is made up of 9 layers plus 1, the plus 1 is known as 'Vestibule' it is a place for those souls whom on Earth neither did good nor
did they do bad. The nine circles represent the 9 sins which will get you into hell and the further down you go the worse the torture. First Circle is
Limbo, Second Circle is Lust, Third Circle is Gluttony, Fourth Circle is Greed, Fifth Circle is Wrath and Sullenness, Sixth Circle is Heresy, Seventh
Circle is Violence, Eighth Circle is Fraud, and Ninth Circle is Treachery.
In ‘Inferno’ people are punished based upon the sins which brought them to hell, a form of poetic justice according to Dante. He is walked through
hell by the Roman poet Virgil who shows him each of the 9 circles and the punishments found within. It is located within the Earth itself and houses
Satan trapped in ice at the very bottom, the Ninth Circle, where he punishes those who did the most evil and wicked things imaginable according to
The realms are broken down into three groups; the self-indulgent, the violent, and the malicious. The only way for people to go to hell is for them to
have committed a sin and never have asked for forgiveness and try to justify their sins. He tries to depict the most horrifying place a human mind can
fathom, from the most brutal torture to other punishments that push the imagination.
First Circle (Limbo)
The First Circle is a place for those people who do not believe in Jesus as lord and savior. It is not a place of torment but rather a place where
there is no hope of every being with god. Different from the other circles as there is no physical harm to people in this circle but forever without
hope of every knowing or meeting their god and thus forever saddened and separated and alone. Pagans, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, and any other
non-believe in Jesus as Savior.
Members of this Circle:
Virgil, Averroes, Avicenna, Homer, Horace, Ovid, Lucan, Penthesilea, Euclid, Socrates, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, and Saladin.
Second Circle (Lust)
Those who are forever confined to the Second Circle of the Inferno are those who committed the sin of Lust, where they permitted their sexual appetite
to overtake their rational thinking and their moral restrictions. They will be forever punished by being thrown to and fro in a giant storm of wind,
rain and hail, never to have peace. This symbolizes the power of Lust to through you around endlessly and aimlessly.
Members of this Circle:
Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Achilles, Paris, and Tristan.
Third Circle (Gluttony)
The Third Circle is a place of endless torment and no hope of every leaving. It is where those who could not control their self-indulgence forever be
tortured. They lie trapped in a vile lush of ceaseless foul, icy rain. They do not have vision so they cannot see and they know not of their
neighbors, which symbolizes the selfishness they exhibit while their spirit was on Earth. This overindulgence can be as simple as an addiction to food
and drink or an addiction to drugs and gambling.
Fourth Circle (Greed)
The Fourth Circle is a place where the greedy will forever be punished by being forced to duel each other with heavy weights attached to their chests,
these weights are giant sacks of money which forever hurt the body. This Circle is for the people who hoard their money or squander it beyond
reasonable means, this can include anyone from the holy to the unholy. They have an unnatural love of material things which will bring them to this
Fifth Circle (Wrath and Sullenness)
The Fifth Circle is an endless torment where the wrathful are forced to float along the river Styx and fight each other while the sullen lie gurgling
beneath the water, never to know humans or the world again. This realm is for the people who those who have committed a vile sin but not one which is
punishable enough to be banished to the city of Dis where the bottom layers are located with the worst torture imaginable.
Sixth Circle (Heresy)
The Sixth Circle is a place for those who have committed the sin of heresy where they will be forever imprisoned in a flaming tomb as their torture.
Before taking Dante further into the Seventh Circle of hell Virgil tells Dante the rationale for these following circles and their geography. He
explains to Dante that there are only two legitimate sources of wealth which are Natural Resources (Nature) and Human Resources (Art).
Seventh Circle (Violence)
The Seventh Circle is for those who committed the sin of violence. It is split into three rings each for their own form of violence.
Those who committed violence against people and property are forever trapped in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire
where the violent are submerged to a level corresponding with their level of violence. Those who attempt to escape from the river are shot with
Those who committed violence against themselves (suicide) are forever trapped in this realm as trees and bushes of thorns which
are fed upon by Harpies. Unlike everyone else this group will never be permitted to go to Heaven after the resurrection as they will forever be a
thorny bush/tree. This realm is also for the profligates who destroyed which the means by which life is sustained, they will be forever chased by
ferocious dogs through the thorny underworld.
Those who committed violence against God (blasphemers) and violence against nature (sodomites and usurers) will be forever
tortured in a desert of flaming sand with fiery flakes raining down from the sky. The blasphemers lie on the sand, the usurers sit on the sand and the
sodomites forever wander around in groups.
Eighth Circle (Fraud)
The Eighth Circle is a place for those who committed crimes against others knowingly. It is broken into groups for the different kinds of crimes.
Pimps and seducers are forced to march in separate lines while being whipped by demons. Just as they used the passions of others to
drive them to do their bidding just as they are driven by the demons to march in a line.
This is a place for the flatterers who used their words to exploit others. They are forever trapped in human excrement which
represents the words they used to exploit.
This is a place for those who committed simony (paid for sacrament or holy office) where they are buried head first in holes in
rocks with flames burning on the soles of their feet.
Sorcerers, astrologers and false prophets are forever forced to walk with their heads turned backwards so they are required to walk
backwards and never again see forward.
Corrupt politicians are forever trapped in this realm of boiling pitch which represents their dirty deals.
Hypocrites will forever lie here walking listlessly around and wearing gilded lead coats to represent the falsity behind the surface
of their appearance.
This place is for thieves who are guarded by Centaru Cacus who has a fire breathing dragon on his shoulder and are chased around and
bitten by snakes and lizards forever. When they are bitten they are changed sometimes they are turned into ashes then reborn others are turned into
This is a place for fraudulent advisers and evil councilors who have given advice to others to commit fraud. They are tortured by
being concealed within individual flames.
Those who committed discord (divided others) are forever punished by a sword-wielding demon who hacks at the sowers of others thus
dividing parts of their body like they did on Earth. Dante meets the Prophet Muhammad in this realm for causing division as Islam is accused of being
an offshoot of Christianity.
This realm is for falsifiers (alchemists, counterfeiters, perjurers and other impersonators) who are considered a ‘disease’
upon society will be punished with diseases.
Ninth Circle (Treachery)
The Ninth Circle is ringed by giants who stand on the high cliffs and watch over this realm. The people within this realm are traitors whose acts hurt
the ones closest to them.
Is named Caïna after Cain who killed his brother. Traitors to kindred are immersed in ice up to their faces here.
Is named Antenora after Antenor of Turkey who betrayed his city to the Greeks. Traitors to political entities such as Party, City or
Country are located here. The punishment is not elaborated upon.
Is named Ptolomaea after Ptolemy son of Abubus who invited a guest and his son to a banquet and then killed them. Traitors to their
guests are punished here, lying supine in ice up to their faces.
Is named Judecca after Judas Iscariot the biblical betrayer of Jesus Christ. This is the place of the traitors to their lords and
benefactors where they are completely encapsulated in ice distorted in all conceivable positions.
The Center of Hell
: Here is the location where those who committed personal treachery against god, this is where Satan is located. He is
described as a giant terrifying beast with three faces, one black, one red, and one pale yellow. Satan is waist deep in ice whilst flapping his six
wings and crying from all six eyes. Each of his three mouths chews on the most prominent traitors.
This is the depiction of hell by Dante in his fourteenth century epic poem divine comedy