Hell (also known as The Woeful Realm, L'inferno in Italian) was a realm of the afterlife, where unrepentant mortals who committed sin are sent to be tortured as punishment for eternity. Composed of nine circles (or nine levels), the Inferno was strictly Lucifer's domain, devoid of God and His love. Each circle acted as a prison for the souls who committed certain types of sins, and they are punished in a poetic manner in death.
The Shores of Acheron are the outermost edges of this realm beyond the Gates of Hell. The shades that wandered its shores lived life with neither fame nor infamy, having only ever served themselves rather than choose a side. Denied Paradise, they are not required to enter The Woeful Realm, and they are not welcomed in either place.
The Nine Circles[edit | edit source]
Limbo[edit | edit source]
The first circle, Limbo, is the resting place of the unbaptized, and the virtuous pagans who did not accept Christ nor had the opportunity to know about him, despite not being sinful in life. Limbo was on the outer boundary of Hell, just across the Acheron River. The guiltless Damned are punished by living in a grand yet deficient form of Heaven. They are treated with honor and they are not physically harmed in any way. Lacking a baptism, they lack the hope for something greater than themselves, despite the strength of their goodness.
King Minos, who judged the Damned and sentenced them to their fates in the remaining eight circles below, is stationed at the edge of Limbo.
Lust[edit | edit source]
Below Limbo was the second circle, Lust. In this circle, the carnal Damned are punished in an endless tempest of fierce winds, representing the power of Lust to blow one around aimlessly and needlessly. These shades are permitted no rest at all, the tempest being a physical embodiment of their lusts never giving them rest in life. Cleopatra, who ruled over the shades atop the Carnal Tower, resided here with her lover Marc Anthony.
Below Lust was the third circle, Gluttony, where the overindulgent souls laid in a vile slush produced by unceasing, foul and icy rains forever. The rains and sludge symbolized the cold and empty sensuality of their lives, and the waste that their voraciousness generated. The rest of the terrain resembled digestive organs, in keeping with the aesthetics of the circle.
This level was guarded by the three-headed guard dog, Cerberus. Beyond him was the circle proper, as well as the Hall of Gluttons. This frozen, maze-like hall was reserved for those of royalty and high status, who indulged in food and drinks to gross excess in life. In death, they are constantly devoured and excreted by several Gluttons for eternity.
Greed[edit | edit source]
Below Gluttony was the fourth circle, Greed. Those whose attitude toward the material goods deviated from the appropriate mean are punished here. This included the avaricious (hoarding valuable possessions and money) and the prodigal (those who squandered such goods). Within the circle, the occupants are boiled alive in the molten gold below. Here, Plutus, the demonic God of Wealth, resides along with Lady Fortune, a gigantic "wheel of fortune," which impacts the fate of those who are still alive on Earth.
Anger[edit | edit source]
Below Greed was the fifth circle, Anger. In the River Styx, the wrathful fought each other on the surface. The sullen are sunken gurgling beneath the water, as they are withdrawn "into a black sulkiness which could find no joy in God or man or the universe." This swampy and noxious terrain was guarded by its ferryman,Phlegyas, who transported passengers across. Beyond the river was the City of Dis, which was the residence of the Fallen Angels and the gateway to the final four circles of Hell.
Below Anger was the sixth circle, Heresy. In this circle, the heretics, such as Epicureans (those who believed that "the soul died with the body") are trapped alongside those who denied the existence of God and the soul after death, and those who worshiped false idols and devils. In this burning cemetery, the Pagans, the followers of Epicurus and atheists are burned alive in partially sealed coffins, crypts and tombs for eternity.
Following Heresy was the seventh circle, Violence. This circle was guarded by the Minotaur (a mechanical statue in the game) and separated into three parts: Violence against others (Murder), Violence against self (Suicide) and Violence against God (Blasphemy). Those who acted with violence against others are boiled in a boiling river of blood, the Phlegethon, which was guarded by the Centaurs. These creatures kept those who are trapped within the Phlegethon from escaping. Those who committed suicide or violence against themselves are placed in the Wood of the Suicides, condemned to writhe in eternal pain as gnarled trees. As a penalty for having given their old bodies up, they are denied a human form in death. Finally, those who showed violence against God are placed in the harsh region of the Abominable Sands. This area includes those who are guilty of sodomy, perversion of Nature and blasphemy against God. They are condemned to wander among the burning sand dunes, as the flaming brimstone rained down upon them.
Fraud[edit | edit source]
Below Violence was the eighth circle, Fraud. Fraud was an extremely dark place that held those who are guilty of deliberate, knowing evil: using lies and deception for personal gain. This circle was divided into ten ditches, known collectively as the Malebolge (singular bolgia, meaning "ditch" or "pit"). Each of the Malebolge held a different type of liar, and a different and appropriately poetic form of punishment.
Finally, beneath Fraud was the ninth circle, Treachery. This was the farthest place in all of creation from the light of God. It was located at the Earth's core, and was the deepest and blackest of all of the circles. This was where the traitors are distinguished from the "merely" fraudulent. Their acts involved betraying family, community, guests and God Himself. Alongside the traitors, the Giants of myth are condemned here, guarding the entrance to the circle for their daring to battle against the divine. Due to such an extreme absence of Love among these sinners, there is no warmth here, and the circle was depicted as a large, frozen lake holding the traitors captive within the ice. At the very center of Treachery, Lucifer is trapped at the very center of Lake Cocytus, frozen from the waist down. The futile beating of his wings caused an icy wind, which, combined with the tears he sheds, only serve to trap him in the ice further along with his fellow traitors.
