Template:Greek myth (Hades) Cocytus or Kokytos, meaning "the river of wailing" (from the Greek κωκυτός, "lamentation"), is a river in the underworld in Greek mythology. Cocytus flows into the river Acheron, across which dwells the underworld, the mythological abode of the dead. There are five rivers encircling Hades. The River Styx is perhaps the most famous; the other rivers are Phlegethon, Lethe, and Acheron.
In literature Edit
The Cocytus river was one of the rivers that surrounded Hades. Cocytus, along with the other rivers related to the underworld, was a common topic for ancient authors. Among the ancient authors, Cocytus was mentioned by Homer, Cicero, Aeschylus and Plato, among others.
In The Divine ComedyEdit
- Main article: Divine Comedy
In Inferno, the first cantica of Dante's Divine Comedy, Cocytus is the ninth and lowest circle of Hell. Dante and Virgil are placed there by the giant Anataeus. Cocytus is referred to as a frozen lake rather than a river, although it originates from the same source as the other infernal rivers. Dante describes Cocytus as being the home of traitors and those who committed acts of complex fraud. Depending on the form of their treachery, victims are buried in ice to a varying degree, anywhere from neck-high to completely submerged in ice. Cocytus is divided into four descending "rounds," or sections:
- Caina, after the Biblical Cain; traitors to blood relatives.
- Antenora, after Antenor from the Iliad; traitors to country.
- Ptolomea, after Ptolemy, governor of Jericho, who murdered his guests (1 Maccabees); traitors to guests.
- Judecca, after Judas Iscariot; traitors to masters and benefactors.
Lucifer is at the center of the circle buried waist-high in ice. He is depicted with three faces and mouths. The central mouth gnaws Judas. Judas is chewed head foremost with his feet protruding while those gnawed in the side mouths, Brutus and Cassius, leading assassins of Julius Caesar, are both chewed feet foremost with their heads protruding. Under each chin Satan flaps a pair of wings, which only serve to increase the cold winds in Cocytus. Dante and his guide Virgil proceed then to climb down Satan's back and into Purgatory.