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Bolgia 1 -- Panderers and Seducers
Bolgia 10 -- Falsefiers
Bolgia 2 -- Flatterers
Bolgia 3 -- Simoniacs
Bolgia 4 -- Fortunetellers
Bolgia 5 -- Grafters
Bolgia 6 -- Hypocrites
Bolgia 7 -- Thieves
Bolgia 8 -- Evil Counsellors
Bolgia 9 -- Sowers of Discord
Circle I - Limbo - The Virtuous Pagans
Circle II - The Carnal
Circle III -- The Gluttons
Circle IV -- The Hoarders and Wasters
Circle V -- The Wrathful and the Sullen
Circle VI -- The Heretics
Part 1 -- Caina -- Traitors to Kin
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The Vestibule of Hell
The two poets enter the
Vestibule of Hell
after they pass under an arch inscribed with the phrase,
"Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
This means that none who enter may ever reach
Before officially entering Hell,
and Vergil see the
, also known as the Uncommitted, in the Vestibule. They took no sides, and therefore they receive no place. Instead, they run about
of the Vestibule forever with
of escape. As they sought only their own advantage and wavered in making decisions, so they chase after a transient banner that they will never catch. While doing this, they are being repeatedly stung by
hornets and wasps
, and their
, pus, and blood is feasted upon by the worms and
that coat the ground. This punishment represents the
of their guilt and their moral filth.
Among the souls in the Vestibule are the angels who refused to take sides when
revolted against God in the
Rebellion of Angels
. The souls remain nameless because their lack of action has left them unworthy of mention.
has condemned them, but
will not accept them.
Dante and Vergil must cross the
in order to enter Hell proper.
The water is wide
and circles around the Vestibule. On the other side of Acheron lies
. Anyone who contacts the River Acheron will be immobilized forever in its cold grasp. Therefore,
, a lanky old man with a long white beard, must ferry souls across Acheron to Hell proper. Dante faints with terror and is not revived until they reach the opposite shore.
Pope Celestine V
: This is the only major umbri that Dante recognizes. He is placed in the Vestibule because of the cowardice he exhibited in his refusal to remain pope and his resignation that followed, which is known as the Great Refusal.
Pope Boniface VIII
succeeded him and had him imprisoned until his death. Dante considers Boniface VIII the root of all evil within the Church.
: Because of the ambiguous nature of the text, an alternative interpretation suggests that the umbri of Pope Celestine V may actually be Pontius Pilate. He joins the Opportunists because of his refusal to pass judgment on
at his trial. His refusal to choose a side condemns him to the Vestibule.
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