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Circle 9

for english
by

Danielle Hough

on 9 December 2012

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Transcript of Circle 9

Exit from Hell ANTENORA - TRAITORS TO THEIR COUNTRY The second region, Antenora, is named for the Trojan prince Antenor. While the classical sources--notably Homer's Iliad--present Antenor in a positive (or at least neutral) light as one in favor of returning Helen to the Greeks for the good of Troy, medieval versions--histories, commentaries, and romances--view him as a "treacherous Judas" who plots with the Greeks to destroy the city. Dante places in this region those who betrayed their political party or their homeland. Only the heads of the those imprisoned here project above the ice. CAINA - TRAITORS TO KINDRED Caina is named after the biblical Cain (first child of Adam and Eve), who slew his brother Abel out of envy after God showed appreciation for Abel's sacrificial offering but not Cain's; condemned to a vagabond existence, Cain later built a city that for certain Christian theologians--notably Augustine --represented the evils of the earthly city. In the circle of the lustful, Francesca identified her husband (Gianciotto)--who murdered her and Paolo (Gianciotto's brother)--as a future inhabitant of Caina. Dante's attention is here drawn to two brothers, the ghibelline Napoleone and the guelph Alessandro, who murdered one another because of a dispute over their inheritance. Their punishment consists of being frozen in the ice with only their faces above the ice to express their pain. Sinners held here include Mordred, the nephew of King Arthur who also attempted to kill him. PTOLOMEA - TRAITORS TO THEIR GUESTS OR HOST In the third zone of circle 9 suffer those who betrayed friends or guests. Ptolomea is named after one or both of the following: Ptolemy, the captain of Jericho, honored his father-in-law, the high priest Simon Maccabee, and two of Simon's sons with a great feast and then murdered them; Ptolemy XII, brother of Cleopatra, arranged that the Roman general Pompey--seeking refuge following his defeat at the battle of Pharsalia (48 B.C.E.)--be murdered as soon as he stepped ashore. Here, the punishment is more severe due to the fact that the sinners, while being frozen flat on their backs in the ice, also have their heads facing up with their eyes frozen with their tears. Shades will tell travellers about the region if they break off the veils of ice over their eyes.
The sinners in this region actually have bodies that remain in the living world and continue to live. However, they are possessed by demons. As soon as one commits a sin against a guest, their shade is sent to this region. An example of such a sinner is Ser Branca D'Origa, who murdered his father-in-law after serving him dinner. Circle 9: Cocytus "The Treacherous" The final circle, called Cocytus, is the coldest place in Hell. Everything from the rivers, to the blood, to the guilt, all drain here and solidify into a terrible sheet of ice that encases the worst sinners of all, including Satan himself. The circle of treachery is defined as fraudulent acts between individuals who share special bonds of love and trust, and therefore, these sinners are denied any warmth. Since they denied God's love, they are the furthest down in the pit of Hell. Cocytus marks the furthest point in the Universe away from God. In geographic terms, it is the center of the Earth--whereas Satan is the center of evil. The Four Rings of the Frozen Lake of Cocytus Caina Antenora Ptolomea Judecca Treacherous to their Kin Treacherous to their Country Treacherous to their Guests Treacherous to their Masters Satan JUDECCA - TRAITORS TO THEIR BENEFACTORS In this region those who betrayed their Lords and Masters or their benefactors are punished by being entirely frozen in the ice, with no part of themselves exposed.
As one moves across this region of the Circle, across the ice a faint object becomes visible. It is the King of Dis, Lucifer. The Dark Angel is as foul as he once was fair. He too is frozen in the ice in the centre of Judecca, but with half his chest above the ice; even the part projecting above the ice is more than a mile tall. He has bat-like wings.
Lucifer has three faces from which he weeps tears mixed with bloody slaver, a mockery of the Trinity. The forward-facing face is red, mocking Primal Love with hatred; one is yellow, parodying Diving Omnipotence with impotence; and one is black, perverting Highest Wisdom with ignorance. Each of the faces has a mouth that is stuffed with one of the worst traitors of the world, those who are treacherous against their benefactors. The first is Judas Iscariot, who was a traitor to Christ for thirty pieces of silver. He endures the worst punishment by being chewed on by the red face and being clawed by his bat-like wings. The second is Marcus Brutus, traitor to Caesar. The black face is chewing him. The third sinner is Caius Cassius Longinus, who was another member of the conspiracy against Caesar. To exit Hell, one must climb down the body of Lucifer, which is covered in shaggy hair; the ice stops a yard or so from Lucifer himself. If one climbs down for long enough, one eventually feels as if one is climbing up again. This marks that one is crossing the center of the earth, or "the point to which all weight from every part is drawn". One then makes their way up to a type of hollow tomb, a echoing grotto of dimly lit grey rock, from the floor of which the hooves of Lucifer project upwards, upside-down from this perspective. A stream of clear, sweet water runs through this grotto.
This place serves as the exit of Hell and entrance to Purgatory. Its roof goes up thousands of miles, tapering gradually until the opening into Purgatory is reached. This distance must be climbed, and when it is the travellers finally make their way to the surface, where they come "out to see once more the stars" on the shore at the base of Mount Purgatory...
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