Known Residents[edit | edit source]
The following table included the characters who are known to be in Hell at some point during the series. Naturally, it could be assumed that any mortal in the Dante universe could eventually become a resident. Note: Characters with technical matters or special circumstances would appear with a "*" next to their name.
|Resident||Media||Location||Cause(s) of residency|
|Beatrice*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||The Gates of Hell, Lust, Anger, Fraud, Treachery (is ultimately taken to Heaven)||Lost a bargain with Lucifer; chose to become Queen of Hell (was redeemed)
In the original book, Beatrice is mentioned in the Inferno and Purgatorio, but does not appear physically until the Paradiso section, serving as Dante's guide through Heaven as Virgil could not enter the presence of God. She acts here as the personification of Beatific Love and as a guardian spirit for Dante.
In the game, Beatrice is cast as the fiancee of Dante, who is killed before Dante returns from the Crusades. He witnesses her abduction by Lucifer, with whom she made a wager. She lost this wager due to Dante's infidelity. Furious with Dante, she accepts Lucifer's hand and she becomes queen of the Woeful Realm, but she is ultimately saved by Dante's love for her.
*Unlike the other residents of Hell in the game, Beatrice is considered a pure soul who is only there due to her bargain with the Devil.
|Virgil*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Limbo (originally; accompanies Dante throughout Hell)||Virtuous paganism
A Roman poet who was commissioned by Emperor Augustus Caesar to compose the Aeneid, as a way to give Rome a mythological history and to cement the divinity of the Caesars.
*Permitted to leave Limbo and guide Dante throughout Hell by divine intervention and at the request of Beatrice. Acted as his guide through Purgatory as well in The Divine Comedy.
|Celestine V||The Divine Comedy||The Shores of Acheron||Neutrality/Opportunism
A former Pope who was exceedingly lax in office, leading to Boniface VIII becoming his successor and to Dante's eventual exile. Barred from entering Hell for not choosing a side in life and banned from Heaven and Purgatory for the same reason.
|Pontius Pilate||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||The Shores of Acheron||Neutrality/Opportunism, leading to deicide
A Roman governor of Biblical lore who stood aside when Jesus of Nazareth was executed by the Pharisees. Barred from entering Hell for not choosing a side in life, banned from Heaven and Purgatory for the same reason.
|Charon*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||The Shores of Acheron||Mythological ferryman of the Damned
*Technically a supernatural deity, Charon is not in Hell for any particular offense and is merely given the duty to ferry the souls into Hell via the Acheron River.
|Adam, Abel, Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Jacob and Rachel||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Limbo (originally; taken to Heaven prior to the book and game)||Virtuous paganism (Judaism)
The Biblical figures of the Old Testament who were originally damned to Limbo, but taken with Christ to Heaven during the Harrowing of Hell. Mentioned by Virgil both in the book and game, but these shades never physically appeared as they are no longer in Hell.
|Homer, Horace, Ovid and Lucan||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
Along with Virgil, all were classical poets who Dante admired. In the original book, this group counts Dante as one of their own in terms of poetic skill.
|Electra||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Limbo||Virtuous paganism; retributional matricide
The mythological princess of Mycenae and daughter of King Agamemnon. In the original book, she is in Hell for being a pagan and could not enter Heaven because of it. She is praised in Limbo for her fortitude under the abuse of her mother, and for insisting on avenging her father's death. In the game, she is instead damned for taking the law into her own hands, murdering her mother to avenge the death of her father.
|Hector||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The mythological crown prince of Troy, noted for his gallantry, piety and prowess in battle. He was killed in battle by Achilles with divine help from the gods. His corpse was mocked and defiled until Priam, Hector's father and the Trojan King, begged for the body back for burial, which Achilles, who was moved to tears, granted.
|Aeneas||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The demigod son of the goddess Venus and the Trojan prince Anchises, who escaped from the Sack of Troy and went on to become the King of Latinum (Italy). All Roman Emperors, particularly the Caesars, claimed descent from Aeneas through his son, Iulus (Julus/Julius).
|Gaius Julius Caesar||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The famous Roman general and dictator, who attempted to unite the Roman Republic under his rule as king, but was murdered by members of the Roman Senate. His grand-nephew and heir, Octavian, became the first Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar.
|Penthesilea||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
An Amazon Queen and demigod daughter of the god Ares, who challenged the hero Achilles to single combat. Upon killing her, Achilles greatly lamented her death after removing her helmet and realizing how beautiful she was.
|Latinus and Lavinia||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The mythological, marital family of the hero Aeneas. Latinus was the King of Latinum, to whose throne Aeneas succeeded by marrying Latinus's daughter, Lavinia.
|Camilla||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The mythological princess of the Volsci tribe of Italy, who had dedicated herself to the goddess Diana for saving her life as an infant. Camilla was known for her impressive speed, but was killed in battle against Aeneas and his Trojan allies when he fought for the hand of Lavinia.
|Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucretia||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
Two legendary Roman figures, who helped end the tyranny of the Roman Kings and established the Republic. After being raped by the son of Tarquin, Rome's final king, Lucretia quickly revealed what happened to her husband, Brutus, and his allies. Despite Brutus's support for his wife, Lucretia proceeded to commit honorable suicide. In retaliation, Brutus led a successful revolt against Tarquin and his family, overthrowing and exiling the king.
|Julia||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The only child of Julius Caesar by his first wife, Cornelia, and the sole legal child of Caesar under Roman law. She was married to Caesar's rival, Pompey Magnus, to form a truce between the two. Julia later died in childbirth, renewing the enmity between Caesar and Pompey.
|Marcia*||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The second wife of Cato the Younger, who was reputed by all to be an model wife and mother.
