“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)

Anne Isba, “Gladstone and Dante: Victorian Statesman, Medieval Poet” (2006)

anne-isba-gladstone-and-dante-victorian-statesman-medieval-poet-2006“From the point at which he first read the Commedia, at the age of twenty-four, William Gladstone was to consider Dante Alighieri one of the major influences in his life, on a par with Homer and St Augustine, and to identify himself strongly with the poet. Both were statesmen as well as scholars, for whom civic duty was more important than personal convenience. Both were serious theologians as well as simple spiritual pilgrims. Both idealised women. This book shows how Gladstone found in Dante an endorsement of his own beliefs as he negotiated a path through life. Isba traces the development of his enthusiasm against the background of a resurgent Italy in a new Europe, and in the context of the Victorian fashion for all things medieval. She also examines the parallels between the two men’s attitudes to sex and religion in particular, and closes by analysing the quality of Gladstone’s own writing on Dante (he was to become an internationally recognised Dante scholar).”    —Boydell & Brewer

Contributed by Michael Richards

“Infernal Entertainment”

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Found at: The New Yorker, October 16, 2006 (retrieved on Oct 13, 2006)

Contributed by Peter Schwindt

“The Secret Letter From Iraq”

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A Marine’s letter home, with its frank description of life in “Dante’s inferno.”    —Time Magazine, October 6, 2006

“Devil May Cry” Video Game

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“The game revolves around P.I. (Private Investigator) Dante and his one-man devil hunting agency ‘Devil May Cry’, which he runs in hopes of finding and killing the demons that killed his mother. Dante also has a twin brother named Vergil, whom we learn very little about during the course of the game. The story alludes to The Divine Comedy in the game’s areas (roughly resembling and representing inferno, purgatorio, and paradiso) as well as in some of the character names; however it is purely an aesthetic similarity, and indeed the game borrows from a very wide range of sources for inspiration. After a less than proper introduction, a woman named Trish, who bears a striking resemblance to Dante’s mother, convinces Dante to help her defeat Mundus, the Emperor of the Underworld, who is the leading antagonist of the game. The duo then sets off to Mallet Island, where Mundus’s resurrection is about to take place, and where the majority of the game plays out.” []    —Wikipedia

See Also: devilmaycry.com and devilmaycry.org

Contributed by Charlie Russell-Schlesinger (Bowdoin, ’08)

Sepultura, “Dante XXI” (2006)

sepultura-dante-xxi-2006“‘Ostia,’ ‘Crown And Miter,’ and (to some extents) ‘Nuclear Seven’ and ‘Convicted In Life’ are what make Dante XXI stand out. The fervor of thrash metal with the bitterness and crunch of metallic hardcore can be heard, and that’s the difference between intensity and the meandering shallowness of Sepultura’s angsty groove formula. These four songs show Sepultura in some kind of revival with a coarser guitar tone richly executing vicious riffs. Bass follows the guitars with fatness and desiccated heaviness under a polished production job. The groove aspect with slappy bass lines and that massive layering had started to become phased out.” [. . .]    –OzzyApu, Metal Archives, August 20, 2012

“The Lost” Video Game, IGN

the-lost-video-game-ign “The Lost is the story of Amanda Wright — a waitress that has struck a deal with the devil to bring her daughter back from the dead. During her journey through hell, Amanda is granted the ability to transform into three unique characters with differing abilities, and is forced to fight through the nine circles of hell inspired by Dante’s Inferno. Along the way, players can earn more than 50 different kinds of weapons, 24 diverse skills, and various other power-ups to help them. Unfortunately, legal troubles with the original publisher Crave Entertainment permanently ended the game’s chances at shipping to retail. Tragically, The Lost had already been completed when the decision to shelve it was made.”     —IGN

Purgatory Ski Resort (now Durango Mountain Resort), Colorado

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“Formerly known as Purgatory, many of the run names at Durango Mountain Resort were inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, such as Demon, Hades, Styx, and Limbo. With 300 days of sunshine and 260 inches of snow annually, however, Durango Mountain belies the imagery created by its run names.”    —Go-Colorado (retrieved on September 15, 2006)

Contributed by Travis Arnold (Bowdoin, ’01); Patrick Molloy

“Dante’s Inferno” a Comic Strip With an Evil Character Named Dante

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Found at Aelis.ChaosNet (retrieved on September 15, 2006)

A Blog Called “Dante’s Inferno”

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See blog at DanteNet