The Inferno Canto IV
Dante is awakened by thunder, and he finds himself on the brink of the abyss. Virgil leads him into the first circle, Limbo, which contains the souls of those who lived without sin but died without baptism or Christianity. The air trembles with their sighs for they have no hope of ever knowing God. "Without hope we live in desire." Canto IV, pg. 27Virgil belongs to this circle of Hell. Dante and Virgil approach a lighted area of dark Hell and are met by the heathen poets Homer, Horace, Ovid, and Lucan. The poets lead them into a castle where on a green plain they meet the noblest of the heathen personalities including Socrates, Seneca, Hector, and Orpheus. Then they part from the company and continue their journey into the dark pit of Hell.