*Marcia's husband, Cato the Younger, serves as the ferryman of Purgatory in The Divine Comedy.
|Cornelia||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
The first wife of Julius Caesar and the mother of Julia. She was the first woman in Roman history to be given an oration at her funeral.
|Saladin||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Limbo||Virtuous paganism (Muslim)
The contemporary and military rival of King Richard the Lionheart during the Third Crusade.
|Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Democritus, Diogenes, Anaxagoras, Thales, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Zeno, Cicero and Seneca||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
All were classical philosophers and orators, who were greatly admired in Dante's time.
|Orpheus||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Located in Limbo in The Divine Comedy, located on Charon in Dante's Inferno.||Virtuous paganism; attempted necromancy
The demigod son of the god Apollo and the Muse Calliope. In the original book, he is in Hell for being a pagan and could not enter Heaven because of it. He is given honor in Limbo for his musical and poetic gifts. In the game, he is damned for attempting to bring his wife, Eurydice, back from the dead, in violation of the natural order.
|Dioscorides, Linus, Euclid, Ptolemy, Hippocrates, Avicenna, Galen, and Averroes||The Divine Comedy||Limbo||Virtuous paganism
All were men of classical learning whom Dante admired for their contributions to mathematics, music and science.
|Minos*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Limbo||Mythological Judge of the Damned.
*Technically a supernatural deity, as the demigod son of the god Zeus and the Cretan princess Europa, Minos is not in Hell for any particular offense. He is assigned the duty to judge the shades who are not virtuous enough to enter Limbo.
|Semiramis||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Lust||Seduction, murder, incest and pedophilia
The legendary demigod queen of Assyria. She was initially depicted as a renown ruler, who took charge until her son came of age, but was later painted by Armenians and subsequent writings as a depraved woman who indulged in unnatural lusts, changing the laws to make incest legal so she would not be held accountable for her crimes.
|Dido||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Lust||Deliberately breaking a sacred vow of chastity, leading to suicide
The legendary queen of Carthage. While sheltering the refugee survivors of the Trojan War, Dido began an affair with the hero Aeneas, despite having taken a vow to remain celibate after the death of her husband. When Aeneas eventually left her to continue on his quest to Latinum/Italy, the humiliated queen killed herself.
|Cleopatra||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Lust||Seduction, warfare, assassination and suicide
The last of the royal Ptolemy dynasty and the final queen of Egypt. She seduced Julius Caesar to aid her in her civil war against her brother/husband, Ptolemy XIII, and became the mother of Caesar's illegitimate child, Ptolemy XV Caesarion. Upon Caesar's death, she was sought out by Marc Antony, who became her next lover. After being defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., she and Antony committed suicide.
In the game, she is made the Queen of the Circle of Lust by means of a bargain with Lucifer. She serves as a boss to deter Dante from reaching Beatrice.
|Marc Antony||Dante's Inferno||Lust||Warfare, assassination and suicide
A Roman general, trusted friend of Julius Caesar and a member of the Roman Triumvirate alongside Leppidus and Octavian. In his campaign to control Syria, he was seduced by Cleopatra, leading to war with Octavian and Rome. Defeated in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Antony committed suicide after receiving a false report that Cleopatra was dead.
In the game, Marc Antony rules the Circle of Lust alongside Cleopatra. She stores him inside her own, larger body until he is needed to fight Dante.
|Helen of Troy||The Divine Comedy||Lust||Infidelity, leading to warfare
The demigod daughter of the god Zeus and the Spartan Queen Leda, and the most beautiful woman in the world. She abandoned her husband, Menelaus, and fled with her lover Paris to Troy, which began the Trojan War, resulting in the deaths of many people.
|Achilles||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Lust||Lust for glory; attempted rape, leading to murder
The demigod son of the nymph Thetis and the human king Peleus, and the champion of the Greek army in the Trojan War. The reason for his placing here is unclear, but it is possibly linked either to his violent lust for the Trojan prince Troilus, which resulted in the death of both Achilles and Troilus, or to his lust for fame, which was said to have caused the death of his lover, the princess Deidamia.
|Paris||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Lust||Infidelity, leading to warfare
A mythological prince of Troy, who was prophesied to bring about the destruction of his native city. Appointed to judge who the most beautiful goddess was, he was awarded by the goddess Aphrodite with the love of Helen, the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. He and Helen fled to Troy, beginning the Trojan War, leading to the deaths of many people.
|Tristan||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Lust||Infidelity and treason
A legendary Cornish knight in the service of his uncle, King Mark. While escorting Mark's betrothed, an Irishwoman named Iseult, to Britain to be wed, Tristan and Iseult accidentally consumed a love potion and began an affair behind the king's back, continuing long after King Mark married Iseult. Having an affair with a king's wife and queen is considered treason, since it endangers the dynastic legitimacy of the throne.
|Francesca da Polenta and Paolo Malatesta||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Lust||Infidelity without repentance
Francesca, the daughter of an Italian nobleman, was reputed to have been tricked into marrying the warrior and nobleman, Giovanni Malatesta, when his younger brother Paolo stood in for Giovanni at the wedding. Francesca and Paolo had a decade-long affair, which ended when the two were caught in bed together and slain by Giovanni.
|Ciacco||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Gluttony||Unknown (Excessive indulgence in food and drink)
An anonymous citizen of Florence, who claimed to have known Dante in life, although Dante does not recognize him or remember Ciacco's true name.
|Clodia||Dante's Inferno||Gluttony||Excessive intoxication, seduction and attempted murder
A Roman woman and sister-in-law of Fulvia, known for her constant affairs with many men, and for the attempted murder of her husband. She tried to accuse a former lover in court of trying to kill her, but he was defended by Cicero, who painted her as a whore and a drunkard.
|Plutus*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Greed||Mythological God of Wealth
*Technically a supernatural deity, as the embodiment of Human Greed, Plutus is not in Hell for any particular offense, but is depicted as a false god whom those who are avaricious worship.
