“The Literary Sources of Dungeons and Dragons” (Video Game)

dungeons-and-dragons“Planes: Nine Hells: Caina
The name used for the first part of the ninth circle of Hell in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Canto XXXII. Dante describes it as a completely frozen lake formed by the river Cocytus.
Planes: Nine Hells: Dis
In Greek mythology, a synonym for Hades–both the place and, in Virgil’s Aeneid (VI, 358 & 524), the god Hades/Pluto. In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Cantos VIII-IX, Dis a large, walled city in Hell with a well-guarded gate, which is the origin of the D&D plane’s description. In Canto XXXIV, Dis is another name for Lucifer.
Planes: Nine Hells: Malbolge
The name is derived from Malebolge, the term used for the Eighth Circle of Hell in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Cantos XVIII-XXX, and means ‘evil pouches.’ . . .
Planes: Pandemonium: Cocytus
The name for one of the major rivers in Hell in Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Dante’s description of the river bears no similarity to that of the D&D outer plane. . .
Devil, Dispater
In Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Canto XXXIV, Dis is another name for Lucifer. “Pater” is Latin for “father,” so it is not much of a stretch from there to call the ruler of the city of Dis the “father of Dis” and thereby avoid the possible confusion from calling both the city and the character just “Dis.” . . .
Devil, Geryon
Originally a three-bodied monster from Greek mythology. However, the D&D version is taken directly from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, Cantos XVI-XVII. . . .
Devil, Horned (Malebranche)
Inferno, by Dante Alighieri, Cantos XXI-XXII.” []    –Aardy R. DeVarque, Hahn Library

Contributed by Sam Donovan (Bowdoin, ’07)