Dante's Inferno: Cantos XIX-XXIII

Sid M., Jackie N., Rohan S., Kayla T.

Canto XIX

Circle Eight, Bolgia Three

The Simoniacs: Those who sink to bribery in order to attain religious power and influence.

Simoniacs: Named after Simon Magus, who tried to bribe Saint Peter in order to have the power to give out the Holy Spirit to whomever he chooses.

Punishment: Placed in holes upside-down to have their feet burned, the size of the flame proportional to their sins.

Chief sinner: Pope Nicholas III. Lies in wait for Boniface VIII to take his place in hell, claiming Boniface is more corrupt.

Sinners: Pope Boniface (awaiting punishment), Pope Clement V (destined to be worse than both before him).

A Journey Into Dante's Inferno: Circle 8, Bolgia 3 & 4

Canto XX

Canto XX: Circle Eight, Bolgia Four

The Fortune Tellers and Diviners: Those who attempted to see the future.

Punishment: The heads are twisted backward and tears fall on the backs of the sinners.

Dante feels pity for them, but Virgil scolds him saying that it is God's judgement.

Sinners: Amphiaraus, Tiresias, Aruns, Manto, Michael Scott, and Guido Bonatti.


Canto XXI-XXII: Circle Eight, Bolgia Five

The Grafters: Extortionists and those who used money to attain political power.

Punishment: Submerged in boiling pits and held down by devils.

Sinners: Bonturo Dati, Senator of Lucca, Navarrese grafter, Friar Gomita of Gallura, Michel Zanche


Malacoda: "Evil Tail". He is the head of the malebranche in the fifth bolgia. Lies to Dante and Virgil about the state of the bridges in the sixth bolgia.

Malebranche: Hellken, Deaddog, Curlybeard, Grizzly, Grafter, Dragontooth,

Pigtusk, Catclaw, Cramper, Crazyred; sent as escorts for Dante and Virgil. The names of the devils indicate their physical characteristics.


Canto XXIII: Circle Eight, Bolgia Six

The Hypocrites: Those whose actions betray what they say or do.

Punishment: Forced to wear leaden robes while walking along a narrow path for eternity.

Chief sinner: Caiaphas, High Priest of Jews, who counseled the Pharisees to crucify Jesus.

Laid out crucified on the ground, must be used as a bridge to cross.

Sinners: Jovial Friars- an order of monks who acquired a reputation for not fulfilling their vows.

Epic Simile

"Seizing me instantly in his arms, my Guide-
like a mother wakened by a midnight noise
to find a wall of flame at her bedside
(who takes her child and runs, and more concerned
for him than for herself, does not pause even
to throw a wrap about her) raised me, turned,
and down the rugged bank from the high summit..."

Works Cited


A Journey Into Dante's Inferno: Circle 8, Bolgia 3 & 4