Lessons From Dante’s Inferno
Toward the end of Dante’s Inferno, there is a dreadful place called COCYTUS.
This is the final level of hell.
It is a miserable place, and one that Dante can only come to after travelling through all of hell that precedes it.
As you read Dante’s Inferno, you come to understand (through human reason and divine guidance) the pathway to hell (sin).
One thing about the book that I have always found immensely interesting is Dante’s placement of specific sins within hell. It is not like how we would understand sin in the modern day. We would likely choose radically different levels of hell than Dante did.
But this placement provides clues to the mindset of our ancestral Europeans for that timeframe in history.
That timeframe was, of course, nearing the height of Christendom itself.
It is worth us knowing these details to know our heritage. And, as you will see, how far our mindset has drifted from that (better) tradition.
I could write an entire book about this subject. To keep this article short enough that it will actually be read, let’s narrow our topic of interest to the lowest level of hell. Who goes there and why?
The first groups you meet in COCYTUS (circle nine, Canto XXXII) are those that have committed what Dante calls “compound fraud”.
John Ciardi (without hesitation my favorite translator of Dante’s Inferno into English, do not bother with anyone else) explains what this means (emphasis my own):
At the bottom of the well Dante finds himself on a huge frozen lake. This is COCYTUS, the NINTH CIRCLE, the fourth and last great water of Hell, and here, fixed in the ice, each according to his guilt, are punished sinners guilty of TREACHERY AGAINST THOSE TO WHOM THEY WERE BOUND BY SPECIAL TIES. The ice is divided into four concentric rings marked only by the different positions of the damned within the ice.
This is Dante’s symbolic equivalent of the final guilt. The treacheries of these souls were denials of love (which is God) and of all human warmth. […] As they denied God’s love, so are they furthest removed from the light and warmth of His Sun. As they denied all human ties, so are they bound only by the unyielding ice.
In the first of four rounds (Caïna), you meet those treacherous to Kin. It is named for Cain, who killed his blood brother Abel.
Further down in round two of that same level, we meet those Treacherous to Country (in Antenora).
You only have two other rounds (3. Ptolomea and 4. Judecca – Treachery to Masters, wherein Judas Iscariot lies), and then you arrive at the center of the ice, which is Satan himself.
Antenora is explained by Ciardi as follows:
The second round is ANTENORA, named for Antenor, the Trojan who was believed to have betrayed his city to the Greeks. Here lie those guilty of TREACHERY TO COUNTRY. They too, have their heads above the ice, but they cannot bend their necks, which are gripped by the ice. Here Dante accidentally kicks the head of BOCCA DEGLI ABBATI and then proceeds to treat him with a savagery he has shown to no other soul in Hell.
Pause for a second and contemplate that hierarchy.
Dante placed those who betray their own family in better conditions than whose who betray their own “country” (which, in Dante’s concept, is more accurately defined as “nation” or “blood people—kin”).
It was even worse to be treacherous to your nation than your own family. All other sins paled in comparison, aside from the latter two rounds (of similar treachery) that I mentioned above. Every other sin was punished less.
Many of us may not necessarily ascribe to Dante’s theological beliefs. I’m not a medieval Catholic, so I don’t. But there’s much to be said about his organization of the levels of hell. Especially regarding the overall trend of Western Civilization.
It’s a clue for why Western Civilization was so strong and why it is now so weak.
We noticed here that Dante put those who are traitors to King and Country in the lowest possible level of hell. National traitors are even lower than the corrupt popes, the thieves, the wrathful, lustful, and sodomites. Even religious false prophets like Muhammed only make it to the eighth circle of hell!
But those that betray their country or Kin? The ninth circle of hell. Near Satan himself.
This was not a mistake. This was intentional. Because Dante recognized the damage that is done to entire nations by those who are a part of them, but act treacherously toward them. They lead others into the other sins through the destruction of the nation. They destroy Christendom, which is Christ’s kingdom on Earth. The punishment matches the crime.
This goes to show you the medieval conception of how important kin, ethnically similar people, and the idea of a nation-state were.
Christendom did not have modernity’s perversion of a country or nation. The nation-state was not some economic zone. Neither was it some general free-for-all where any person could just immigrate and join.
There were blood ties, and these were incredibly important. To fail to live up to them could end up with you in the literal lowest circle of hell.
The people, all unique peoples, were united by blood. And to betray it was to relegate your soul to the same level as Satan himself.
This was traditional nationalism. The concept that many modern “Christians” now balk against in their acquiescence to what is culturally and wordly expedient. But the truth is that every educated Christian is a Christian Nationalist, because that is what God commands us to be. We have two thousand years of Christian history to back that up. The Christian Globalists only have one hundred years of modernity’s lies.
You want to know why Western Civilization was so strong? It is because of this mindset right here. We had the tools built into us to survive and thrive.
You can see it through the blood loyalty that Dante shows so clearly and so strongly through his organization of who goes where in hell.
What a powerful testimony to our true Christian European heritage.
Dante would put those who betray our people so harshly in the modern era next to Satan himself in hell.
Even most dissidents don’t share the same level of contempt for our TRAITORS TO COUNTRY. But we should. That’s how we invigorate our true heritage back into us.
Dante is not the only one that gives us a hint at what true blood unity used to look like throughout history. It is evident in many of the great literary works of Christendom. I just cannot think of a classical literature that shows it more plainly than Dante’s inferno.
This unity was stripped from us. Mostly due to the enlightenment. But certainly other factors had their place as well.
So, what do we do with this information?
Read the Bible. Stop having others tell you about it. Read the real history of Christendom. Stop having others teach you about it. Read Dante’s Comedia and other literary works to understand the mindset of our people throughout history.
If you do this, you will quickly recognize that they all are nothing like how modernity portrays any of them. We live in a wicked, corrupted age. The only way you can find the truth is to seek it yourself.
Through this, you will see that Western Civilization was never as weak as it is now.
In fact, it was incredibly strong, which is why we dominated for so many centuries.
Weakness, fragility, tolerance, and the betrayal of our own people because “we’re all human!11!” is a new modern concept. This was never allowed to exist during the Age of Christendom. It only came about from the Age of Lies.
Throughout our history, we had national unity. And we can have it again.
But we must return to the only thing that can truly preserve it, which is our heritage mindset and Christianity. The strong-willed kind that Dante understood.
Because it is only this belief that understands the importance of blood ties. We must love our neighbors, and Dante shows us the importance of blood in that neighborly calculation.
I encourage all of my readers to adopt the mindset of Dante in this case. When you think of those who betray their kin and their country, you should imagine them going to the ninth circle of hell. To be near Satan himself.
A just punishment for the crime committed.
If Western Civilization is to survive, we have to bring back the love of nation and embed it into the minds of our people once again.
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