Etymology of Inferno

Corresponding to the Latin infernum, comprising the passage to and the world where the lost souls of the dead reside. Closely related to the adjective inferus, in the sense of ‘inferior’, referring to infra, for ‘below’, with roots in the Indo-European *ndhero, for ‘below’, and from which also Sanskrit adnah is derived, keeping the meaning and finding itself as a biblical name, as Adnah, in allusion to an eternal rest. In turn, the adjective ‘infernal’ can be found in the Late Latin as infernālis, associated with inferno, seen in Latin as infernus.

There are many beliefs and legends surrounding hell, for example, the Greeks placed a coin under the tongue of the dead so that he could pay the toll required by Charon, accompanied by his faithful companion and guardian Cerberus; Hades is identified as the god of the underworld or infraworld (conjugating the Latin components infra-, and mundus, for ‘world’, witch acts as a calque of the Greek kósmos); The Divine Comedy, the masterpiece by Italian Dante Alighieri, which is divided into Inferno (1304), Purgatory (1316) and Paradise (1321) is one of the most important depictions of it on a cultural level.

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