Inferno Canto IX

Inferno 9

And he: ‘Here, with all their followers,
are the arch-heretics of every sect.
The tombs are far more laden than you think.

vv. 127-129

The City of Dis.—Eriehtho.—The Three Furies.—The Heavenly Messenger.—The Sixth Circle: Heresiarchs.

Dante and even Virgil were dismayed that their helper was so long in coming. Dante asked Virgil if spirits from Limbo ever descended into the deeper regions of Hell, and Virgil answered that it was very rare, but that he had gone even to the darkest place, Judas’ circle, under orders from the witch Erichtho.

Dante suddenly noticed at the top of the tower with the flames, the three furies stood. They tore their flesh with their talons and wailed threats, but Virgil protected Dante by covering his eyes so he would not be turned to stone by the Gorgon.

They heard the sound of a great wind and turned to see thousands of damned souls fleeing from a noble figure who calmly walked across the Styx: heaven’s messenger had come to relieve them. He opened the gate of Dis and rebuked the fallen angels for their foolish presumption, then turned back on his way like someone with a lot to do, without speaking to Dante.

Inside the city of Dis, Dante saw a field of graves: burning tombs were spread all around and inside them souls suffered great torments. Virgil told Dante that these were the arch-heretics, and that each was burnt more or less according to his deserts.

Riassunto in inglese tratto da

Canto adopted by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Ravenna

View Dante’s itinerary on the map

Available Resources

Reading of the Canto