facilis descensus Averno

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Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Literally "The descent to Avernus is easy." From Virgil's Aeneid, with reference to Avernus, a metonym for the underworld and to Lake Avernus in Italy, a volcanic crater lake reputed to emit deadly vapors.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Classical) IPA(key): /ˈfa.ki.lis deːsˈken.sus aˈwer.noː/, [ˈfa.kɪ.lɪs deːsˈkẽː.sʊs aˈwɛr.noː]

Proverb[edit]

facilis dēscensus Avernō

  1. The path to hell is easy.
    • 29-19 BCEVirgil, Aeneis, Book VI, lines 124-127
      Talibus orabat dictis, arasque tenebat,
      cum sic orsa loqui vates: "Sate sanguine divom,
      Tros Anchisiade, facilis descensus Averno;
      noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;"
      Then thus replied the prophetess divine:
      "O goddess-born of great Anchises' line,
      The gates of hell are open night and day;
      Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
      (loose translation by John Dryden, 1697)