|Locations||City of Dis|
Heresy was the sixth Circle of Hell.
Upon entering Hell's capital, the infernal City of Dis, Dante descended into the lair of those who either denied the existence of God and the soul, or who worshiped false idols and devils. They are encased within flaming tombs or nailed to inverted burning crosses. Heretics and Pagans are the only entities freely roaming this circle, due to their worship of the "Fallen One," and act as the guardians of this area.
Areas of the CircleEdit
- Flaming Tombs: Different markings showed that there are those who suffered from all lands and from every epoch, forever enflamed.-Farinata Uberti
- Rescue by Christ: "Not long after my own death, I saw a mighty one come down and take forth from here a group of ancient shades. Our first parent, his son Abel, Noah, Abraham and many others. The deep foul valley trembled on all sides and I thought that the universe felt love."- Virgil
- Followers of Epicurus: "In this part of Hell, Epicurus with all of his followers who made the soul die with the body had their burial place."-Virgil
- In the Divine Comedy, in this circle Dante encounters Cavalcante de Cavalcanti, Farinata Uberti, Epicurus, Emperor Frederick II, and Pope Anastasius II (though many scholars think Dante had mixed up this pope with the Holy Roman Emperor Anastasius I).
- Although Emperor Frederick II is indeed dead by the writing of the Divine Comedy (1320 A.D.; Frederick passed away in 1250 A.D.), in the game's timeline Frederick's presence in Hell is an anachronism, as Frederick wasn't born until 1194 (the game takes place in the year 1191 A.D.)
- Due to the Heretics denying the divinity of God, Dante places them lower in Hell as their actions are not related to Divine Love or a corrupted virtuous desire; heresy is conscious malice against what Dante deems the true religion and faith. As they actively taught others not to believe in the doctrines of God, they do not share in His Divinity or His promise of eternal life, which is why they are placed in burning graves or tombs.
- Traditionally, the Catholic Church would sentence heretics to death by being burned at the stake. This penalty was enacted due to the notion that normal crime endangered lives, but the crime of heresy was a danger to souls. As such, with the soul being given more value that a life, the punishment was made much worse, especially to deter others from committing the same act. This is why burning is part of the punishment for the Heretics in Hell.
- Heretics are given a more severe punishment in Hell than their more virtuous counterparts: the souls of Limbo. The latter souls, unlike the Heretics, never got a chance to know God or the Christian religion and yet maintained virtuous and morally sound behavior in life. The Heretics, in contrast, not only had conscious awareness of God but also turned their backs on that knowledge, choosing instead to subvert or contradict the traditional teachings of God.
- According to The Divine Comedy, the blazing tombs and coffins will stay open in Dis until the end of time, when they will be sealed forever. Having denied God's existence and subsequent promise of life everlasting beyond death with Him, the heretics are destined to die a final death in accordance with their own misguided beliefs (symbolized by the final closing of their burning caskets).
|Nine Circles of Hell|
|Limbo · Lust · Gluttony · Greed · Anger · Heresy · Violence · Fraud · Treachery|