traitors to their kin), Antenora (traitors to the homeland), Ptolomea (traitors against their guests), Judecca (traitors against their benefactors). Lake Cocytus, the frozen lake, is in the ninth circle. Lucifer is placed at the bottom of Hell, at the centre of Earth. It has three heads and bat-like wings, which he continuously flaps to keep the Cocytus frozen. In each of his three mouths he chews a sinner: Brutus, Cassius and Judas.
Traduzione a cura della classe 5aC A.S.20/21 del Liceo Scientifico A. Oriani di Ravenna