The Wood of Suicides
The Burning Sands
|Host||Pietro Della Vigna|
- "The first ring is wholly for the violent. Because violence can be done to three persons, in three rounds it is divided: violence unto one's neighbor, unto one's self, and unto God." -Virgil
Violence was the seventh Circle of Hell.
This circle which is reserved for those who are violent in life was separated into 3 parts: Violence against others, Violence against self and Violence against God. Like the other previous circles, Dante had to break the Chain of Judecca to get through, but since the Chain was out of reach, he had to use the Minotaur's statue axe to cut it.
Those who acted with violence against others are boiled in the river of blood (The Phlegethon). Those who committed suicide or violence against themselves are placed as part of the Wood of the Suicides and they are condemned to writhe in eternal pain as gnarled trees. Here, Dante and Virgil found Bella Abati in the Wood of the Suicides and Dante is faced with the horrible truth of his mother's death.
Francesco whose corruption, death and damnation during the Crusades was caused by Dante's doing. Now, a horribly disfigured version of his former self, Francesco desired revenge against Dante for leading him astray.
Areas in the Circle
- The Phlegethon: "The river of blood. Cruel kings, despots, despoilers and all of those who did violence unto others boiled within it's banks."
- The Wood of Suicides: "The gnarled forest where trees are born from hopeless suicides, rooted and writhing in eternal pain."
- The Burning Sands: "The Abominable Sands are the cursed home for those who committed violence against the deity."
- In "Inferno", Dante walks around the burning Phlegethon with the centaur named Nessus. The arrows are fired by the centaurs (Led by Chiron and Pholus) at the tortured shades if they tried to escape. Alexander the Great is immersed up to his eyebrows in the Phlegethon for his war crimes. Dionysius I of Syracuse, Azzolino da Romano, Guy de Montfort, Obizzo d'Este, Rinier da Corneto and Rinier Pazzo are also seen in the Phlegethon as well as references to Attila the Hun.
- The Suicide Woods are also the torture area of the profligates who destroyed their lives by destroying the means to sustain their lives (Money and food). The suicides are transformed into gnarled thorny bushes and trees which are fed on by the Harpies. Dante hears the tale of Pietro Della Vigna who committed suicide after falling out of favor with Emperor Frederick II (His presence here rather than in the ninth circle possibly indicates that Dante believes that the accusations that are made against him were false). Also here are Lano da Siena and Jacopo da Sant' Andrea. Unlike the game, Dante's mother named Bella Abati was not present in the Inferno.
- In "Inferno", The Burning Sands is where blasphemers (Who were violent against God directly), sodomites and usurers (Who were violent in different ways to nature, God's children) are punished. Dante sees the classical warrior named Capaneus, there for blasphemy against Zeus who was struck down with a thunderbolt during the Siege of Thebes. Dante also finds his mentor named Brunetto Latini here, presumably damned for sodomy. The other people that Dante saw here are the Florentines named Catello di Rosso Gianfigliazzi, Ciappo Ubriachi and Giovanni di Buiamonte and the Paduans Reginaldo degli Scrovegni and Vitaliano di Iacopo Vitaliani.
- Even though the Harpies appeared in the poem in the Suicide Woods, feeding off the thorny bushes and trees that were made from the Suicidal, they did not appear in the game.
- Violence is unrelated to Divine Love or a corrupted virtuous desire. Hence, it is placed lower in Hell by Dante. However, violence can be said to be a natural consequence of the Deadly Sins (Upon which Circles 2 through 5 are based).
- Violence in it's own right is wasteful to Life itself. It is more serious than the other previous sins due to the sinners' assumption of being able to take Life away and the means of sustaining it, an ability which is considered under God's jurisdiction alone. As such, the Violent are committing a form of hubris against God and is placed among the lowest circles (Fraud, Treachery) which shared in this form of power-assumption.
|Nine Circles of Hell|
|Limbo · Lust · Gluttony · Greed · Anger · Heresy · Violence · Fraud · Treachery|