Dante’s 9 Circles Of Hell: A Visitors Guide

On June 18, 2014 by Lazer Horse

7th Circle – Violence

9 Circles Of Hell - seventh circle

Now, the trip downwards to the seventh circle is pretty steep, so please bring appropriate foot wear. It really can be rather treacherous, especially on a rainy day. The entry is guarded by a Minotaur, so try and keep your cool as you pass, and whatever you do, don’t make any wise cracks or attempt small talk. They really don’t take kindly to that at all.

The seventh circle is divided into three separate rings, just to add to the confusion. There’s quite a bit going on down here as you’ll see…

7 a) – Outer Ring

Here you’ll meet sinners who were violent towards other people and belongings. They will be bubbling away in the boiling river of blood and fire called Phlegethon. You might see Atilla the Hun here if you’re lucky.

Centaurs patrol the river’s edge, shooting arrows into anyone that bobs too high above the surface, so absolutely no swimming.

7 b) – Middle Ring

9 Circles Of Hell - profligates

The middle of the three rings holds the suicides and profilgates. The suicides are transformed into wisened old thorny bushes and pecked at by Harpies.

The profligates are people who didn’t take their own lives per se, but ruined it for themselves by being willfully wasteful with property or money. This group are constantly chased and mauled by vicious looking dogs. They crash their way through the woody suicide bushes causing both groups further damage. Try and stay out of the action if you can.

7 c) – Inner Ring

Here you’ll get to meet the wonderful blasphemers and sodomites. A very naughty bunch indeed. There’s flaming sand and fiery lakes so bring a beach towel and sun block if you plan to hang out here for any length of time.

8th Circle – Fraud

9 Circles Of Hell - lower hell

The journey into the next couple of circles involves descending down the sheer face of a cliff. Dante managed this on the back of a three-headed monster called Geryon (below). He’s not cheap but he is reliable. If you plan on using him, book early to avoid disappointment, otherwise it’s a pretty long abseil/fall.

9 Circles Of Hell - geryon

Fraud is very serious as we all know, so this circle has been split into no less than 10 separate Bolgies which are ditches made of stone, connected by bridges. All have their own charms, but if you haven’t got time to see them all, maybe just pick a couple from the following list:

8.1 Panderers and Seducers

Here you’ll see two lines of sinners being whipped by demons for eternity. Stay well clear of the whips, demons aren’t fussy who they wallop.

8.2 Flatterers

These guys and gals just stand about covered in human excrement. Although it’s pretty entertaining, the smell can be a touch overwhelming, particularly in the summer months… and the flies! Jeez. On the plus side you won’t have much competition when it comes to looking for a space to set up your tent.

8.3 Simony

Simony is the act of selling on church roles and offices. Naughty, naughty. These fellas, most of which are popes and the like, have their heads trapped in holes in rocks and their feet eternally burned by flames. The smell is much less bad here, especially if you’re fond of bacon, but the screaming will upset some of the younger guests.

8.4 Sorcerers, Astrologers and False Prophets

This unfortunate group have their heads twisted round 180 degrees so that they have to constantly walk backwards. If one removes one’s sympathy gland this can actually be pretty amusing. There’s a lot of stumbling, think You’ve Been Framed mixed with Hell Raiser.

8.5 Corrupt Politicians

Devils called Malebranch (“Evil Claws”) guard these wicked men as they’re immersed in a boiling lake of pitch. Apparently Cameron has already booked his space.

8.6 Hypocrites

9 Circles Of Hell - hypocrites

No one likes a hypocrite do they? They’re condemned to wander about in heavy cloaks made of lead. If you’re going to skip any of the Bolgies I suggest skipping this one.

There’s not a lot going on although occasionally you’ll see one of the hypocrites fall over; the effort it takes them to get back up again can be pretty amusing.

8.7 Thieves

9 Circles Of Hell - Bolgia 7

This Bolgie is worth visiting for the guardian alone, a centaur named Cacus. Cacus has a fire breathing dragon on his shoulder and snakes all over his equine back. Quite a sight, be sure to take a photo and tag me when you upload it, I miss that guy… terible breath, though.

The residents here are constantly bitten and attacked by snakes and lizards. With each bite, the thieve’s slowly morph into other things, gradually losing their identity; so there’s more than adequate entertainment for the whole family.

8.8 Fraudulent Advisors and Evil Counsellors

These are people who specifically used a position of power to convince others to be fraudulent. Each of these sinners has their very own flame that they are stuck in – forever. You’ll see Ulysses here for the part he played in the Trojan Horse fiasco.

8.9 Sowers of Discord

There has to be a metal band called Sowers of Discord surely? (I looked it up, and there isn’t, but there is a Brazilian band called Necronomicon Beast that released an album of that name). In this enchanting section you can sit back and relax as a demon hacks their bodies into little pieces.

As they are hacked, their wounds quickly heal and they are hacked once more. There’s a lot of hacking to watch and, if you play your cards right, you can catch a glimpse of Muhammad getting a sword bashing. Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali is also down here for the perceived role he played in the split between Sunni and Shia.

9 Circles Of Hell - Bertran de Born sowers of discord

You might also come across Bertran de Born (a 12th century Occitan troubadour) carrying his own head as a lantern. This Bolgie really is a must see if you’re delving this far into hell. If you only visit one of the Bolgies, make it 8.9, it really is a riot and chocked full of celebs.

8.10 Falsifiers

There’s all sorts down here in Bolgie 10, including alchemistscounterfeitersperjurers and impostors. They are all given different diseases to bear. It’s not that exciting to be honest, if I wanted to watch someone with a fever I’d just sit in my local GP’s office for half a day.

Ninth and final circle on the next page…

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