written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, and one of the greatest of world literature. Its influence is so great that it affects the Christian view of the afterlife to this day. The Divine Comedy is composed of three canticas, Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise). In the Inferno, Dante is led by the poet Virgil into the underworld, where he experiences and describes each of the nine circles of hell. The sign at the entrance to Hell reads: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."