Allan Kardec

Back to the menu
9. We know little of the Pagan Hell except through the recitals of the ancient poets; the descriptions given by Homer and Virgil are the most complete, but, in these, we have to make allowance for the necessities imposed by the poetic form. On the contrary, the description of the infernal regions given by Fénélon, in his Telemachus—though drawn, as regards the fundamental beliefs of the Ancients, from the same sources—has the greater simplicity and precision of prose. Even while describing the bleak and cheerless aspect of those regions, he takes care to show the kind of suffering endured by the guilty; and, if he gives special prominence to the fate of bad kings, he does so for the sake of impressing the mind of his royal pupil with the gravity of the responsibility that will one day rest upon him. However popular the work referred to, there are doubtless many who have not retained any clear remembrance of its details, or who have not reflected on them with sufficient attention to establish a comparison between the idea of “Hell” thus presented and the “Hell” of the Christians; and we therefore think it useful to reproduce portions of the work referred to which treat directly of the subject we are considering, that is to say, of the punishment of the individuals in the other life.

Related articles

Show related items