How Did Galileo Calculate the Size of Hell?

Have you ever wondered how many dimensions hell is mentioned in many religions? This issue, which is not even a subject of research rather than curiosity, was actually the subject of a scientist’s book thousands of years ago.

During the early Renaissance Despite the rejection of science, many claims were made. According to modern historians, Dante’s Divine Comedy, which we all know well, is considered to be the most well-known literary work that attempts to define hell with religious references.

inspired by Dante The depictions of hell drawn both offer us a foresight and make us think.. Galileo, the father of modern astrophysics, took this situation a little further and tried to calculate the size of the described hell and find out how many people could fit inside!

Is hell big enough for all sinners?

Yes, talking about it can be a sensitive topic for many people. However, let’s do a little brainstorming with the information given in the accompaniment of science. we know Dante Alighieri, in the literary works he has produced, draws a vivid and colorful picture of hell as if he had actually been there. So much so that many researchers and scholars have worked since the 1320s to define hell.

The “dream universe” that Dante built cannot be fully grasped.

John Martin, Pandemonium (1841)

In fact, these drawings made by Dante are a dream universe created by himself. However, many researchers do not understand this situation. science studies, research of religious texts, and biblical-inspired studies, It enjoyed support throughout the Renaissance period.

Therefore, the Catholic Church In 1588, Galileo Galilei by demonstrating his mathematical expertise He asked Dante to calculate the dimensions of hell based on his drawings. Galileo, who was only 24 years old at the time, was a great scientist despite his age. Some historians consider him the most intelligent person of the 16th century.

According to Dante’s description, hell consists of 9 rings that get smaller as they get closer to the Earth’s core.

dante hell

When we look at the shrinking ring, the enlargement of the ring increases the brutality of hell. As it is written in John, including the Roman soldier who killed Jesus The most despicable people in the world were sent to the last link. (John 19:34) In the first circle, the disbelievers, in the second, the lascivious, in the third, the greedy, in the fourth, the stingy and wasteful, in the fifth, the perpetually angry, in the sixth, the heretics, those who inflict violence on the people in the seventh, In the eighth, there are dishonest people, and in the last ring, there are those who betray their family, friends and people.

Christian literature depicts hell in the form of a cone. In Dante’s artworks This cone shape, which we can see in Fig.

Galileo studied Dante’s works very carefully before calculating the size of hell.


Before discussing the poet’s fantastic “dream” universe, Galileo tried to see the world through his eyes and studied his works as best he could. Although he is not the first person to try to measure the dimensions of hell, the hell in the depiction has its own character. first person to claim to have dimensions with a set of physics had happened.

Galileo, Using Jerusalem as the center of the world, he determined a distance of 2,700 km between the Italian city of Friday and Jerusalem. He found the diameter of the cone-shaped hell to be 5,550 km.

But after this little calculation, the calculation at home did not fit the market: he realized that there was a major mistake in his calculations.

These cylinders, which took the form of a cone as they descended into the Earth’s core, would shatter under their own weight, based on the laws of physics. He also did a lot of calculations to determine the size and circumference of hell, thought about it, but discovered that they all had the same problem. There is a big difference between the real world and the other world.He is known to say that all thinkers, including himself, are ignorant of the workings of real-world structures.

Attempts to calculate the size of hell have a great share in incorporating many laws of physics that are still in effect today. Especially with these efforts, he advanced as much as possible in the field of physics; made his name known more. Galileo, who pioneered the birth of modern physics, in 1638 “Two New Sciences” In his book, he is a scientist who has shown examples of these errors that he has achieved by laying the foundations of mechanics.


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