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In Greek mythology, Cocytus (meaning river of wailing) was the river in the underworld on the banks of which the dead who could not pay Charon wandered. It flowed into the river Acheron, across which lay in Hades, the greek Hell.

In the Divine Comedy, Cocytus is frozen by the breath of Lucifer. Dante described it as being the home of traitors and those who committed acts of complex fraud. It was divided into four circles:

Lucifer, who betrayed God, was at the center of the circle, gnawing on the heads of Brutus, Cassius, and Judas.