In the game, he functions as a living statue needed to progress through the Circle of Greed.
|Tarpeia||Dante's Inferno||Greed||Excessive greed, leading to the endangerment of others
A mythological Vestal Virgin of Rome, who betrayed her duty and her city to the Sabines in exchange for gold. In return for her avarice, she was crushed to death by the Sabines.
|Gessius Florus||Dante's Inferno||Greed||Excessive greed, leading to wrongful imprisonment, mass murder and warfare
A Roman procurator of Judea, who heavily oppressed the Jewish people with his lust for money. When he was mocked for his greedy nature, he retaliated by having innocent people crucified.
|Fulvia||Dante's Inferno||Greed||Excessive greed, leading to assassination and civil warfare
The third wife of Marc Antony and a wealthy Roman woman. With the death of Julius Caesar, she came to control Rome alongside her husband, before she was universally frowned upon for participating in proscriptions, which led to the assassination of Cicero. Fulvia incited war with Octavian after he divorced her daughter, due to Fulvia's greedy reputation. Fulvia was defeated and fled to Greece, where she died in exile.
|Alighiero*||Dante's Inferno||Greed||Excessive greed, infidelity and lewdness; inciting suicide
The father of Dante by his wife, Bella Abati.
*Original to the game, Alighiero is painted as a womanizing and avaricious man who drove his wife to suicide, caused the ruin of his vassals by confiscating their belongings, and was consistently abusive to Dante, twisting his son's mind and soul until Dante eventually became as corrupted as he was. In the game, he is killed after fighting against the Avenger and being stabbed through the eye socket with his own cross. In Hell, he is damned to the Circle of Greed and serves as its boss, fighting Dante in return for clemency from Lucifer.
|Boudica||Dante's Inferno||Anger||Warfare and mass murder
The legendary queen of the Iceni tribe. After she and her family were horribly abused by the Romans, Boudica led an immense army against the Romans, resulting in the deaths of thousands. She was eventually defeated, and either committed suicide or died from disease.
|Hecuba||Dante's Inferno||Anger||Extreme rage, leading to suicide
The mythological Queen of Troy, wife of Priam and the mother of Hector, Paris and Troilus. After witnessing her entire family slaughtered by the Greeks, she was enslaved alongside the other women of Troy. According to one myth, she went mad and began acting like an enraged dog, before cursing the Greek army and then throwing herself off a cliff to her death.
|Phlegyas||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Anger||Destruction of a sacred temple in anger; Ferryman of the River Styx
The demigod son of the god Ares, Phlegyas was damned to Hell for burning down the Temple of Apollo or Helios, in retaliation for the seduction and death of his daughter.
In the book and game, Phlegyas is cast as the ferryman of the Styx, which traditionally has no ferryman.
|Filippo Argenti||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Anger||Contributed to Dante's exile from Florence; took possession of Dante's property
A Florentine nobleman, Argenti and Dante were bitter rivals. When Dante was forced to leave the city, Argenti ensured that Dante would never be able to return and confiscated all of Dante's possessions in Florence.
|The Furies (Alecto, Megara, Tisiphone)*||The Divine Comedy||City of Dis||Mythological denizens of the Underworld
*Technically supernatural deities, the Furies are not in Hell for any particular offense, but acted as embodiments of Crime and Punishment.
|Medusa*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (Mentioned)||City of Dis||Mythological denizen of the Underworld
*Technically a mythological monster, Medusa's placement in Hell is a carry-over from Virgil's epic, the Aeneid, which has the hero Aeneas being confronted by Medusa when he enters the Underworld. Medusa can also serve as an embodiment of Divine Anger, as she was punished by the gods for the defilement of the goddess Athena's temple.
|Frederick II||Dante's Inferno||Heresy||Warfare against the Pope; inciting suicide
The Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II became a controversial figure when he disobeyed the commands of Pope Gregory IX and Pope Innocent IV, culminating in an all-out war with both. He was branded a heretic as a result, and his enmity with the Holy See would result in the death of one of Frederick's advisors.
|Farinata degli Uberti||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Heresy||Follower of Epicurus
A Ghibelline and Florentine aristocrat. After death, Uberti and his wife were tried and convicted of the charge of heresy. The charges claimed that Uberti followed the teaching of Epicurus, that stated that the soul died with the body, and people should indulge to excess while still alive.
|Cavalcante de Cavalcanti||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Heresy||Atheism
A Florentine banker who charged exorbitant rates and was branded as a heretic, though the details of this are not clear.
|Anastasius I||The Divine Comedy||Heresy||Monophysism (denial of the dual nature of Christ)
A Byzantine emperor, confused by Dante with Pope Anastasius II. This emperor denied the nature of Christ as both Divine and Human, despite being lauded as a successful emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
|Asterion/ The Minotaur*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence||Mythological denizen of the Underworld
*Technically a mythological monster, the Minotaur's placement in Hell is a carry-over from Virgil's epic, the Aeneid, which has the hero Aeneas being confronted by the creature when he enters the Underworld. The Minotaur serves as an embodiment of Bestial Violence, as the monster brutally murdered young men and maidens every seven years until its death.
