Limbo 1600x1200
Circle Number 1
Boss King Minos
Creatures Unbaptized Baby
Guardian Demon
Tormented Shades
Anger Minion
Locations Charon's Ferry
Citadel of Limbo
Host Pontius Pilate
Prev. Circle The Gates of Hell
Next Circle Lust
“Here suffer those who did not sin, yet did not have the required portal of our faith. Their punishment is the denial of Paradise.” — Virgil

Limbo was the first Circle of Hell. It is the residence of the Virtuous Pagans and Unbaptized Souls. Prior to guiding Dante, Limbo was also the residence of Virgil's spirit.


Limbo was the first circle of the Inferno proper. Limbo was on the outer boundary of Hell, just across the River Acheron. Here remained those who were not sinful in life, but did not acquire the proper portal of faith (baptism). As such, they are punished only by being exiled from God's presence forever, and are never physically harmed.

After entering the gates of Hell, Dante arrived at Limbo after boarding Charon and taking control of a Asterian Beast. Limbo is shown to be a dark, foreboding place of grand buildings and structures. Statues of virtuous non-Christians are seen throughout the Circle, in honor of those righteous people.

On the opposite side of the Citadel of Limbo, near the end of the circle was the serpentine King Minos, the Judge of the Damned. Dante managed to defeat the judge by placing Minos' tongue on a torture device and spinning the wheel around to split his face in half, continuing into Lust.


  • The term "Limbo" derives from the Latin term "limbus" which translates to "edge" or "boundary". It is believed to be the outermost region of Hell, into which were placed condemned souls who were not sinful but lacked the proper faith to enter Paradise, or those who never received baptism. However, this concept of Limbo is not officially taught by the Catholic Church. Rather, it reflects Dante's belief of hell and everyone that is supposed to dwell there.
  • In The Divine Comedy it is elaborated that due to these souls being otherwise innocent or righteous, the only punishment they have to undergo is never being able to be in the presence of God. They are otherwise treated with honor and have their own version of a peaceful resting place: a magnificent palace of Wisdom and Virtue (albeit inferior compared with Heaven). These souls forever hunger after the ultimate knowledge and meaning of life, but are doomed never to be satisfied. Children who have died before they had a chance to be christened are also found here (though they are not demonized as in the game). By this reasoning, the sin of never having the chance to believe in God is considered the lightest of all sins in Dante's view, and deserves the least of penalties. Souls who did get the chance, and accepted or believed that there is a God, are spared this fate, and can go on to Purgatory and Heaven.
  • This circle has many similarities to the Elysian Fields of Greco-Roman mythology. According to the myth, the souls of the good and pious are sent to this beautiful land, where there is always peace, plenty and happiness, with neither a need for food nor rest. There is eternal light and joy in the Elysian Fields, and especially virtuous souls are given their own island to dwell upon: the Isle of the Blessed.
  • In the original Divine Comedy, the host spirit of this circle, Pontius Pilate, is not found in Limbo but in the Vestibule of Hell, for standing aside while Jesus Christ was crucified by order of the Sanhedrin. Those in the Vestibule were punished for never choosing sides by manifestations of their own guilty conscience.
  • In "Inferno", in this circle Dante encountered the mythological figures of Orpheus, Electra, Hector, the Amazon queen Penthesilea, Aeneas, Latinus, Camilla, and Lavinia. He also meets the poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan; the mathematician Euclid; the astronomer Ptolemy; the philosophers Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Democritus, Diogenes, Anaxagoras, Thales, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Dioscorides, Cicero, Linus, Seneca; and the historic figures of Hippocrates, Avicenna, Galen, Julius Caesar, Lucius Junius Brutus, Lucretia, Julia, Marcia, Cornelia, Averroes and Saladin. Virgil himself pities his fellow shades trapped in Limbo, since they cannot rise above their current state without awareness of God.
  • Virgil mentions to Dante that the Biblical figures Adam, Abel, Noah, Moses, David, Abraham, Jacob, Rachel "and many others" were also found in this circle until Jesus arrived in Limbo and brought them to Heaven (referred to as the Harrowing of Hell.)
Nine Circles of Hell
Limbo ·  Lust ·  Gluttony ·  Greed ·  Anger ·  Heresy ·  Violence ·  Fraud ·  Treachery

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