Infographic: Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno, widely hailed as one of the great classics of Western literature, details Dante’s journey through the nine circles of Hell. The voyage begins during Easter week in the year 1300, the descent through Hell starting on Good Friday. After meeting his guide, the eminent Roman poet Virgil, in a mythical dark wood, the two poets begin their descent through a baleful world of doleful shades, horrifying tortures, and unending lamentation. [2]

The University of Virginia, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Hmanities, has created an edition of the Inferno is edited in XML (Extensible Markup Language), which allows users to perform searches for a wide range of entities across the entire poem. Above the Italian and English texts, users will see a band listing six categories. Click on any of these terms for a list of the Creatures, Deities, Images, People, Places, and Structures found in each canto. Information will appear 1) as abbreviations in the margin between the Italian and English versions (e.g., PL for Place) and 2) in list form to the right of the English translation. Click on any terms listed under the categories for additional information. Readers can view at a glance the wide range of expressions that Dante uses to characterize people, places, creatures and other entities throughout the poem

Every canto also contains visual material, keyed to specific passages. Click on Images to view a list of the visual material available for each canto. To view the images click on the terms or names in the right margin. Follow the links for additional information on the images. The letter I between in the margin between the English and Italian texts indicates the passage which the image illustrates. At all timers users can also access an interactive version of Botticelli’s Chart of Hell, maps of Italy, additional visual material, and an interactive timeline. All these features are intended to deepen readers’ appreciation of the richness of Dante’s poetic language and his remarkable visual imagination.

The way that Dante describes Hell is by using nine circles, each for a different and worse sin. He starts with paganism as the smallest sin and ends with the treachery as the biggest one. [1]

The pixelated art style has almost a video game quality to it.  In the game of life these are just some of the levels you’d probably want to avoid.  Here are also a few things about the end you probably didn’t know.

Circles of Hell in Hell in Dante's Inferno

[1]  Jerome, Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell, Daily Infographic, August 27, 2017,

[2] University of Virginia, The World of Dante: Inferno, Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia,

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