In the game, the Minotaur is depicted as a mechanical statue, used by Dante to break one of the Chains of Judecca and progress.
|Chiron*||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Guardian of the Violent Damned
*Technically a mythological creature, as the centaur son of the titan Cronos and the nymph Phylira, Chiron is not in Hell for any particular offense, and is merely given the duty to maintain the punishment of souls that are trapped in the Phlegethon. As a centaur, Chiron and his fellows served as embodiments of uncontrollable lusts and acts of violence (although Chiron himself is unique among the Centaurs for being wise and peaceful).
|Nessus||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned; appears physically in the book and film)||Violence/Phlegethon||Attempted rape, leading to murder and suicide; Guardian of the Violent Damned
A former mythological ferryman, Nessus was killed by the hero Heracles after Nessus attempted to rape Heracles's new wife, Deianira. In retaliation, as he laid dying, Nessus tricked Deianira into giving Heracles a poisoned tunic, which killed the hero. As a centaur, Nessus and his fellows served as embodiments of uncontrollable lusts and acts of violence.
|Pholus*||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Guardian of the Violent Damned
*Technically a mythological creature, Pholus is not in Hell for any particular offense, and is merely given the duty to maintain the punishment of the souls that are trapped in the Phlegethon. As a centaur, Pholus and his fellows served as embodiments of uncontrollable lusts and acts of violence.
|Alexander the Great||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (mentioned)||Violence/Phlegethon||Mass murder and warfare
The king of Macedon, Alexander went on to conquer much of the Eastern world, including Egypt and Persia. He was met with defiance when he attempted to conquer India, and resorted to executing anyone who disagreed with his methods.
|Dionysius I||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Tyranny and warfare
A early king of Syracuse in Sicily, Dionysius faked an attempt on his life to give him an excuse to hire mercenarial guards. He installed these guards all over his kingdom, which solidified his power as a despotic ruler. He is reputed to have indulged in mass murder and other atrocious acts.
|Azzo VIII/ Azzolino||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Murder
The lord of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Azzo was rumored to have murdered his stepfather, Obizzo II d'Este.
|Obizzo II d'Este||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Unknown (possibly rape)
The Marquis of Ferrara, Obizzo was born out of wedlock, but legitimized by Pope Innocent IV, which allowed Obizzo to obtain the rulership of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio. He is found alongside the man who murdered him, his own stepson Azzo VIII, but the reason given for Obizzo's presence in Hell is unclear. One possible reason is Obizzo's purchase of Ghisolabella Caccianemico from her brother, Venedico, against her will.
|Attila the Hun||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence/Phlegethon||Mass Murder and Warfare
Known as the "Scourge of God," as the leader of the Huns, Attila led many bloody campaigns against his enemies, devastating the Western Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
|Pyrrhus Neoptolemus||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Murder and regicide; defilement of an sacred altar
The son of the hero Achilles by the Greek princess Deidamia, upon his father's death, Pyrrhus took his place as the champion of the Greek army. During the Sack of Troy, Pyrrhus came upon the defenseless King Priam, clinging to an altar while trying to protect one of his sons. Unmoved, Pyrrhus murdered Priam and his child in cold blood.
|Sextus Pompeius||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Murder and piracy
The son of Pompey Magnus, the former rival of Julius Caesar. Sextus continued the animosity towards Caesar after Pompey's death. He was depicted as a ruthless pirate, and attempted to establish Sicily as an independent region from the Roman Republic.
|Rinieri da Corneto and Rinieri Pazzo||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Phlegethon||Robbery and murder
Two bandits and contemporaries of Dante. Not much is known of them, although it is stated that Pazzo was eventually excommunicated by Pope Clement IV.
|Pietro della Vigna||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence/Wood of the Suicides||Suicide by crushing his own skull
The former advisor and lawyer to Emperor Frederick II. Pietro fell from grace when he was falsely accused of dishonoring the Emperor and taking part in a plot against Frederick's life. Imprisoned and unable to defend himself, Frederick had Pietro blinded. He ultimately killed himself in his prison, as he was unable to take the humiliation any longer.
|Lano/ Arcolano da Siena||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Wood of the Suicides||Suicide by allowing himself to die in battle
A Sienese aristocrat. Lano fought in the Battle of Toppo, but chose to be killed in battle rather than live in poverty for the rest of his life. In the original book, he is hunted down through the Wood of the Suicides and torn to pieces by a pack of black hounds.
|Jacopo da Sant'Andrea||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Wood of the Suicides||Suicide by squandering money
A Paduan man who was notorious for being a spendthrift. With Lano, he is hunted down by the pack of hounds.
|Bella Abati*||Dante's Inferno||Violence/Wood of the Suicides||Suicide by hanging
The mother of Dante.
*Original to the game, Bella's husband, Alighiero, is painted as a womanizing, avaricious and abusive man who drove Bella to suicide. He conceals the truth from Dante, claiming that Bella died from a plague.
When Dante encounters Bella in Hell, he is devastated to learn the truth. Lamenting her choice to die rather than live on to protect her son, Bella insists that he should continue on his quest to save Beatrice. Finally, Bella asks him to absolve her soul, which Dante does.
|Capaneus||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Verbal blasphemy against God
One of the mythological Seven against Thebes, Capaneus was a warrior who defied the will of the gods. For such arrogance, he was struck and killed by lightning. In the original book, he continues defying God in spite of being damned to Hell. His continued abuse of God serves only to increase his own suffering and pain further.
|Brunetto Latini||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence/Abominable Sands||Possible sodomy; corruption of the art of language
The beloved tutor and foster parent of Dante. A famous poet, philosopher and orator, he taught Dante appreciation for classical works and published several rhetorical writings of his own.
|Priscian||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Sodomy
A famous grammarian of the Middle Ages. He is found among the Sodomites in Hell, traveling alongside Brunetto Latini.
|Francesco d'Accorso||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Sodomy
A famous lawyer of Bologna. He is found among the Sodomites in Hell.
|Guido Guerra||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence/Abominable Sands||Sodomy and warfare
A member of the Guelph political faction.Guido was known for his brutality in battle.
