TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] This is the sort of thing I said as I stood over the ditch-- Because I remembered quite well what Circe had advised me to do, That witch who knows every medicament the wide world has to offer-- But then a huge wave swelled up from the lion-taming Acheron, 40 Cocytus
and Lethe and the great Polyphlegethon, And a host of dead came round to stand with me over the ditch.
As lower Hell is represented as a lake of fire, or as a deep pit underground, and as Christian Hell inherited the rivers and swamps of classical Hades, Acheron, Styx, Cocytus
The horrific hole in the ground is about to consume Rome's sacred geography--Styx was a stable boundary that separated distinct domains, but here Cocytus
is an all-engulfing hellmouth that swallows spatial distinctions.
The demonic Orcs, for instance, are summoned out of a region modeled on the Inferno's Ninth Circle, the icebound Cocytus
There into Acheron flow Pyriphlegethon And Cocytus
, a branch of the water of Styx.
Now on the banks of Cocytus
and sorrowful Acheron will I soon sing my prophecies.
In fact, Picone holds that Ovid's description of the winter landscape along the Danube led to Dante's invention of Cocytus
, the frozen pit in hell, which is the point in the universe farthest from God.
In Dante's pit of Hell, whose floor is the frozen Lake Cocytus
, and where the inhabitants are plunged up to their necks in ice, one hears a similar rage.
Picone suggests a connection between Ovid's frozen sea and Dante's frozen Cocytus
in the Inferno (16-19).
They steeped me thrice in Cocytus
from Hades's shore,
A note to the passage by Wilson associates the infernal rivers, Acheron, Cocytus
, and Lethe with the canals leading to the pyramids.
The references to Cocytus
and Acheron are the last to the classical world.
The crowd turned on her; she burned as if the fires of Cocytus
were inside her.
The five rivers of Hell are the Styx, Acheron, Cocytus
, Phlegethon, and Lethe.