The Inferno is the first part of the epic poem the Divine Comedy written by the Italian Dante Alighieri in the fourteenth century. The Inferno is a description of a trip through the circles of hell made by the author Dante Alighieri with his guide Virgil, Dante throughout his journey found out that the punishments received in hell were a symbolic retribution of the sins committed in life Dante’s journey was a lesson to understand the power of God because he is the only one who can judge and punish humans according to their behavior.
DANTE’S INFERNO IS AN EVIDENT REPRESENTATION OF GOD‘S DIVINE JUSTICE BECAUSE IN IT GOD TRANSFORMS SINS COMMITTED IN LIFE INTO PUNISHMENTS IN HELL, God’s divine justice is most clearly apparent in the punishments designated to the simoniacs, fortune tellers and thieves since each punishment is a symbolic retribution of their sin in life.
Living on the earth the simoniacs used to sell ecclesiastic favors in opposition to Christian doctrines; so in hell they were punishment by suffering an inverse baptism In third bolgia of the circle, eighth Dante encountered a group of people considered as simoniact The simoniacs were suffering a special punishment related to the Christian baptism since the sinners were ecclesiastic authorities, as the Pope Nicholas III.
In the Canto XIX Dante described how the simoniacs were punished, explaining that “From every mouth a sinner’s legs stuck out /as far as the calf. The soles were all ablaze / and the joints of the legs quivered and writhed about.
/ Withes and tethers would have snapped in their throesr / As oiled things blaze upon the surface only, / so did they burn from the heels to the points of their toes,” ‘ The punishment of the simoniacs was a representation of an inverse baptismr.
The simoniacs were upside down, with their heads into rocks’ holes and feet were burnt by hot flames, This punishment reflected God anger with the simoniacs because as God’s representatives on the earth, they supposed to preach God doctrines, but instead they were selling ecclesiastic charges, The baptism is the sacrament that symbolizes the beginning of a Christian life; therefore, an inverses baptism represents the end of a Christian life. Fire is an important symbol during the Christian baptism; so the flames burning the sinners’ feet are a complement to symbolize the end of Christianity for the simoniacs. The punishment undergoes by the simoniacs is a representation of God‘s divine justice because the ecclesiastic authorities paid for their wrong behaviort The inverse baptism suffered by the simoniacs represents the end of Christianity as an opposition to the common baptism that symbolizes the beginning of Christianity.