|Tegghiaio Aldobrandi||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Sodomy
A Florentine aristocrat who advised the Florentine army not to attack the Senese in the Battle of Montaparti. Due to not being listened to, the Florentine army was destroyed. He is found among the Sodomites in Hell, but is greatly respected for his other deeds by Dante.
|Jacopo Rusticucci||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Sodomy
A Florentine politician. In Hell, he tells Dante that he engaged in sodomy due to the harsh nature of his wife.
|Guglielmo Borsiere||The Divine Comedy||Violence/Abominable Sands||Possible Sodomy
An Italian pursemaker who is found in Hell among the Sodomites.
|Geryon*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Violence||Mythological denizen of the Underworld
*Technically a mythological monster, Geryon's placement in Hell is a carry-over from Virgil's epic, the Aeneid, which has the hero Aeneas being confronted by the creature when he enters the Underworld. Geryon serves as an embodiment of Fraudulence, due to having multiple faces and limbs (demonstrating the two-faced nature of fraud and lying)
|Francesco*||Dante's Inferno||Violence||Mass murder and various war crimes
*Original to the game, Francesco is the brother of Beatrice and companion of Dante. Beatrice implored Dante to look after her brother when the two went away on the Crusades. However, Dante neglected his lover's request, and Francesco was forced to watch the moral decline of his future brother-in-law and friend. Presumably, due to both Dante's corruption and the assumed absolution of the Crusaders of all sin, Francesco may have engaged in various war crimes alongside Dante. After the slaughter of the hostages at Acre, Francesco sacrificed himself for Dante, taking the blame for the murders so his friend could escape. Francesco was hanged for the crimes, and is encountered by Dante in Hell, where the former Crusader is forced to fight the monster that Francesco has literally become thanks to Dante's influence.
|Jason||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Panderers and Seducers Bolgia||Seduction and abandonment of his lover(s); deliberately breaking a sacred vow of chastity
Rightful heir to the throne of Corinth, the mythological hero Jason was charged with bringing the Golden Fleece of Aeetes back from Colchis to solidify his claim. On his adventures, Jason seduced both Queen Hypsipyle of Lemnos and Princess Medea of Colchis in order to preserve his own life. After he had children by both women, he abandoned them, despite making a sacred vow each time to remain loyal to the woman that he was with at the time. Disgusted by this duplicity, the gods sided with Jason's discarded lovers and cursed the hero's remaining years on Earth.
|Venedico Caccianemico||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Panderers and Seducers Bolgia||Procuration of his sister
The leader of the Guelphs of Bologna. Venedico is said to have sold his own sister, Ghisolabella Caccianemico, to Obizzo II d'Este, the Marquis of Ferrara, against her will.
|Thais||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Fraud/Flatterers Bolgia||Flattery, leading to multiple murders
A temple prostitute, Thais was said to have teased and seduced hundreds of men with her beauty. She induced Alexander the Great to burn down the Palace of Persepolis, aiding him in the task.
|Alessio Interminelli of Lucca||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Flatterers Bolgia||Flattery
One of the White Guelph faction, though his particular sin of flattery is not elaborated upon. He sits in Hell, covered in filth and lamenting his fate.
|Nicholas III||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Simony Bolgia||Simony and nepotism
A former Pope who is damned to Hell for his nepotism with church positions.
|Tiresias and Manto||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (Tiresias);
The Divine Comedy (Manto)
|Fraud/Diviners Bolgia||Using magic to change genders (Tiresias); foreseeing the future (both)
The Blind Prophet of Thebes, Tiresias was given the gift of prophecy after being blinded by the gods. He is damned to Hell alongside his daughter, Manto, for his acts of divination.
In the game, Tiresias was not only guilty of trying to foresee the future, but also for using magic to change his gender from male to female, and back again.
|Aruns||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Diviners Bolgia||Foreseeing the future
An Etruscan seer who foresaw the war between Julius Caesar and Pompey.
|Michael Scot||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Diviners Bolgia||Use of magic; foreseeing the future
A famous Scottish mathematician and magician, who was highly honored among European royalty.
|Asdente the Shoemaker||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Diviners Bolgia||Foreseeing the future
A cobbler from Parma who made prophesies against the rule of Emperor Frederick II.
|Guido Bonatti||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Diviners Bolgia||Foreseeing the future through use of astrology
An astrologer of Forli, who claimed to have brought about the victory at Montaparti for the Senese, during which the Florentine army was annihilated.
|Malacoda*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Fraud
(located in the Politicians Bolgia in The Divine Comedy, located at the entrance to Fraud in Dante's Inferno)
|Guardian of the Politician's Bolgia
*In the original book, Malacoda was a member of the Malebrache (Evil Claws), a group of demons appointed to torture those shades trapped in the Politician's bolgia, preventing them from escaping. He and some of the other Malebrache acted as comical guides for Dante and Virgil to cross a broken bridge, though they fell to fighting amongst each other, allowing Dante and Virgil to slip away unnoticed.
In the game, Malacoda acts as a sub-boss, tasked by Beatrice to kill Dante upon his entry into the Circle of Fraud.
|Catalano dei Malavolti and Loderingo degli Andalo||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Hypocrisy Bolgia||Founders of the hypocritical Jovial Friars; hypocrisy
A former Guelph and Ghibelline respectively, Malavolti and Andalo established the Jovial Friars. The order was meant to promote peace between their warring factions, but in truth it degenerated into a self-serving organization.
|Caiaphas and Annas||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Hypocrisy Bolgia||Excessive hypocrisy and abuse of power, leading to deicide
The Biblical leaders of the Sanhedrin in the New Testament Gospels, Caiaphas and his father-in-law, Annas, ruled in favor of having Jesus of Nazareth crucified for alleged blasphemy (claiming to be the Son of God). Unlike the other Hypocrites, Caiaphas and Annas are given the same fate they gave to Jesus, and are crucified to the floor of the bolgia so that the other Hypocrites stomp on them as they moved around.
|Cacus||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Thieves Bolgia||Theft; Guardian of the Thieves Bolgia
A mythological, fire-breathing giant, who stole from the hero Heracles and was killed in retaliation.
