Most religions have versions of heaven and hell in which a good person goes to heaven and a bad one is bound for hell. Throughout history, people have written about them and created works of art for them, most notably, Dante Alighieri’s ‘Divine Comedy - The Inferno.’
Dante’s early 1300s epic work was adapted into a sculpture in the late 1800s by French artist Auguste Rodin that depicts the first section of ‘The Inferno,’ or ‘The Gates of Hell.’ It was not complete when Rodin died in 1917 after working on the project for 37 years.
Near the end of his life Rodin donated its sculptures, drawings and reproduction rights to the French government.
The actual gates of hell may have recently been discovered by archeologists. Or maybe not. In mid-March, ‘a team of archeologists working in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis in southwestern Turkey claims to have located the Plutonium, or Pluto's Gate -- an ancient pilgrim site considered the entryway to the underworld. A small cave near the temple of Apollo, the Plutonium grew in association with death from deadly gases it emitted,’ according to the Italian news agency ANSA.
Those gases have been found in several other “portals” around the world, emitting noxious fumes that can kill animals and people, say experts. The caves are a natural phenomenon, and that similar "openings in the earth's crust can be found elsewhere: Such portals are found around the globe. Undoubtedly the coolest, a modern day hell gate in Turkmenistan has been burning for over 40 years (the geologists who accidentally created it decided to light it on fire to protect locals from the gases, and it’s been burning ever since),” states Austin Considine in VICE.
Hierapolis, near the modern Turkish city of Pamukkale, has been labeled a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sees more than 1.5 million visitors each year. Francesco D'Andria has been excavating in the area for years, and in 2011, he claimed to have located the tomb of Saint Philip, one of Jesus' apostles, says HuffPost about the discovery.
As for me, I’m hoping for heaven.
I attended my first Friends of the Library’s Author Dinner last week. It was great! The place was jam-packed full, everyone had a great time, the meal was superb, and the group raised much-needed funds for the Gadsden County library system. The author, a New York Times best-seller and Christy winner, was an excellent speaker despite having only a few hours back in the United States after an arduous journey to Central America.
I haven’t read anything by Charles Martin, but I certainly intend to. His speech entertained us all quite well. During that speech, I kept thinking that his vocal inflections, speech patterns, head shape, tone of voice and more reminded me of someone I know well. When he got to the point in his talk when he mentioned a relative who had gone into space, I thought, “Bingo!” Family friends Bill and Grace Nelson’s (Bill is the senior Florida senator) nephew was indeed the man addressing our group. Author Martin and I had a lovely chat after the speech.
All I can say is, if he writes anything like he speaks, he’s going to be a great read. I look forward to jumping into his books with both feet soon!