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Hell

Fire Symbolism

Fire Symbolism: Flames that Ignite Faiths and Inspire Minds

Since it was first proposed by the Pre-Socratic philosopher, Empedocles of Acragas, fire has been regarded in the Western world as one of the four classical elements. The status of fire as a...
The print depicts a samurai fighting snakes, which are conjured by a ghost as the ghosts of Heian court ladies watch. Japan, 1850.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART II

Many ancient civilizations had beliefs surrounding the hauntings of ghosts and malevolent spirits, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. Read Part I...
Ancient legends tell of ghost hauntings.

Malevolent Phantoms, Corpse Brides, and Ancestor Spirits: The Ancient Belief in Ghosts – PART I

Ghosts and malevolent spirits haunted the ancients, and so they relied on careful rituals and exorcisms to keep the supernatural at bay. The concept of a spiritual afterlife connects cultures across...
Botticelli's Map of Dante's inferno

A Pilgrimage of Thought: Dante Treks through the Inferno of Satan

Read Part 1 | Part 2 At the beginning of Inferno , the first section of the Divine Comedy , Dante Alighieri is thirty-five years old in the year 1300—representing both the new millennium and the...
Dante holding open a copy of the Divine Comedy while gazing towards Mount Purgatory (1530), Agnolo Bronzino

A Pilgrimage of Thought: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

The most widely read work of Florentine politician and writer Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy dictates a tale of the three realms of the afterlife as believed by the Italians of the Middle Ages...
Photo of Viking figures before a great fire. Would flames await Pagans in Hell?

The Tale of Thorstein Shiver: Hell Confirmed for Pagans during Iceland Saga Age

Short and succinct, the tale of Thorstein Shiver is one of the more comedic sagas and can be interpreted in at least two different ways: as religious or cultural propaganda. The saga tells the brief...

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