In the original book, he is cast as the guardian of the Thieves bolgia, using a fire-breathing serpent to stop the thieves from escaping from punishment.
|Vanni Fucci||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Thieves Bolgia||Theft, looting and pillaging; stealing from a church, leading to wrongful imprisonment
A former member of the Black Guelphs, who was so brutal in his pillaging of enemy homes, he was called la Bestia ("The Beast"). He was also responsible for stealing a reliquary from the Cathedral of Pistoia, resulting in an innocent man nearly being executed for the crime.
|Agnello Brunelleschi||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Thieves Bolgia||Theft
A former member of the Black Guelphs, who committed his crimes through use of various disguises.
|Cianfa Donati||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Thieves Bolgia||Theft
A political advisor who possibly used his position to steal from others. His sin is not elaborated upon in any media.
|Francesco de Cavalcanti/Guercio||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Thieves Bolgia||Theft, leading to multiple murders
Although his sin is not elaborated upon, Cavalcanti was reportedly killed in the village of Gaville. His murder resulted in a massive, violent fight between the villagers and his family, which brought about the deaths of many people.
|Odysseus (Ulysses)||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Evil Advisors Bolgia||Co-creator of the Trojan Horse, leading to mass murder; attempted to approach Purgatory without divine permission
The mythological king of Ithaca and a hero of the Trojan War. After 10 years of war, he concocted the scheme of the Trojan Horse, allowing the Greek army into the city of Troy. This resulted in the mass slaughter of the Trojans and the enslavement of the women of Troy.
In Hell, he describes to Dante how he glimpsed Purgatory before being drowned at sea for daring to approach.
|Diomedes||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Evil Advisors Bolgia||Co-creator of the Trojan Horse, leading to mass murder
The mythological king of Argos and a hero of the Trojan War. After 10 years of war, he helped Odysseus concoct the scheme of the Trojan Horse, allowing the Greek army into the city of Troy. This resulted in the mass slaughter of the Trojans and the enslavement of the women of Troy.
|Guido da Montefeltro||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Evil Advisors Bolgia||Advisor to Pope Boniface VIII, leading to betrayal and mass murder
After Boniface offered complete absolution for any sins that his advice might incur, Montefeltro advised Boniface to make a truce with the Colonna family, and subsequently break it, resulting in the destruction of the clan.
|Bertrand de Born||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Sowers of Discord Bolgia||Advisor to Henry the Young King, leading to warfare and regicide
Serving as advisor to Henry the Young King of England, son of King Henry II, de Born supported Henry and his brothers' rebellion against their father for power. This rebellion resulted in the death of Henry in battle, and continued war in England.
|Muhammad and Ali||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Sowers of Discord Bolgia||Founder of Islam, leading to religious schism (Muhammad); Divided the Islamic religion into the Shi'a and Sunni denominations (Ali)
According to Brunetto Latini, Dante's mentor, Muhammad was a former cardinal before establishing the religion of Islam, which further split the Catholic Church. In Dante's mind, this would make Muhammad a Schismatic.
His son-in-law, Ali, is also present, going before Muhammad and weeping, as he further split Islam into the Sunni and Shi'a.
|Myrrha||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Fraud/Falsifiers Bolgia||Trickery, leading to multiple acts of incest and inciting suicide
A mythological princess of Assyria. After being cursed by the goddess Aphrodite with lust for her own father, Cinyras, Myrrha tricked him into sleeping with her by disguising herself as a prostitute. When he learned the truth, he attempted to kill his daughter, but she was changed into a tree at the last minute by the gods. Cinyras killed himself out of shame.
|Sinon||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Falsifiers Bolgia||Lying, resulting in mass murder
A former citizen of Troy, Sinon betrayed his people to the Greek army, insisting that the Trojan Horse was safe. He advised them to bring it into the city, which resulted in the mass murder of the Trojans in their sleep.
|Zuleikha||The Divine Comedy||Fraud/Falsifiers Bolgia||False accusation of rape, leading to wrongful imprisonment
The Biblical wife of Potiphar. Potiphar became the master of the patriarch Joseph when he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Zuleikha tried to seduce Joseph, but when he refused her advances, she used the youth's robe to falsely accuse him of raping her, resulting in Joseph being thrown into prison.
|Briareus*||The Divine Comedy||Treachery||Mythological guardian of the Underworld
*Technically one of the mythological Hekatonkhieres, Briareus is not in Hell for any particular offense. He acts as one of the guardians of the most evil of the Damned in Hell.
|Antaeus, Tityos, Ephialtes||The Divine Comedy||Treachery||Directly challenging the gods and their offspring (all three); attempted rape of a deity (Tityos and Ephilates)
These giants were the children of various gods, who grew so large and powerful that they sought to wage war against the deities and their fellow demigods. Antaeus, who murdered any who couldn't defeat him, was crushed to death by Heracles in a wrestling match. Tityos and Ephilates were executed by the gods for attempting to rape the goddess Leto and her daughter Artemis, respectively.
|Nimrod||The Divine Comedy||Treachery||Construction of the Tower of Babel
A legendary Babylonian king, who was reputed to have overseen construction on the infamous Tower of Babel. In retaliation for such arrogance, God was said to have struck the workers dumb, confusing their languages so they could not understand one another, permanently halting the construction.
