According to the Roman poet Virgil, the entrance to the underworld lies inside the Cave of the Sibyl, a hole cut into the cliff that circumscribes Lake Avernus, a volcanic lake northwest of Naples, Italy.
Outside the sibyl's cave, you can see a sign carved into stone:
The quote is from Virgil's Aeneid, Book VI, verses 42-4
Excisum Euboicae latus ingens rupis in antrum,
quo lati ducunt aditus centum, ostia centum;
unde ruunt totidem voces, responsa Sibyllae.
John Dryden translates:
"Thro' the hill's hollow sides: before the place,
A hundred doors a hundred entries grace;
As many voices issue, and the sound
Of Sybil's words as many times rebound."
From E. Fairfax Taylor's version:
"Into the lofty temple now with speed,—
A huge cave hollowed in the mountain's side,—
The priestess calls the Teucrians. Thither lead
A hundred doors, a hundred entries wide,
A hundred voices from the rock inside
Peal forth, the Sibyl answering. "
The modern visitor is provided a map of the inner labyrinth:
Unfortunately, this map only charts the upper chambers of the cave, and does not include the netherworld below.
For that, you're advised to bring a well-worn copy of Dante's Inferno.
Shall we go inside?
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