A guide to Dante's 9 circles of Hell is included in the History List.

The First Circle of Hell is home to non-Christians and unbaptized pagans who are punished with eternity in an inferior form of Heaven.The seven virtues are represented by the seven gates in the castle.There are many prominent people from classical antiquity that Dante sees.

People who were overcome by lust are found in the Second Circle of Hell.They are punished by being blown violently back and forth by strong winds.The desire for fleshly pleasures is what leads a person to be restless.Some notable people from history and mythology include Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, and others who were adulterous during their lifetime.

When Dante and Virgil reach the Third Circle of Hell, they find souls of people who were overlooked by the worm-monster Cerberus.In this circle of Hell, sinners are punished by being forced to lie in a slush that is produced by rain.The inability to see others lying nearby symbolizes selfishness and coldness, while the vile slush symbolizes personal degradation of one who overindulges in food, drink, and other worldly pleasures.The character Ciacco told Dante that the Ghibellines would be expelled from Florence in 1302, before the poem was written.

The souls of people who are punished for greed can be seen in the fourth circle of hell.They are divided into two groups based on how much they spent on their possessions.They use great weights as a weapon, pushing it with their chests, which symbolizes their selfish drive for fortune during their lifetime.Two poets don't try to speak to the two groups that are guarded by a character called Pluto because they are occupied with their actions.Dante wants to see many clergymen.

The Fifth Circle of Hell is where bad people are punished for their sins.Dante and Virgil were transported on a boat by Phlegyas and saw the furious fighting between them on the surface of the river Styx and the gurgling beneath the water.The type of sin committed during their lifetime is reflected in the punishment.The poets were approached by Filippo Argenti, a Florentine politician who took Dante's property after expelling him from Florence.

Dante and Virgil see heretics who are condemned to eternity in flaming tombs when they reach the Sixth Circle of Hell.There are two Florentines that Dante talks with, Farinata degli Uberti and Cavalcante de' Cavalcanti, but he also sees other historical figures, including the ancient Greek philosopher and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II.The latter is condemned by some modern scholars as a heretic by mistake.Some scholars think the poet meant the Byzantine Emperor.

There are three rings in the Seventh Circle of Hell.Murderers and other violent people are housed in the Outer Ring.Here, Dante sees Alexander the Great, Dionysius I of Syracuse, Guy de Montfort, and many other historical and mythological figures sink into a river of boiling blood and fire.In the Middle Ring, the poet sees suicides turn into trees and bushes which are fed on by harpies.He sees dogs chasing and torn to pieces.blasphemers and sodomites live in a desert of burning sand and rain in the Inner Ring.

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