Inferno ( Italian for “Hell”) is the first part of Italian writer Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy, followed by Purgatorio and Paradiso. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine concentric circles of torment located within the Earth; it is the “realm … of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen”. As an allegory, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin.
CIRCLE 1 LIMBO: A kind of lightweight heaven, here resides all those that did not know Christ. Such luminaries as Dante encounters Aristotle, Orpheus, Ovid, Homer, Socrates, Aristotle, Julius Caesar, and other great ancients on this level.
CIRCLE 2 LUST: Where those that have allowed their carnal desires to overcome their reason. Semiramis, Dido, Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Paris, Achilles, and Tristan reside here.
CIRCLE 3 GLUTTONY: Filled with overindulgers who are condemned to wallow in “a great storm of putrefaction”. Dante linked this level with a lot of his contemporary politics, and is primarily filled with more ordinary people.
CIRCLE 4 GREED: The first circle that Dante passed through in which he did not talk to any of its inhabitants, but he did encounter the guardian of the level, Pluto, the mythical god of the Underworld. Filled again, with ordinary people, the circle is reserved for people who hoarded or squandered their money.