|Typhon||The Divine Comedy||Treachery||Warfare against the gods; attempted deicide
The mythological son of Gaea, the Earth, Typhon was an immortal monster who challenged the reign of the god Zeus, nearly succeeding in overthrowing him. With help, Zeus was able to defeat Typhon and imprisoned him beneath Mount Etna in Sicily.
|Mordred||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Treachery/Cocytus (Caina)||Betrayal, leading to civil war and regicide
The nephew (or illegitimate son) of King Arthur of Camelot, who betrayed the king and mortally wounded him in the Battle of Camlann. Mordred himself was slain by the dying Arthur.
|Giovanni Malatesta||The Divine Comedy (Mentioned)||Treachery/Cocytus (Caina)||Fratricide and Uxoricide
The husband of Francesca da Polenta, and elder brother of Paolo Malatesta.
Francesca was reputed to have been tricked into marrying Giovanni, through the use of his younger brother Paolo as a proxy. Francesca and Paolo had a decade-long affair, which ended when the two were caught in bed together and slain by Giovanni.
|Count Ugolino||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Treachery/Cocytus (Antenora)||Multiple acts of treason, leading to mass murder
The Count of Donoratico, who constantly switched sides during the civil war between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, resulting in years of bloodshed. When his actions brought about the death of Archbishop Ruggeri's nephew, the archbishop had the count and his family locked up in a tower to starve to death.
|Archbishop Ruggeri degli Ubaldini||The Divine Comedy||Treachery/Cocytus (Antenora)||Multiple acts of treason, leading to mass murder; betrayal and murder of Count Ugolino
The Archbishop of Pisa, who collaborated with Count Ugolino out of self-interest. When Ugolino's actions brought about the death of Archbishop Ruggeri's nephew, the archbishop had the count and his family locked up in a tower to starve to death. He was universally denounced for this cruel act.
|Fra Alberigo||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Treachery/Cocytus (Ptolemaea)||Fratricide and nepoticide; murder of guests
An Italian nobleman who invited his brother and nephew to a feast, where he had them slaughtered.
|Lucifer*||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno||Treachery/Cocytus (Judecca)||Treason against God
A former angel, Lucifer was reputed to have grown drunk with power, and attempted to overthrow God with the support of a third of the Heavenly Host. He was ultimately defeated in battle and flung down to Earth.The impact of his fall created both Hell and Purgatory. He rules as monarch of the Woeful Realm, but he is physically blind and helpless, frozen in the ice of Cocytus and unable to rise again.
In the game, Lucifer serves as the primary antagonist and final boss. He is able to project himself throughout Earth and Hell as a smokey, humanoid form. He strikes a bargain with Beatrice to gain her as his queen, though in truth her capture is a ruse to lure Dante into Hell, with the intention of tricking Dante into breaking the Chains of Judecca and freeing Lucifer's true form.
|Marcus Junius Brutus||The Divine Comedy||Treachery/Cocytus (Judecca)||Betrayal and assassination of Julius Caesar, leading to civil war and suicide
Stated to be the descendant of the legendary Lucius Junius Brutus and Lucretia, Brutus was dearly loved by Caesar and was rumored to be his illegitimate son. Caesar attempted to keep Brutus loyal to him by giving him governorship of Gaul, but upon his return, Brutus was peer-pressured by the Roman Senate into siding with them against Caesar. After Caesar's death, Brutus fled to Crete. He was cornered by Octavian's forces and committed suicide.
In the original book, in Hell Brutus is placed feet-first in the mouth of Lucifer along with Cassius, their bodies being gnawed on for eternity.
|Gaius Cassius Longinus||The Divine Comedy||Treachery/Cocytus (Judecca)||Betrayal and assassination of Julius Caesar, leading to civil war and suicide
A Roman senator, Cassius had once been defeated in the Roman Civil War by Caesar. He became the main instigator of Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March. After Caesar's death, Cassius and his co-conspirator Brutus fled. Cassius was cornered by Marc Antony's forces and committed suicide.
In the original book, in Hell Cassius is placed feet-first in the mouth of Lucifer along with Brutus, their bodies being gnawed on for eternity.
|Judas Iscariot||The Divine Comedy, Dante's Inferno (Mentioned)||Treachery/Cocytus (Judecca)||Betrayal of Jesus Christ, leading to deicide and suicide
Formerly one of the Biblical Twelve Apostles, Judas became disillusioned with Jesus's teachings and betrayed his location to the Sanhedrin, in return for thirty pieces of silver. Upon realizing that his actions led to the death of Jesus, Judas begged the Sanhedrin to take the money back, but they refused. In despair, Judas abandoned the money and committed suicide.
In the original book, in Hell Judas is placed head-first in the mouth of Lucifer, his head being slowly chewed up for eternity. He is additionally held in Lucifer's hands, which slowly skin him alive simultaneously.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Despite being a realm for the evil souls, Hell does not seem exclusive to the human souls. It also applies to beings such as monsters (The Minotaur and Cerberus), demigods (Phlegyas, a son of the Greek god Ares), Centaurs (Nessus) and even deities (Plutus, the Greco-Roman god of Wealth). This is due to Dante's synthesis of the Underworld of Greco-Roman mythology and the Judeo-Christian teachings of Hell (The merging of Classical and Christian themes was typical of the Renaissance period which Dante lived). Furthermore, these creatures were shown to have risen up in rebellion against the Classical gods which they had been condemned in myth to torment in the Underworld.
- The original Inferno explains that a human need not always be dead before their soul descends to Hell. In the case of Treachery, once the sin occurred, the human's soul is automatically sent to the lowest circle while the still-living body becomes possessed by a fiend in their place.